They probably wouldn't be many people's first guess, but Brentford are the top form side in the entire Premier League after extending their impressive unbeaten streak with a win over Fulham on Monday.
The Bees went ahead after just five minutes and held on to register a 3-2 victory at the Community Stadium that takes them to within one point of their west London neighbours, who are riding high in seventh place.
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The result also means that Thomas Frank's side have now gone 12 games in the Premier League since they last tasted defeat on Oct. 23 last year -- the longest active streak of any club in the top flight.
It's not like the fixtures have been particularly kind to Brentford either: they have faced Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and even league leaders Arsenal during their last 10 outings and successfully took a total of eight points from those four opponents, as well as beating Chelsea earlier on in the season. All in all, the Bees have won six and drawn six of their last dozen games; scoring 22 goals, conceding 11 and winning 23 points in the process.
Everything about this goal 🤤@safetyculturehq pic.twitter.com/fnoUkCYDnh— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) March 7, 2023
The league high this season still belongs to Newcastle, who went 17 games without loss between September and February but that run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at St James' Park last month.
Indeed, of the so-called "big six" only table-topping Arsenal can claim to have bettered the Bees' current streak after the Gunners went 13 games unbeaten over several months -- a sequence that began with a 3-0 away win over Brentford on Sept. 18 and ended with the shock 1-0 loss to struggling Everton on Feb. 4.
Defending champions Manchester City went nine games unbeaten from the very start of the season, starting with a win over West Ham United on opening day (Aug. 7) and ending with a 1-0 defeat against Liverpool on Oct. 16. Pep Guardiola's side also went through their final 12 league fixtures last season without losing.
Spurs went seven games without defeat from the opening day until Sept. 7 while, despite their lacklustre form this campaign, Chelsea did manage to go six games unbeaten between early September and late October. Meanwhile, Manchester United and Liverpool have both topped out at a maximum of five consecutive games without defeat so far this season.
Just to put Brentford's streak into further context, Bundesliga title challengers Borussia Dortmund and Ligue 11 side Reims are the only other teams in Europe's top five divisions to avoid a league loss in 2023.
2⃣2⃣ taken ... 2⃣2⃣ scored
Nobody better from the spot than @IvanToney24 @safetyculturehq pic.twitter.com/qyU5Kuz9Uq— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) March 7, 2023
As well as their commanding run of results, Brentford can also claim to have the Premier League's most consistent penalty taker among their ranks. Ivan Toney converted from the spot in the 3-2 win over Fulham to maintain his 100% record in the league, having now scored all 10 of his penalties since his team entered the top flight last season.
Only former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has a better 100% penalty record when it comes to the Premier League, having scored all 11 of the spot kicks he took in the competition.
In fact, Toney has converted all 22 penalties that he's taken in all competitions since first signing for the Bees back in August 2020. The 26-year-old striker has also now notched 27 Premier League goals in 55 games since his side won promotion to the top flight for the 2021-22 campaign.
Phenomenal levels of consistency all-round. Second-season syndrome be damned!