went undefeated all season in 1978-79 and still finished second in Serie A to Milan," writes Dan Seppings, among myriad others. "They drew 19 games out of 30 that season. The conclusion? Serie A was very boring for a number of years." What they'd give for excitement like that now, though, eh?
This dubious achievement can also be claimed by four other teams in major European leagues. In 1951 Spartak Sofia
finished a point behind CDNV Sofia, despite winning 14 and drawing eight of their 22-game programme. Benfica
were the next unfortunates, losing out on goal difference to Porto in 1977-78. After Perugia's antics of 1978-79 in Italy Galatasaray
were next to experience this singular type of frustration, trailing Besiktas on goal difference in 1985-86 after a 36-game unbeaten streak. And only last year Red Star Belgrade
finished a whopping five points behind their rivals Partizan Belgrade after 33 games of mellow fruitlessness.