So at long last the 2019/20 Premier League season has come to a close.
It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride this season, and there’s been some seriously mind-blowing moments and feats that people may have missed amidst all the chaos of the season and, you know, life. So we’ve compiled a list of extraordinary moments the Premier League has delivered for us this season.
1. Liverpool scorching the earth
You can’t talk about 2019/20 without talking about how Liverpool just beat the hell out of everyone for basically the entire season. They set or equalled so many records that it became almost passé and it took a global pandemic to stop them just straight-up setting all the records.
A compendium of their ceaseless quality can be found elsewhere on this site but one of the most noteworthy feats was their start. Obviously teams have started fast before but Liverpool came out at such velocity it was like someone had shot them out of a cannon. Liverpool‘s start was so fast it actually extended into their middle.
RECORD: Liverpool have made the best-ever start to a Premier League season after 21 games:
? 21 games
? 61 points
? 20 wins
? 1 draw
? 0 defeats
Mentality Monsters™️ pic.twitter.com/k6sKvKAACa
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 11, 2020
The Reds won their first eight games, were held 1-1 by Manchester United, then proceeded to win their next 18 straight games before finally losing. Now sure, unbeaten runs happen, but there’s usually at least a handful of draws in their as sides dice with defeat. Liverpool drew once. They won 26 games. Twenty six. For reference: the last time the Reds won the league title they won 23 times in the entire god damn season. This time they won 26 before March. Liverpool didn’t just win the Premier League, they scorched the earth.
2. Watford end Liverpool’s flawless run
Of course all things come to an end and eventually Liverpool did lose. But they didn’t lose to Manchester United, Jurgen Klopp‘s bogey team, or Manchester City their big rivals, or even this season’s great pretenders Leicester. No, they lost to Watford.
Watford who were 19th before they beat Liverpool and 19th at the end of the season. The Hornets were basically terrible either side of that game but for one magical night at Vicarage Road they turned into the combined forces of Man Utd 1999, Arsenal 2004, Chelsea 2005 and Man City 2018. They ripped Liverpool to pieces and won quite comfortably. It was a sight to behold.
3. Nicolas Pépé ends Van Dijk’s flawless run
No one dribbled by Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League in 2018/19. Liverpool’s colossus at the back was an impassable object for anyone who tried him, but that streak didn’t last too long into 2019/20 as Nicolas Pépé stitched him up in late August, breaking Van Dijk’s flawless run! Ah well, guess he’ll have to console himself with a Premier League title, poor guy.
Nicolas Pépé is the first player to successfully dribble past Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League since Mikel Merino did so in March 2018.
50-game streak ended. pic.twitter.com/QqAx93dDBK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 24, 2019
4. Adama Traoré: the Dancing Machine
Adama Traoré loves a dribble. Everyone knows this. However 2019/20 was finally the season where he added a consistent end product to his game. What makes that even more impressive is the fact that 2019/20 was also the season where the Spaniard racked up 183 completed take-ons which is more completed take-ons than anyone ever has ever managed in a Premier League season.
5. Grealish getting grief every single game
Jack Grealish is man who stands out. He has a superstar look with his signature haircut and frankly frighteningly colossal calves. Maybe this makes his opponents jealous. That would certainly be make sure as to why Grealish gets fouled so ruddy much. Seriously, Captain Jack won a whopping 167 fouls during the Premier League season, more than anyone ever has. That he retained his discipline and skeletal structure is to his immense credit. He also kept Villa up. Not bad, eh?
Jack Grealish won more fouls (167) during the 2019/20 Premier League season than has ever been previously recorded in a single campaign in the competition.
The Yin to Daniele De Rossi’s Yang. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/zKSaH6KY44
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 26, 2020
READ MORE ON THE 2019/20 SEASON’S STAT LEADERS:
- Top scorers
- Most assists
- Most chances created
- Most take-ons completed
- Most tackles won
- Most saves and clean sheets
- Most passes
- Most headers
6. Bruno’s Premier League
The Premier League is referred to as the “British Premier League” or just “BPL” in some quarters – well after the end of 2019/20 BPL should be changed to stand for Bruno’s Premier League because the Portuguese superstar hit the English top flight like a sledgehammer. Fernandes debuted in late January right after United lost at home to Burnley. In that time the Red Devils went 14 unbeaten, winning nine and taking 32 points (a league high) going from 18 points back on Leicester in 3rd to being four points ahead of them in 3rd themselves.
