By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 14th May 2019
The hard-luck stories surrounding Liverpool failing to win the Premier League have been never ending since the conclusion of their 2-0 over Wolves on the final day of the season.
How unlucky can a team be to get 97 points and not lift the title? Liverpool only lost one league game all season, that’s the form of title winners.
To be fair, Liverpool did collect the third highest points total in Premier League history and break Real Madrid’s record from 2009/10 for the most points ever achieved by a runner up across Europe’s top five leagues.
However, if you thought Liverpool deserved more, spare a thought for poor old Perugia during the 1978/79 Serie A campaign when they failed to win the title despite not losing a single game.
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Perugia’s invincible 1978/79 Serie A season
Modeled on the Ajax system, young, tactical coach Ilario Castagner settled on an intriguing 1-3-2-3-1 system, which gave freedom to talented club captain Pierluigi Frosio in the sweeper role and licence to main midfield protagonist Marco Vannini to initiate attacks.
Things started impressively in the first half of the season, particularly when securing a 2-1 victory away at defending Serie A champions Juventus.
However, in a match against Inter Milan, a terrible tackle from Adriano Fedele caused Vannini to suffer a double fracture of both his tibia and fibula. The injuries proved career ending.
Then Frosio suffered a collection of smaller injuries, meaning he barely featured in the second half of the season.
Imagine Liverpool having to challenge from Christmas this term with both Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah unavailable.
Yet, Perugia still ploughed on to complete the league season unbeaten, becoming Italy’s first invincibles in the process. They conceded only 15 goals in 30 games.
However, 19 draws in this sequence ultimately cost them the title, as they finished three points shy of AC Milan.
Perugia’s golden era ultimately came to an end in 1981 when they were relegated from Serie A, having suffered a five-point deduction as part of the Totonero match fixing betting scandal.