Top 5: European football unbeaten streaks

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Football News

All good things must come to an end, and on Saturday Juventus saw their remarkable 49-match unbeaten streak reset to zero after Inter Milan left the Juventus Stadium as 3-1 victors.

The Serie 'A' champions have been imperious in recent months, and went the entire 2011-12 season unbeaten on their way to the league title.

The achievement was rightly lauded, but they are by no means the first club to embark on an incredible run. Arsenal did similar in the Premier League, while Nottingham Forest had their very own streak bettered by the Gunners.

So, GMF looks back at some of the best, and longest, unbeaten records across Europe's top leagues.

Steaua Bucharest - 106 matches - 1986-89

The Romanian giants comfortably hold the record, over a full season's worth of matches clear of second place.

Bucharest bestrode Romanian football like a colossus, setting the European record during their mid-1980s golden age.

And they were not just successful at home, although they did win five straight domestic titles, as they also won the 1986 European Champion Clubs' Cup, reached the semi-final in 1988 and were runners-up in 1989.

FC Sheriff - 63 matches - 2006-2008

Moldovan football was completely dominated by FC Sheriff in the mid-2000s as the Tiraspol-based club went 63 matches unbeaten.

In 2007 they went they entire season without suffering a defeat, and although they record was ended by FC Zimbru Chisinau in 2008, they still won the league title regardless.

Somewhat remarkably, between 2001 and 2010 they won 10 straight domestic league titles.

Celtic - 62 matches - 1915-17

The Scottish side set a United Kingdom record between November 1915 and April 1917, a record that still stands today.

The club's first manager, Willie Maley, was the architect for the triumph, while Alec McNair, Celtic's record appearance maker with 604 outings, was the star.

While Rangers and Celtic have since shared the spoils in Scottish football, Rangers' demotion to Scotland's third tier leaves the door open for another period of Celtic domination.

FC Levadia Tallinn - 61 matches - 2008-09

The Estonian champions readily admitted they didn't have much competition, as they went 61 matches unbeaten in the domestic league.

R. Union Saint-Gilloise - 60 matches - 1933-35

The Belgian side won three straight titles during the finest period in the club's history, as they reached 60 games unbeaten only to suffer defeat to Daring Club de Bruxelles in February 1935.

Notable mentions

During the 1970s European football had a decidely different feel to it, and some of the continent's powerhouses may be unfamiliar to fans of football today.

Nottingham Forest were the English giants, and their 42-match unbeaten run was not bettered until the Arsenal 'Invincibles' went 49 matches without loss almost thirty years later.

In Portugal, Benfica went 56 matches unbeaten in the middle of the decade, while the early 90s were the domain of an all-conquering AC Milan team that went 58 games without defeat. The likes of Marco Van Basten made them a formidable outfit.

An Ajax team including Patrick Kluivert and Edgar Davids - the new golden generation - went 52 games unbeaten in the mid-90s - the rebirth of the Dutch giants after the 1970s Johan Cruyff era.

Premier League contenders

Arsenal - 49 matches - 7 May 2003 to 24 October 2004

The Gunners romped to the 2003-04 Premier League title in spectacular fashion, sweeping aside all before them on their way to 49 matches unbeaten - a record matched by Juventus last month.

The 49th match, at Old Trafford, later became known as 'pizza-gate' after allegations of childish food-throwing hit the back pages after the match, but the game itself was just as controversial.

Manchester United ended the streak with a 2-0 victory, but Arsenal had every right to feel aggrieved after Wayne Rooney flopped over a stray Sol Campbell leg. The England forward went down, the referee pointed to the spot, and the points were in the bag for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Chelsea - 86 matches (unbeaten home run) - 20 March 2004 - 26 October 2008

Chelsea went over four years without a home defeat, a streak started under Claudio Ranieri and ended under Luiz Felipe Scolari - in between Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant each never lost at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues broke Liverpool's own record, set between 1978 and 1980, of 63 consecutive matches unbeaten at home in August 2007. As part of the record-breaking home run, Chelsea also went 40 matches unbeaten home and away, before defeat in November 2005 ended their streak nine short of Arsenal's 'Invincibles'.

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