HIGHS – EPL Dominance
This weird empty-stadium season reaches a potentially electrifying finale tonight when Chelsea play Manchester City in Porto in the Champions League final.
Or perhaps it will be a more cagey affair, as with Wednesday night’s Europa League final when after a Villareal fought Manchester United to a 1-1 after extra time and the former went on to win the penalty shootout 11-10.
Despite Manchester United’s defeat, and whatever happens in Porto this evening, the 2020/2021 season has seen the top six EPL teams make their mark in Europe, with the likes of Liverpool Arsenal and Tottenham only getting knocked out in the latter stages of their respective European competitions. The Premier league teams were a force to reckoned with, and they have all showed tactile know how.
We have witnessed some entertaining matches with attractive, attacking football. And we’ve seen a bucket loads of goals with the top 10 teams each scoring 55+ over the 2020/2021campaign.
EPL Goals Scored 2020/2021 Season
1. Manchester City 83
2. Manchester united 73
3. Leicester 68
4. Liverpool 68
5. Tottenham 68
6. Leeds 62
7. West Ham 62
8. Chelsea 58
9. Arsenal 55
10. Aston Villa 55
It is encouraging to see more young talented players emerging in the EPL this season. Mason Mount (Chelsea) and Wesley Fofana (Leicester City) are perhaps the pick of the bunch.
LOWS – VAR
This past season has seen too many penalties. Manchester United was even awarded a penalty after the whistle blew for full time! I blame VAR!
So, for your delight and delectation, here’s the league table of overturned decisions for 2020-21 season, and those rejected by the referee at the review screen.
Total overturns: 123
Rejected overturns: 5
Leading to goals: 34
Leading to disallowed goals: 42
Penalties awarded: 29 (6 missed)
Pens for handball: 12
Penalties overturned: 22
Penalties retakes (GK encroach): 3
Goals ruled out for offside: 32
Goals awarded after incorrect offside: 7
Goals ruled out for handball: 6 (One in build-up)
Goals allowed after wrong handball: 0
Goals ruled out for a foul: 3
Red cards: 17
Overturned red cards: 2
In my opinion VAR is a double edged sword, from disallowed legitimate goals to unfair red cards. It has removed the passion from the game and at times it slows a match down.
The pandemic hampered one thing that every team needs: the fans!
Some Teams have struggled without the 12th man and it shows. When you look at Wolverhampton Wanderers their stadium was a fortress, but this has not been the case this campaign in which they have scored just 36 goals and conceded 52 goals most of them at home.
This was the biggest low not just in the EPL, but across Europe. The fans stayed united as well as other clubs around the world. The sense of being rewarded for just participating is what irked everyone. It was a quick blow to the “Big six” with each team’s fans having protests. Football in Europe isn’t about the franchise but about the culture. Going to the match and watching your low level team beating the Goliaths of the game