The Premier League Years - 2020

Robbie Copeland
2020 was a year to remember and then immediately forget
2020 was a year to remember and then immediately forget / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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Who among us can honestly say we'll be sad to see the back of 2020?

The year has had its highlights. Liverpool finally winning the Premier League, Leeds causing chaos on their return to to the top flight, Scotland boogying their way to the Euros and Romaine Sawyers turning round to hoof the ball past his own keeper for no good reason (that's literally just happened, look it up).

Premier League Football GIF by Liverpool FC - Find & Share on GIPHY

All of that footballing fun, yet it all feels shallow, since we haven't really been there to see any of it.

But before we kiss goodbye to a year that has had given us more lockdowns than it has pints at the pub, let's take a look back at the best the Premier League has had to offer.

And, because why not, let's do it in the style of Sky Sports' Premier League Years.


January

2020 would prove to be a year to forget for wider society, but it couldn't have started any better for West Ham and Mark Noble. The ever-present captain scored twice as the struggling Irons ran riot over Bournemouth, with Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson also netting in a 4-0 victory that moved them out of the bottom three.

January may have seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex step back from their senior roles within the Royal Family, but as Harry and Meghan looked to distance themselves from their titles, Liverpool moved one step closer to theirs.

Roberto Firmino was the king on the day as the Reds squeezed past Tottenham to make it a record-breaking 20 wins from 21 league games, and moved them 16 points clear of defending champions Manchester City.


February

The legend himself: Bong Joon-ho
The legend himself: Bong Joon-ho / Amy Sussman/Getty Images

The Oscars made the headlines in the states as Parasite enjoyed a near clean sweep at the awards. Bong Joon-ho's comedy drama earned him Best Director, but back in London, it was another South Korean who grabbed the headlines. Heung-min Son doubled Tottenham's lead as his side put a huge dent in Manchester City's dwindling title prospects.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the Superbowl for the second time in their history, but as Jennifer Lopez and Shakira stole the show at half-time, Manchester United's new superstar also took centre-stage. Bruno Fernandes proved he was worth every penny of his £50m price tag, as he scored one and laid on Mason Greenwood for another in a rampant victory over Watford.

One of the shock results of the season later came at Vicarage Road as Ismaila Sarr ran riot against runaway leaders Liverpool. The Hornets continued their resurgence under Nigel Pearson with a 3-0 win that ended Liverpool's 'Invincible' hopes, and sent shockwaves through the footballing universe.


March

The coronavirus pandemic was beginning to cause panic all over the globe, but the Premier League pressed on for the first two weeks of March. Spurred on by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's message that basic hygiene would beat the virus, Wolves got themselves off to a flying start with a 3-2 victory over Tottenham that boosted their European hopes.

Future Spurs defender Matt Doherty was on the scoresheet as Nuno Santo's team twice came from behind to win in north London.

The Premier League would finally yield to the pandemic but not before Leicester took Aston Villa apart at the King Power. Braces from Jamie Vardy and the emerging Harvey Barnes moved the Foxes back to within touching distance of Manchester City.


April, May & June

Proud Of You Yes GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

As seasons were called in Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands as a result of the pandemic, there were fears that Liverpool's race towards their first title in 30 years was in serious jeopardy. Two months of uncertainty over the state of football were put to an end, however, when the UK Government announced that the sport could continue behind closed doors.

Football finally resumed with a 0-0 stalemate between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, before Manchester City proved the lack of fans was no problem. Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden kept their title hopes mathematically alive against Arsenal at an empty Etihad.

Everton were resurgent under Carlo Ancelotti and held their bitter rivals Liverpool to a point at Goodison Park, but in a month dominated by the title race, the Reds finally brought their 30-year wait to an end.

A 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield came 24 hours before City went down 2-1 to Chelsea, meaning Liverpool won the title with eight games to spare.

Liverpool list the Premier League title
Liverpool list the Premier League title / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

July

Society was getting used to the new normal by July. Social distancing was becoming par for the course of day-to-day life, and there was some socially distant defending on show at Old Trafford as Bournemouth's survival hopes suffered a fatal blow. Bruno Fernandes netted his sixth goal for the club as he instrumented a 5-2 victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.

