The Premier League's 10 Biggest Victories
Following their rout of Aston Villa, Chelsea are now one of only four teams to win by a margin of eight goals or more. Rafa Benitez, meanwhile, may enjoy a little more job security this Christmas.
The Blues' emphatic effort ranks among the highest scoring games in Premier League history. Here, B/R looks through the history of Premier League thrashings, ranking the top 10 games by biggest winning margin.
Arsenal 7 Everton 0, May 2005
Arsenal finished their penultimate season at Highbury with a rousing performance against an Everton side strong enough to finish the campaign in fourth place.
Robin van Persie opened the scoring, with Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Edu, Dennis Bergkamp and Mathieu Flamini also finding the back of the net in the Gunners' final home game of 2004/05.
Despite their demolition of the Toffees and their status as favorites to retain the league title based on their previous unbeaten season, Arsenal ended the campaign in second place after a dramatic dip in form allowed Jose Mourinho's Chelsea to clinch victory.
On the other hand, David Moyes' Everton were among the relegation candidates in this campaign following the sale of Wayne Rooney to Manchester United. That they managed to earn Champions League football after this defeat—and finish 17th the previous season—is an incredible feat.
Manchester Utd 7 Barnsley 0, October 1997
Barnsley's first visit to Old Trafford in over 60 years was one to forget for Danny Wilson's side, who suffered an Andy (sorry, "Andrew") Cole hat-trick, a Ryan Giggs brace and goals from Paul Scholes and Karel Poborsky.
The win helped United overtake Arsenal to lead the Premiership for the second time that season, but the campaign ultimately belonged to Arsenal, who earned their first league title since 1991.
Barnsley were beaten 2-0 when the Red Devils visited Oakwell for the return fixture, but the Tykes got their revenge by knocking Fergie's side out of the FA Cup in the Fifth Round with a 3-2 replay win in South Yorkshire.
Barnsley's first top-flight season in their 102-year history became their only top-flight season to date, as they were relegated shortly after losing a subsequent FA Cup quarterfinal to Newcastle.
Blackburn 7 Notts Forest 0, November 1995
Nottingham Forest headed to Ewood Park in November 1995 looking to extend a 25-match unbeaten run, having endured their last defeat the previous April.
The Foresters ended their hot streak in the most feckless manner possible, by conceding seven to the defending league champions. Alan Shearer bagged a hat-trick, Lars Bohinen scored two, while Mike Newell and Graeme Le Saux also found their names on the scoresheet.
Despite the loss and their ninth-place finish, Forest arguably enjoyed a better season than the Blackburn side that finished in seventh.
Following Blackburn's dismal Champions League exit, Frank Clark's Reds were the only English side to be involved in European competition after Christmas, making it to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup.
Blackburn, meanwhile, had dropped a long way from the top, lost manager Kenny Dalglish and finished the season by waving goodbye to star striker Alan Shearer.
Note: There have been two other 7-0 Premier League score lines not featured in this list: Arsenal's victory over Middlesbrough in January 2006 and Chelsea's annihilation of Stoke in April 2010.
Middlesbrough 8 Manchester City 1, May 2008
When looking back at the highlights of Sven-Goran Eriksson's career, it's unlikely that much will feature from his season in charge of Manchester City.
Before the Citizens' visit to Middlesbrough on the final day of the 2007/08 season, owner Thaksin Shinawatra had already announced he would replace the Swede after an "avalanche of very poor results which is unacceptable at this level."
Yet Sven had one more poor result in him, as Afonso Alves scored a hat-trick, and Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson, Fabio Rochemback and Jeremie Aliadiere all found the net.
Eriksson was released a month later, while Gareth Southgate's Boro side finished 13th, before dropping out of the top flight the following season.
Notts Forest 1 Manchester Utd 8, February 1999
En route to the greatest season in their history, Manchester United recorded the Premier League's biggest ever away win at City Ground.
United's £12.6 million signing Dwight Yorke opened the scoring in the second minute and added another in the second half. Andy/Andrew Cole also managed a brace, while Super Sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on in the 72nd minute and scored an incredible four goals. The Norwegian still owns the record for most goals scored by a substitute in a match.
