Belfast Telegraph

The worst starts to Premier League seasons

Crystal Palace suffered their sixth straight defeat without scoring a goal to extend their atrocious start to the Premier League season.

With a trip to Manchester United followed by a home game against Chelsea next on the agenda, there may be no end in sight for Palace and manager Roy Hodgson.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the worst starts to a season in the Premier League era, and what became of those teams.

PORTSMOUTH, 2009-10

Only Pompey under Paul Hart have waited longer than Palace for their first points of a Premier League campaign, losing their first seven games before eventually recording a win over Wolves in their eighth. Hart was sacked in November - Palace, of course, have already made such a move with Hodgson replacing Frank de Boer just four games in. Replacement Avram Grant was unable to save Pompey, who finished the season bottom of the table.

SOUTHAMPTON, 1998-99

Saturday's defeat took Palace beyond Southampton for the second-longest winless start since the top flight's rebranding, with the Saints having lost their first five games that season. They took only a solitary point, against Tottenham, from their first eight and had to wait until their 10th match for their first win, 2-1 against Coventry, but recovered to survive in 17th place on 38 points.

MANCHESTER CITY, 1995-96

Despite starting with a 1-1 draw at home to Spurs, City lost their next seven games to Coventry, QPR, Everton, Arsenal, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest. They were ultimately relegated on goal difference, Steve Lomas running the ball to the corner flag in the closing moments against Liverpool on the final day in the mistaken belief their 2-2 draw would be enough to keep them up.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY, 1999-2000

Another team with just one point after eight games, that run for the Owls was rounded off by an 8-0 loss to Newcastle with five goals from Alan Shearer. They finished 19th, five points adrift of safety.

SUNDERLAND, 2013-14

Paolo di Canio, having kept the Black Cats up the previous season, took just a point from his first five games before being sacked. Defeats to Liverpool, Manchester United and Swansea followed but new boss Gus Poyet eventually turned things around and an improbable late run of 13 points from five games, including a draw with Manchester City and wins away to Chelsea and Manchester United, kept them up in 14th.

TOTTENHAM, 2008-09

Juande Ramos was jettisoned after a run of two points from the first eight games, including defeats to Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Hull. It always looked a false position for a team featuring the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric, and Harry Redknapp turned things around with a run of five wins in eight en route to an eighth-placed finish.

SUNDERLAND, 2016-17

After a number of years battling against the drop, the Black Cats' luck finally ran out under David Moyes last season. They took only two points from the first 10 games before beating Bournemouth on November 5, one of only six wins all season.

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