With a return date for the Premier League now set at 17 June and English football fans licking their lips at the prospect of some (any!) action within the next month, let’s not forget we were actually pretty deep into a half-decent season before play was suspended in mid-March.
Liverpool may have all but secured their first title of the Premier League era and Norwich may be doomed but aside from that, there is plenty still to play for.
So, before we get stuck back in, let’s travel back a few months and look at the best matches from this 2019/20 season before the break.
Norwich 3-2 Man City – 14/9/2019
First up, a shock result from last September. The season was barely in its infancy and defending champions Manchester City had just lost key defender Aymeric Laporte to long-term injury the week before. Delia’s Canaries were lying in wait at Carrow Road and put on a surprise masterclass to stun Pep Guardiola’s side.
Kenny McClean, breakout star Todd Cantwell and the clinical Teemu Pukki fired in three wonderful goals to give the newly promoted side a memorable 3-2 victory.
If this game taught Guardiola anything, it was that a centre-half partnership of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones is not title challenge material…at all.
Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa – 22/9/2019
Mid-table Arsenal and relegation-threatened Villa have had pretty disappointing seasons all in all, particularly the former who were found wanting under Unai Emery before he was eventually shown the door in January.
However, this match in September at least got the pulses racing and had a positive outcome for Gunners fans.
The match itself had it all, with a variety of goals, end-to-end action, a late comeback and Ainsley Maitland-Niles kicking ankles (he was sent off).
It seemed like curtains for the 10-man Gunners when Villa went ahead in the second half, but goals from substitute Calum Chambers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the last ten minutes secured victory from the jaws of defeat.
Liverpool 3-1 Man City – 11/10/2019
Seen as an audition for the part of title winner, this was the the game that told the world that Liverpool meant business.
This win over City at Anfield in November put Jurgen Klopp and co eight points clear at the top and, well, it has been pretty plain sailing from then on.
The Reds raced to a 3-0 lead over a City side fielding Claudio Bravo and the since loaned-out Angeliño, with goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Bernardo Silva pulled one back with 15 minutes to go but the night (and season) belonged to Liverpool.
Sheffield United 3-3 Manchester United – 24/11/19
Sheffield United have surprised just about everyone in 2019/20. Most people’s early favourites for the drop, Chris Wilder’s gut-busting, overlapping, overachieving Blades have risen to the occasion and not only looked like a side worthy of the Premier League, but like actual European contenders.
While normally a defence-first outfit, the standout game of Sheffield United’s season has to be the thrilling home draw against Manchester United in late November.
After going 2-0 up, the Blades conceded three in the second half and looked down and out before Oli McBurnie swept in a equaliser in the 94th minute to steal a deserved point.
Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea – 12/22/19
The apprentice got one over on his old master. A perfect December evening for the Blues and a disastrous one for Jose Mourinho and Spurs. Lampard got everything right; the pre-match talk, the mind games and the team set-up.
Wheeling out wing-back specialist Marcos Alonso to wreak havoc on Serge Aurier for 90 minutes was an inspired move and Son Heung-min’s sending off was as timely as it was carefully manufactured.
A brace from current Spurs target Willian was enough and Chelsea were rampant.
Wolves 3-2 Man City – 27/12/19
Wolves are getting pretty good against the top sides and Nuno’s golden boys produced another masterful display at home to City during the Christmas period.
A VAR filled affair, featuring an Ederson red card after ten minutes and a twice taken City penalty was just the start of this thriller.
Wolves were (seemingly) dead and buried after an hour and needed a miracle. Step forward Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and finally Doherto Carlos (AKA Matt Doherty) to send Molineux into hysteria.
West Ham 3-3 Brighton – 1/2/20
David Moyes’ side were slipping slowly into the relegation dogfight as February dawned and Brighton weren’t having much better luck either, so points were vital in this clash at the London Stadium.
It looked smooth sailing at half time for the Hammers but true to recent form, their defence fell apart at the key moment in the match.
Pascal Groß got one back before Premier League veteran Glen Murray hit the equaliser which, despite calls of handball, was awarded by our friend/foe VAR and the game finished 3-3.