FOOTBALL: THE STATISTICS; Gang of four control the charts

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The Independent Online
THE PREMIERSHIP'S leading clubs have never exerted more dominance over the rest of the division than this season, with the top four amassing almost a third (32 per cent) of all the points won so far, and the other 16 clubs sharing the remaining 68 per cent between them. A decade ago the comparable figures were 26 per cent and 74 per cent, and the chasm shows a steady widening in between.

Another indicator of current top-four strength is that the other 16 clubs have won a total of 43 points from 279 against top-four sides, or 0.46 per game on average.

Only Tottenham (8pts), Bolton (6), Charlton (6) and Man City (5) have gained more than three points in total from all their meetings against top-four sides combined - and even the best of those hauls - Tottenham's - is only 38 per cent of the maximum available. Ten clubs have won two or fewer points in total against the top four, and Norwich none at all.

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