With the title sewn up, the relegation battle was capturing the attention and Norwich looked dead and buried after defeats to rivals West Ham and Aston Villa left them cut adrift at the bottom. The Canaries dropped back into the Championship alongside Bournemouth and Watford, whose decision to part company with Nigel Pearson late in the day came back to bite them.

As the season drew to a close, United's revival ensured that Leicester cruelly missed out on a Champions League spot. A 2-0 win at the King Power, courtesy of a Bruno Fernandes penalty and a rare Jesse Lingard strike, made sure of that.


September

Donald Trump Shut Up GIF by CBS News - Find & Share on GIPHY

Joe Biden won his nomination as the democratic candidate for President in the USA, and as election season hits its stride, the Premier League returns with a bang. Arsenal kick off 2020/21 in style with a comfortable London derby win over newly promoted Fulham, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and new defender Gabriel all getting off the mark.

Sport was back in full swing as tennis star Naomi Osaka made the headlines with the second US Open of her career, but Osaka's forehand had nothing on the punch packed by Championship winners Leeds United. Marcelo Bielsa's team were back in the top flight with a point to prove and after losing by four goals to three at Anfield on the opening day, the scoreline was reversed on match day two as they ensured the Cottagers' miserable start continued.

Ancelotti's Everton, meanwhile, were off to a flier, with new arrival James Rodriguez and the rejuvenated Dominic Calvert-Lewin inspiring them to a 100% start. They made it three wins from three when Richarlison's penalty earned them a narrow 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.


October

Tottenham thumped Man Utd
Tottenham thumped Man Utd / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Storm Alex ensured 3 October was the wettest day in the UK since records began, and it marked the start of a miserable weekend for Manchester United and Liverpool.

The historic rivals were hit for six and seven respectively, as Spurs ran out 6-1 victors at Old Trafford, before the defending champions outdid them at Villa Park. Ollie Watkins, fresh off the press from Brentford, was among the goals with a hat-trick, as Dean Smith's team continued their impressive start with a breathtaking 7-2 win.

The Reds' title hopes were dented even further at Goodison Park when Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for the season after a horror challenge from Jordan Pickford, as the Reds stumbled to a 2-2 draw that did little to re-assert their aspirations.

It was a good month for fledgling challengers Chelsea, however, who signed off for October with a resounding 3-0 win over Burnley. Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner made their mark after signing from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.


November

Joe Biden Potus GIF by Election 2020 - Find & Share on GIPHY

November 2020 was a month that will forever be remembered for Joe Biden's election as President of the US, but it couldn't have started any worse for Sheffield United. Chris Wilder's team were enduring a miserable start and things went from bad to worse for them at Stamford Bridge. David McGoldrick opened the scoring, but goals from Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner left them with just one point, and rooted firmly to the bottom of the table.

It was an historic month for Kylie Minogue who became the first woman to top the UK album charts in five consecutive decades, and it was a big one for Southampton too, who soared to the top of the Premier League for the first time in 32 years after Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong gave them a comfortable victory over Newcastle.

They wouldn't stay there for long, however, as it would soon be Spurs who took the early title initiative. Jose Mourinho's side continued their impressive record against Man City to go top, with Heung-min Son once again on the scoresheet.


December

As 2020 drew to a close with the news of a vaccine for COVID-19, Crystal Palace were just beginning to get their season started. Roy Hodgson's team broke from character as Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze ran riot in a 5-1 win over West Brom, who would soon part with manager Slaven Bilic to open the door for a famous face to return to the Premier League.

After more than a year away, former England manager Sam Allardyce took the reins at the Hawthorns. And while defeat in the Black Country derby wasn't the way he wanted to start, a point at Anfield was the late Christmas present West Brom fans had been hoping for.

Big Sam is back
Big Sam is back / Pool/Getty Images

It was the Reds who finished the year on top of the tree, however. 32 points from 15 matches made a mockery of their defensive injury crisis, and their fans went into 2021 hopeful that title 21 was on its way.


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