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Serie A: 2020 Review

 

2020 was undoubtedly one of the most chaotic years in modern history. With the Covid-19 pandemic, football took a back seat and was briefly interrupted in Serie A for three months between March and June. The year has seen Milan turn the tide and Torino suffer on the pitch, but one constant has remained – Cristiano Ronaldo remains a superstar.

By: Antonio Bini

AC MILAN

The Rossoneri have enjoyed a return to the top of Serie A in 2020 and they have a fantastic chance to win their first league title in 10 years. The signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic seems to have kickstarted the revival and thanks in part to his 20 goals in 24 league appearances, Milan have broken records.

Stefano Pioli’s side have won 79 points during 2020 in Serie A, six more than city rivals Internazionale. In fact, both Milan clubs fill the top two places in the Serie A table this late into a season for the first time since 2010-11, which was also the last time that Milan won the Scudetto.

 

 

The lack of crowds thanks to the pandemic seems to have influenced Milan’s form away from home. Since the pre-lockdown 1-1 draw at Fiorentina on February 22nd, the Rossoneri have embarked on a 20-match unbeaten away run in Serie A courtesy of 13 wins and seven draws.

They are one game away from equalling their club record in Serie A, with that 21-match sequence coming between September 1987 and September 1988.

Overall, they suffered just one away defeat in all competitions during 2020, which oddly enough came in Stadio Giuseppe Meazza against rivals Internazionale, 4-2 in February.

 

 

In attack, Milan are currently on a run of scoring at least twice in 16 successive league matches. They overtook Torino’s historic record of netting two or more goals in 13 successive matches back in 1948.

 

 

In their penultimate league game of 2020, Milan went on to break another competition record thanks to Rafael Leão’s rapid goal at Sassuolo. His strike after only six seconds is the quickest goal ever seen in Serie A and was scored without Sassuolo even touching the ball.

 

It’ll be interesting to see if 2021 brings more joy for Milan, with a 19th Scudetto victory in their sights. For a more in-depth analysis on Milan’s 2020, read our analysis of the Rossoneri.

 

TORINO

2020 wasn’t such a great year in football for Torino. They have endured one of their worst years, having collected just 27 points over the year.

This might only be their 14th worst record in a single calendar year, but their form since September has been most worrying – picking up only eight points and one win. This solitary victory in 2020-21 is their fewest after 14 games of a Serie A campaign and their eight-point tally is only better than 2002-03 (7) if converting to a three-points-for-a-win rule, when they ended the season in bottom place on 21 points.

 

 

The major issue for Torino has been their inability to sustain leads in matches. They have dropped an eye-watering 42 points from winning positions during 2020 overall, which is 17 more than any other side within the top five European leagues in the year. 23 of those have come in 2020-21 alone, which is 10 more than any other Serie A side.

 

 

Torino restart their league season with a trip to 16th placed Parma next week and will need to pick up points in order to avoid being cast adrift.

 

CRISTIANO RONALDO

There are many examples of Serie A players performing well in 2020, but Cristiano Ronaldo stands above his peers. If ever we needed a constant reminder that things can be ‘normal’, Ronaldo’s scoring feats are just that.

Among the many difficulties of a new Juventus born under the guidance of Andrea Pirlo, the Portuguese phenomenon continued to march quickly, scoring and scoring again.

Scoring on average every 76 minutes in Serie A during 2020, Ronaldo netted 33 goals overall and became the joint-third highest goalscorer during a single calendar year in the competition alongside Omar Sivori’s 1961 feat.

Only fellow Juve forward Felice Borel (41 in 1933) and Milan’s Swedish forward Gunnar Nordahl (36 in 1950) have surpassed the feats of the Portuguese in 2020.

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has ranked as the player with the most goals in a single calendar year within the top five European leagues on five occasions between 2011 and 2019, and in 2020 he finished first for the sixth time.

 

 

On February 5th, Cristiano Ronaldo turned 35 years old. His 33-goal tally in 2020 is 10 more than any other Serie A player aged 35 years or older have scored in a single calendar year – ahead of Udinese legend Antonio Di Natale’s 23-goal effort in 2012.

 


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