The 2019/20 season of the Premier League finished, eventually, in July. Liverpool won their first title since the Premier League began, 28 years ago, and ended a 30-year wait for a nineteenth top-flight title.
The Reds won the title comfortably, with seven games to spare (a Premier League record), and finished with 99 points. This was just one point shy of the record set by Manchester City in the 2017-18 season. Liverpool lost just three games all season and were held to just three draws. The heatmap below shows Liverpool’s strength, with a string of blue cells, mostly deep blue (signifying wins, both home and away), running along the top row.
In contrast, Manchester City, who came a distant second with 81 points, had a far less impressive record, particularly against the other eventual top seven teams. This included losses, both home and away, against Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Points conceded elsewhere, to teams further down the table, would leave City stuck in second place for almost all of 2020.
Third and fourth, the remaining two spots for Champions League football, were more hotly contested, with Manchester United and Chelsea ultimately claiming them with equal points but with United securing a larger goal difference. As the BBC notes, Leicester spent most of the season in the top four, but fell to fifth for the last two games of the season, and will have to settle for the Europa League this coming season.
At the other end of the table, Norwich spent most of the season in the relegation zone and hit the bottom of the table after Christmas, staying there for the rest of the season. Norwich’s 27 losses are clear in the bottom row of the heatmap, though with notable wins at home, against Manchester City (early in the season) and Leicester (in February).
Of the three other teams fighting to avoid relegation, Aston Villa would eventually prevail with just one point separating them from the now-relegated Bournemouth and Watford. As is often the case, while Bournemouth and Watford managed a few high-profile wins against the top teams (including Watford’s win over Liverpool, ending the eventual champions’ unbeaten run in February), neither could muster the points needed to stay up. Aston Villa mostly picked up points against the teams who’d end up around them in the lower part of the table. A touch more consistency against their direct competition proved enough for Villa to secure Premier League football next season.
Reordered by PageRank, the top three remain the same but with Arsenal, not Chelsea, rounding out the top four owing to stronger performances against Liverpool and Manchester United. Interestingly, Manchester City proved more beatable by the top teams; a weakness that contributed to them falling away in the title race.
By this alternative measure, Watford similarly rise up the ranking for their winning performances against Liverpool and Manchester United, but these moments will be of little comfort as they now ply their trade in the Championship.
Data source: Football-Data