Premier League, 2020 (2019-20)

Premier League - Season Review 2019-20

The 2019-20 Premier League was the 28th season in the competition's history.

  • Liverpool became the champions for the first time as they claimed their 19th top division title and first since 1990.
  • Otherwise, the season will be mostly remembered for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • When Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was tested positive for coronavirus on 12 March 2020, the Gunners' game at Brighton and Hove Albion two days later was immediately postponed. The following day (13 March), an emergency meeting of the game's governing bodies unanimously agreed that all professional football in England would be suspended until at least 4 April 2020.
  • Subject to government approval, the Premier League clubs subsequently agreed that the outstanding 92 games would resume on 17 June 2020.
  • As all those games would have to be played behind closed doors, agreement was reached with broadcasters for them all to be televised live. A total of 33 games would be carried free-to-air.
  • In addition to the current contract holders (Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime), BBC Sport would air live Premier League games for the first time (also the first time that games in the competition would be shown live on terrestrial television).
  • Following IFAB approved amendments to regulations when games resumed, nine players could be selected on the substitutes bench with up to five allowed to be used (usually three substitutes could be used from a maximum of seven).
  • The last Premier League game to be played before the suspension was Aston Villa's 4-0 defeat at Leicester City on 9 March 2020.
  • After a break of 100 days, the first game on resumption was Aston Villa's goalless draw with Sheffield United at Villa Park on 17 June 2020 (kicked-off at 6.00pm). Sheffield United had won the only two previous top division games played in the month of June (both 2-1 at Bramall Lane, versus Arsenal on 7 June 1947 and Stoke City on 14 June 1947 in League Division One).
  • The 2019-20 season was also notable for the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR).
  • Following non-live trials in the previous season, the Premier League stated VAR will be used only for "clear and obvious errors" or "serious missed incidents" in four match-changing situations (goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and mistaken identity).
  • In the season's 380 games, a total of 109 decisions were overturned by VAR (leading to goals 27, leading to disallowed goals 56, penalties awarded 22, penalties overturned seven, penalties retakes four, goals ruled out for offside 34, goals awarded after incorrect offside eight, goals ruled out for handball 14, goals allowed after wrong handball two, red cards nine and overturned red cards three).
  • This was also the first season when the Premier League to have a mid-season break in February. In a round of ten games, three games were played on the weekend 8 and 9 February 2020 and six games on the following weekend. The tenth game (Manchester City versus West Ham United) was rescheduled to 19 February due to severe stormy weather (Storm Ciara) on the original date.
  • Neither mid-season breaks, VAR or COVID-19 could deny Liverpool their long-awaited first Premier League title.
  • Following their amazing neck-and-neck battle with Manchester City in 2018-19, the Reds led from the front and never looked in any danger of being caught.