Football’s finest sides may be built on solid defences, but there is nothing quite like a free-flowing attack to excite supporters and a world-class forward line can often prove the difference when it comes to winning major silverware.
European football is currently blessed with a series of sides boasting formidable firepower, and we’ve decided to look at the most prolific sides on the continent throughout the calendar year to date.
Here are the five sides with the most goals scored in all competitions in 2020:
Manchester United – 63 goals
Manchester United sit as the fifth highest-scoring side in Europe since the turn of the New Year, their winter window acquisition of Bruno Fernandes proving to be the catalyst behind an impressive second half of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The Portuguese international has added spark and creativity to the Red Devils’ midfield, providing chances for a new-look attack featuring Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and teenager Mason Greenwood.
Rashford and Martial have enjoyed career-best returns in front of goal with the latter in particularly fine form throughout 2020, whilst Greenwood’s breakthrough has seen the 18-year-old emerge as one of English football’s most exciting talents.
United have racked up 63 goals in all competitions throughout 2020, reaching the last four of the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League, their biggest victories including a 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere and 5-0 wins over both Club Brugge and LASK in Europe.
Atalanta – 65 goals
Atalanta’s rise has seen the Italian outfit establish themselves as a favourite of the neutrals, the fluidity of Gian Piero Gasperini’s side making them one of the most aesthetically pleasing sides in European football at present.
Gasperini’s unconventional tactical approach has seen Atalanta become a formidable and free-scoring side, reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League this season during their maiden venture in the competition and securing back-to-back third-placed finishes in Serie A.
The side finished as the leading scorers in Italy’s top division for the second successive season in 2019/20, racking up 98 goals throughout their 38 league fixtures.
Atalanta have scored 65 goals in all competitions throughout 2020, their goalscoring burden evenly spread with Josip Ilicic, Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel all managing more than 15 league goals this season for a side continuing to punch above their weight.
Paris Saint-Germain – 67 goals
Paris Saint-Germain’s hopes of a first Champions League title were given an almighty scare by the aforementioned Atalanta this week, but two late goals secured the Parisian’s passage to the last four and added two further strikes to their ever-increasing tally.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have once again exerted their dominance in French football this season by claiming a domestic treble, their formidable front line including the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Mauro Icardi scoring prolifically throughout the campaign.
PSG began the New Year by scoring 19 goals in their first four fixtures, racking up huge victories in cup clashes against Linas-Montlhery and Saint-Etienne. Their domestic form continued in relentless fashion throughout the early months of the year, scoring at least four goals in fixtures against Monaco, Montpellier, Lyon, Amiens and Bordeaux, before Ligue was cut short with 10 games left to play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Their wealth of attacking options now leads to a semi-final meeting with underdogs RB Leipzig in the Champions League, PSG within touching distance of an elusive European title and historic quadruple.
Manchester City – 69 goals
Sitting just one goal ahead of PSG are Manchester City, the highest-scoring English team of 2020 to date and the second amongst all of Europe’s elite.
Pep Guardiola’s side have racked up 68 goals in all competitions throughout 2020, their biggest victory a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa that saw Sergio Aguero net a hat-trick to become the highest scoring foreign player in Premier League history.
City’s goalscoring prowess has been particularly evident since the restart of the season, however, blowing away a series of opposition following the Premier League’s resumption.
The club’s most notable wins included 5-0 victories over Burnley, Newcastle, Brighton and Norwich, in addition to a 4-0 win against newly-crowned champions Liverpool at the Etihad – a statement of intent heading into the new season.
City’s hopes of adding more goals to their total this summer and lifting their maiden Champions League trophy came to an end last night, however, Guardiola’s side dumped out of Europe’s elite competition by an unfancied Lyon side.
Bayern Munich – 80 goals
Fresh from their historic 8-2 mauling of Barcelona earlier this week, no side in Europe has scored more goals this year than Bayern Munich, the German giants in pursuit of a historic treble after once again demonstrating their dominance domestically.
Bayern secured an eight successive Bundesliga title in style – scoring a century of goals – before adding another German Cup to their ever-growing silverware collection, the Bavarian’s having enjoyed a stunning second half to the season.
The appointment of Hansi Flick has given Bayern a freedom to attack at will, their formidable forward play bringing the best out of the irrepressible Robert Lewandowski. The Poland international has scored 54 goals in all competitions so far this season, leading the scoring charts in the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League.
Few would bet against the 31-year-old continuing his career-best season in the Champions League’s latter stages, Lewandowski and Bayern now the favourites to bring a sixth European Cup to Munich.