Meanwhile, Bruno himself scored eight goals and assisted a further seven for a frankly ludicrous direct goal involvement of 15, more than any other player in the same timespan. It is remarkable how prolific he was, even as he was tiring towards the very end of the campaign as he had to play every single minute. Seriously, what the hell could this guy do with a proper pre-season and a genuine right-winger to play off?
7. Wan-Bissaka and Ndidi: tackle gods
With N’Golo Kanté being terminally misused, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Wilfred Ndidi have competed for his title of tackle god. Ndidi had a headstart but Wan-Bissaka has been catching up. Both men shared the crown this season, with a bone-shuddering 129 tackles. For a tie-breaker, Wan-Bissaka won 80 of those tackles, with Ndidi winning 67 (a “tackle won” is a tackle where possession was retained by the tackling team, which may not happen in a “tackle”).
8. Sheffield United. Just… Sheffield United.
No one except for Chris Wilder‘s family could have thought Sheffield United would do well this season. They had the weakest squad coming into the competition. Yet thanks to Wilder‘s wicked 3-5-2 system with its overlapping centre-backs (seriously) they were phenomenal all season long. They finished the campaign with 54 points, more than they’ve ever managed in the Premier League before, and they did it all playing the game their way. Respect.
Sheffield United collected 54 points in this season’s Premier League, their highest ever points tally in a PL season.
Build the Chris Wilder statue… now. pic.twitter.com/jk4d0pg5NE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 26, 2020
9. Dean Henderson is Manchester United and England’s best goalkeeper and you’re going to have to deal with that
Lately David de Gea has been letting shots in that you’d expect pretty much any top-flight goalkeeper to save. The ball dribbles under him or beats him at the near-post and he just stands there looking mildly depressed and exquisitely groomed. Meanwhile, England‘s purported no. 1 has baby arms and inspires about as much confidence as a tin of biscuits.
Dean Henderson over in Sheffield (on loan from Man Utd), meanwhile, has been an absolute wall. Sure he’s also made a few blunders but he’s also been a largely impassable presence. Proper Gandalf in Moria stuff. Sheffield United have the fourth-best defensive record in the division (39 conceded) and to be honest the only reason it isn’t tied with Liverpool for first (33 conceded) is that they conceded six goals across two games against Manchester United, games Henderson couldn’t play in because of the Premier League’s cowardly loan rules.
Henderson is the truth. And it’s a truth Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Gareth Southgate should accept if they want to prosper.
10. Leicester beating Southampton 0-9
Everyone can stop banging on about that time Man Utd beat Ipswich 9-0 because someone has finally gone and done it again. Back in late October, Leicester rocked up to St. Mary’s and blew the doors off the place, smashing nine goals past their hosts. It was a truly ridiculous night of football that saw Ryan Bertrand sent off early and the Saints absolutely routed with hat-tricks for Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez.
Greatest winning margins in Premier League history:
2019: Southampton 0-9 Leicester
1995: Man Utd 9-0 Ipswich
2009: Spurs 9-1 Wigan
1999: Newcastle 8-0 Sheff Wed
2010: Chelsea 8-0 Wigan
2012: Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa
2014: Southampton 8-0 Sunderland
2019: Man City 8-0 Watford
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 25, 2019
11. Southampton out-performing Leicester after losing to them 0-9
After a team gets beaten 0-9 (not even 9-0, but 0-9) you’d expect them to perhaps collapse in shame. Yet Ralph Hasenhuttl was supported by the Southampton board and the Saints turned it around. They turned it all the way around and, in fact, picked up more points than Leicester managed to do in the same time period. This thing’s chess, it ain’t checkers.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) July 26, 2020
12. The king-makers on the King’s Road
In 2016, Chelsea crowned Leicester as Premier League champions for the first time by drawing with Spurs in a performance heavily inspired by wing-wonder Eden Hazard.
In 2020, Chelsea crowned Liverpool as Premier League champions for the first time by beating Man City in a performance heavily inspired by wing-wonder Christian Pulisic.
The more things change…
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Chelsea secure Leicester City's first Premier League title with a 2-2 draw against Spurs at Stamford Bridge
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Chelsea secure Liverpool's first Premier League title with 2-1 win against Man City at Stamford Bridge
The Kingmakers. ? pic.twitter.com/bTaCYM4zXX
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 25, 2020
13. Tammy flying the flag
Chelsea have had a litany of fantastic footballers scoring goals for them, but it’s rare that any of them have been English. The English soul of the side has always been in defence or in midfield back when Frank Lampard was there. This side is different, though, and Tammy Abraham led the way with 15 Premier League goals. The first Englishman to top-score for Chelsea since, hey look at that, Lampard in 2012/13!