Amazingly, there were only 10 shots on target during the whole match and nine of them resulted on goals. This set a record for highest shots-to-goals ratio in the Premier League.
Alex Ferguson's men left City Ground four points clear at the top of the table, whereas Ron Atkinson's Forest remained rock bottom—a position they retained for most of the season until their relegation.
Chelsea 8 Aston Villa 0, December 2012
After a surprising 3-1 win at Anfield, Paul Lambert's Aston Villa hoped to continue their six-game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge. Instead, the Villans suffered their heaviest ever Premier League defeat.
Chelsea will spend this Christmas third in the league thanks to goals from Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard, Ramires, Oscar and Eden Hazard. The rout marked the first time seven players from one team have scored in a match and the second time the Blues have won a league match by eight goals (more on that shortly).
The match is Rafa Benitez's biggest victory in English football, eclipsing the 6-0 win he achieved with Liverpool over Derby in 2007, and one that may help appease the Blues fans who are unhappy with his appointment.
There were significantly fewer "Rafa Out" banners being held aloft at the conclusion of this game...
Chelsea 8 Wigan 0, May 2010
Chelsea went into the final day of the 2009/10 Premier League season knowing a victory would secure their first league title win since 2006.
Premiership rivals Manchester Utd emphatically beat Stoke 4-0 on the last day, but this couldn't be matched by the Blues 8-0 demolition of Wigan at Stamford Bridge. Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba both found the net twice, while Ashley Cole, Salomon Kalou and Frank Lampard also found the net.
In addition to earning a shiny trophy, Carlo Ancelotti's men became the first team in English history to score seven or more goals on four occasions in a league season. They also became the first Premier League side to score a hundred or more goals in a season after putting away a club-record 103 goals in the campaign.
Wigan finished the season with the league's worst goals difference (minus-42). This was the second time in 2009/10 that they had been beaten by an eight-goal deficit in London.
Tottenham 9 Wigan 1, November 2009
In the 2009/10 season, Harry Redknapp guided Tottenham to a top-four finish, allowing them to participate in the European Cup for the first time since 1962.
Spurs broke into the top four on Nov. 22 with a stunning victory over Wigan at White Hart Lane, in which Redknapp started Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe up front together.
The match was only 1-0 at half time thanks to Crouch, but the home side scored a record-breaking eight second-half goals, with five from Jermain Defoe and single efforts from Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Niko Kranjcar.
It was only the second time a Premier League side had scored nine goals, and the third time that a player had scored five in a Premiership match.
Despite losing two games in the season by an eight-goal margin, Wigan finished six points clear of safety and are now enjoying their eighth consecutive Premier League season.
Newcastle 8 Sheffield Wednesday 0, September 1999
Newcastle started the 1999/2000 season with four defeats from five and the resignation of manager Ruud Gullit. With relegation a genuine concern by mid-September, Sir Bobby Robson was brought in.
The 66-year-old narrowly lost his first game in charge at Stamford Bridge, but on his St. James'Park debut against Sheffield Wednesday, the Godfather of the Gallowgate pulled off a famous victory.
Five goals from Alan Shearer—including two penalties—plus efforts from Aaron Hughes, Kieron Dyer and Gary Speed helped the Geordies turn their season around, eventually finishing in 11th. The result also helped them become the season's third-highest goal scorers with 63.
Following the match, Sheffield Wednesday became relegation favourites and ended nine successive top-flight campaigns with a draw at Highbury on the penultimate day of the season.
Manchester Utd 9 Ipswich 0, March 1995
The Tractor Boys of Ipswich Town went to Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon in March 1995 rooted in the relegation zone, but buoyed by the fact they had beaten the Red Devils at Portman Road earlier in the season.
They left the Theatre of Dreams, however, as the recipients of the biggest Premier League defeat of all time.
Five goals from Andy Cole, two from Mark Hughes and a couple from Roy Keane and Paul Ince ensured United's biggest victory in 103 years, and the kind of result that would be unsporting at lower levels of the game.
Despite this record-breaking win, Alex Ferguson's men were unable to catch Alan Shearer's Blackburn Rovers in the title race. Ipswich, meanwhile, were relegated after finishing bottom of the league and 21 points from safety.