Premier League restart: 14 things to remember about the 2019-20 season so far

How will a 13-month season affect players health? (1:15)

Mark Ogden is worried a 13-month football season could result in more injuries and affect the players aiming for the Euros next year. (1:15)

It seems like an age, but it's actually "only" been 100 days since a ball was last kicked in the Premier League.

Leicester City's 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9 was the last English top-flight game to go ahead before the league was put on lockdown along with everybody else due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While you may recall that Liverpool are still top of the table by some distance, many other aspects of the 2019-20 season feel like distant memories.

Here's a timely refresher on some of the more intriguing facts, stats and incidents to have cropped up before the emergency shut-down.

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- The Premier League is back! Club-by-club assessments

Pukki Power

The very first goal of the season was actually an own goal notched by Grant Hanley of newly promoted Norwich at Liverpool on Aug. 9 -- only the second time a Premier League campaign has begun with an OG.

Things were soon looking up for the Canaries though, as they ran roughshod over defending champions Manchester City a month later with a rollocking 3-2 win on Sept. 14.

Teemu Pukki (remember him?) scored his sixth goal in his first five games of the campaign to seal a remarkable win for Daniel Farke's team.

Pukki then failed to score another league goal for the next 2½ months.

Enter VAR

Like it or not, with the return of the Premier League also means the return of VAR.

Gabriel Jesus had the "honour" of being the first top-flight player to see a goal disallowed by the video assistant when the Manchester City striker's tap-in against West Ham on Aug. 10 was scrubbed out due to a miniscule sliver of Raheem Sterling's armpit straying offside in the build-up.

It didn't matter much as City went on to win 5-0 at the London Stadium, with Jesus scoring twice and Sterling more than making amends with a hat-trick of his own.

Sterling's contribution also saw him become the eighth player to hit a treble on the opening weekend of a Premier League season, and the first since Didier Drogba in 2010-11.

Leicester made it rain

Much as they'd probably like to wipe it from the collective memory, it was actually earlier this season that Southampton fell to the heaviest home defeat ever witnessed in 131 years of English top-flight football.

The Saints simply dissolved in the torrential rain at St Mary's on Oct. 25 as Leicester City strolled to a 9-0 victory with both Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez scoring hat tricks.

Vardy has been the Premier League's top goal scorer while the competition has been on ice, with his two goals in the aforementioned win over Aston Villa taking his tally to 19, two more than Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Frank's fledglings

Frank Lampard's faith in youth was best demonstrated on Nov. 9 when his starting XI for Chelsea's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace had an average age of just 24 years and 88 days -- the club's youngest ever in a Premier League match.

Operating under a transfer ban, Lampard fielded several Blues academy graduates including Reece James (aged 19 at the time), Mason Mount (20), Fikayo Tomori (21), and Tammy Abraham (22).

All change at Tottenham

Perhaps the most shocking few hours of the season so far was when Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino on the evening of Nov. 19 and replaced him the following morning with one Jose Mourinho -- a man who had previously insisted that he would never stoop so low as to manage Spurs.

The decision to fire Poch came less than six months after he'd coached the club in their first ever Champions League final.

Mourinho got things underway with a chaotic derby victory over West Ham in which his side survived a late comeback to win 3-2.

However, his record since taking over (W 8, D3, L6) is hardly the most dramatic improvement on the mediocre start to the season made under Poch (W3, D5, L4).

... And at Arsenal

It took Arsenal's worst run of form for 27 years (no wins in eight) for the club to relieve Unai Emery of his duties on Nov. 25 after just 18 mediocre months in charge.

The Gunners finished fifth in Emery's first season and were eighth in the table when they sacked him, only to then find themselves bumbling around in ninth when the league was postponed in mid-March.

Under new boss Mikel Arteta they are the only Premier League side to remain unbeaten in 2020. However, they have also mustered zero away league wins and zero away league defeats since the turn of the year, so make of that what you will.

Goals of the season

One of the strongest arguments against cancelling the 2019-20 season outright would be that Alireza Jahanbakhsh's supreme overhead kick for Brighton against Chelsea on New Year's Day would count for absolutely nothing.

Same could perhaps also be argued for Son Heung-Min's amazing 71.41-metre solo charge against Burnley which also seems like a lifetime ago now (only Dec. 7, in reality).

Aguero the ace

Sergio Aguero further cemented his place as a Premier League legend by scoring a historic hat trick in City's 6-1 thumping of Aston Villa on Jan. 12. The Argentina striker overtook Thierry Henry as the highest-scoring non-English player in Premier League history (177 goals to Henry's 175).

The hat trick was also Aguero's 12th in the top flight, breaking the previous record held for over a decade by Alan Shearer.

Mike Dean: 500 not out

One of English football's most recognisable referees, Mike Dean, took charge of his 500th Premier League match back on Jan. 18, overseeing Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.

The milestone was the opportune moment to look back at the long and distinguished officiating career of one of the Premier League's most iconic oddballs.

Dotted line of doom


Manchester City win a third straight EFL Cup

Manchester City beat Aston Villa to win their fifth EFL Cup final in seven years. Watch Carabao Cup on ESPN+.

The wrong end of the table shouldn't be glossed over, with things looking incredibly precarious for five or six teams as the 2019-20 season prepares to conclude.

Perhaps the most stark fact at that end of the table is that Aston Villa claimed their last league point on Jan. 21 (a 2-1 victory over Watford) -- since when they have lost all four league games as well as the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City -- but they are still somehow being kept off the bottom of the table by Norwich.

Bergwijn's bullish entrance

After arriving from PSV Eindhoven at the tail end of the transfer window, Tottenham new boy Steven Bergwijn got off to flying start on Feb. 2. The £27m forward became the 250th player to score on his Premier League debut when he volleyed home Spurs' second goal in their 2-0 victory against Manchester City.

Liverpool stung by Hornets

They may be champions elect, but Liverpool saw several records vanish in front of their eyes when they fell to a shock 3-0 defeat against Watford on Feb. 29.

The unexpected loss at Vicarage Road against a team in the relegation zone duly ended the Reds' incredible 18-match winning run (one victory shy of setting a new all-time English top-flight record) as well as their 44-match unbeaten streak and a 36-game run in which they'd managed to find the net.

Manchester made red

Manchester United celebrated doing a league double over neighbours Manchester City for the first time in a decade when they beat their cross-city rivals 2-0 at Old Trafford on March 8.

Following a 2-1 at the Etihad earlier in the season, goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay (from 40 yards) saw United beat City twice for the first time since 2009-10.

It was also a seventh league defeat of the season for Pep Guardiola, the most the Catalan coach has ever succumbed to during a single campaign of his managerial career.

Bruno breaks POTM record (sort of)

Bruno Fernandes made an emphatic start to life as a Manchester United player by pitching in with two goals and three assists in his first five league appearances after joining from Sporting Lisbon.

After excelling throughout February, the Portuguese maestro was crowned Premier League Player of the Month, a title he still technically holds to this day given that the league had already been suspended when he received the award on March 16.

That doesn't change the fact that Fernandes is still the league's longest-reigning POTM of all time -- though granted there is a substantial caveat.

One fact that doesn't need qualifying is that the United midfielder is one of just 10 players to win the award just one month into their Premier League career.