14. Kevin de Bruyne is a creative genius
Kevin de Bruyne is a salty boy: this season he racked up 20 assists, joining Thierry Henry as the only man to do that in Premier League history. That’s phenomenal, but when asked about it, he insisted he had 22 assists and that two against Arsenal were wrongly chalked off.
That’s pretty petty to bring up, but you can understand why he’d be frustrated. To be honest the real target of his ire ought to be his team-mates as he created a mammoth 136 chances this season, including 104 from open-play. That’s a record, and a ridiculous one at that. 104 chances created from open play! If Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were more on it, this brilliant Belgian would have smashed this record ages ago. So, yes, De Bruyne is salty, but he is also a creative genius.
In 2019/20, not only did Kevin De Bruyne equal Thierry Henry’s Premier League assist record, he set a new one for most chances created from open play in a single season – beating Eden Hazard’s tally of 98 from 2014/15.
KDB is the king creator. ? pic.twitter.com/JLH7m9E07g
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 26, 2020
15. City can’t stop scoring
For the second season in the last three and the third season in the last decade, Manchester City scored more than 100 goals in the Premier League. They didn’t quite match the 106 from 2017/18, but they rattled in 102 goals to end the season as top scorers.
16. City can’t stop losing (aka José does Pep)
Despite scoring over 100 goals, City didn’t end up as champions. And why? Their defence was so bad. It was aggressively bad. That they only conceded 35 goals and Ederson somehow won the Golden Glove is the real mystery because City lost nine games in the Premier League.
Now that may not seem like a huge number but remember the most amount of defeats Pep had suffered prior to this was six, back in his first season as City boss. And no loss will stick in his throat as much as his side beating the brains out of José Mourinho’s Spurs and then somehow losing 2-0 anyway.
Spurs 2-0 Man City FT:
Steven Bergwijn scores on his Premier League debut as José Mourinho's side secure the win in a bonkers match. pic.twitter.com/gwZwZcT3w8
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 2, 2020
17. Hugs and Headers: the Duncan Ferguson mini-era
Here’s a sentence no one has ever said before: between Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti, there was Duncan Ferguson. The Scot took over at Everton on temporary basis as they courted Ancelotti. No one expected much from Ferguson but not only was the side’s first goal under him a towering header from their centre-forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin but Ferguson’s touchline demeanour was far more positive and affirming than scowling and scary. Those ballboy hugs were fantastic! Especially given the horrors that have plagued the country since.
18. David Luiz just cannot help himself
David Luiz is a man of immense contradictions. At times a silky and commanding ball-playing centre-back with ferocious courage. He’ll step out from the back, play risky passes but also throw his body in the way of any and every shot and use whatever he has to to make the block.
Then there’s the other version of Luiz. The clumsy buffoon who makes you think there’s been a Space Jam style siphoning of talent. The Brazilian conceded five penalties in 2019/20, that’s a record for any player in a single Premier League season. If you watch Luiz’s highlights to “Basketball Jones” you half expect Nicky McCrimmon to show up and start making fun of him.
David Luiz has now conceded five penalties in the Premier League this season, at least two more than any other player. ? pic.twitter.com/u5ZAnxG0Kz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 26, 2020
19. Teemu Pukki: king of the Canaries
Remember when Norwich beat Man City? Back in the middle of September they humiliated the title holders at Carrow Road. Teemu Pukki bagged the match-winning strike that day, his sixth strike in five games at the start of the season. The Finn’s start was so hot that he was awarded the Premier League’s player of the month for August, making him the first-ever Norwich player to win the award. The tragic ending to this story, of course, is that those six goals are over half Pukki’s final season total of 11. The goals dried up and the Canaries went down.
20. Dimitri Foulquier: gone in 60 minutes
Speaking of relegation, Dimitri Foulquier was technically relegated even though he finished 2019/20 celebrating Europa League qualification with Granada. Why was he even in Spain? Well in the first half of the season he was at Watford and played just 58 minutes, and in that short time he saw his side concede six goals. Six. To make matters worse, five of those came against Manchester City in his only start. And he only lasted 33 minutes. Yeah. Seriously. Still, it had a happy ending for him on a personal note anyway, so he can’t be too upset.