CORONAVIRUS has impacted every walk of life over the past 14 months – and football is no exception.
The 2020-21 season kick-started a month later than usual on September 12 with the 38 rounds of matches crammed into a condensed schedule.
And the vast majority of the 380 matches were played behind closed doors with a select few permitted at limited-capacity up to 10,000.
But there was a familiar sight come the end of the season with Manchester City lifting the Premier League trophy for the third time in four seasons.
Rivals Manchester United finished second as Liverpool and Chelsea sneaked into the top four at the expense of Leicester.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham were relegated while four managers lost their jobs during the season – with another three leaving their posts at the end of the term.
And with some help from Opta, here are a collection of the best stats from a truly unique Premier League campaign…
- The 2020-21 Premier League campaign was the first season in any division in the top four tiers of English football league history to see more away wins (153) than home wins (144).
- After setting a club record 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League, Liverpool then lost six consecutive home league games for the first time in their history.
- Manchester United became just the fourth side in English top-flight history to remain unbeaten away from home across an entire league campaign, after Preston in 1888-89, Arsenal in 2001-02 and Arsenal again in 2003-04.
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- Harry Kane finished the season as both the top goalscorer and top assister in the Premier League – only the second time a player has finished with both the outright most goals AND assists in the competition after Andy Cole in 1993-94.
- Despite spending more days in the top four than any other Premier League side this season (242), Leicester finished fifth and missed out on Champions League qualification.
- None of Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur had a Saturday 3pm kick-off in this season's Premier League – the first teams in the competition's history to go an entire campaign without one.
- Fulham became the first team in English top-flight history to fail to score at least ten home goals in a single campaign, with the Cottagers nettings just nine league goals at Craven Cottage.
- Kelechi Iheanacho became the first player in Premier League history to score a goal on all seven weekdays within a single season.
- Joe Willock finished the season by scoring in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, just the second Newcastle player to do so after Alan Shearer in 1996.
- With six games remaining, Sheffield United suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, alongside Ipswich Town (1994-95), Derby County (2007-08) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).
- In a 4-1 win against Crystal Palace, Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min combined for a goal for the 14th time in the Premier League this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.
- West Brom suffered their fifth relegation from the Premier League, the joint-most of any side in the competition (along with Norwich).
- Miguel Almiron scored the fastest goal of the season with 20 seconds gone when he netted for Newcastle against West Brom on December 12. John McGinn vs Manchester City was one second later.
- Bruno Fernandes' winner for Manchester United against Brighton – scored after the full-time whistle initially blew – was the latest goal scored at 99:45.
- Despite finishing the season with five consecutive league victories, Arsenal have finished as low as eighth in consecutive campaigns for the first time since a run of four between 1973-74 and 1976-77.
- Jack Grealish scored twice and assisted three times in Aston Villa’s 7-2 win over Liverpool, becoming the first-ever player to be directly involved in five goals in a Premier League game against Liverpool.
- Brighton’s 3-2 win over Man City was just the second time a team has come from 2+ goals down to beat a team starting the day top of the table, after Man Utd v Man City in April 2018.
- Against Wolves, Burnley’s Chris Wood became just the third player to score an away first-half hat-trick in the Premier League, while the Burnley striker also became the first player from New Zealand to net a Premier League hat-trick.
- Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel became the first manager in Premier League history to see his side keep a clean sheet in each of his first five home games in charge in the competition.
- As well as having the oldest Premier League manager, Crystal Palace had the oldest average starting XI age in the competition this season (29y 213d).
- Leeds finished the season with 59 points, the best tally by a promoted club in a Premier League season since Ipswich Town in 2000-01 (66).
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