Premier League fans often laud England’s top tier as the most competitive league in world football, but Liverpool’s runaway title success this season did little to justify that claim.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were crowned as champions of English football following a record-breaking season, the Merseyside club comfortably clear of the chasing back to end the club’s three decade title drought.
Following the Reds’ rampant run to Premier League success, we’ve decided to look at the title picture across the continent and rank the closest title races in Europe’s major leagues.
Here are the rankings of the title-winning margins in each of Europe’s top five leagues in 2019/20:
Serie A – 1 point
Juventus were crowned as champions of Italy for the ninth season in succession as the Bianconeri continue an unprecedented period of dominance in Serie A, though their winning margin was just one point from nearest challengers Inter Milan.
An ageing side came under increased threat from Inter, free-scoring Atalanta and a resurgent Lazio, the margin between the division’s top four just five points in the most fiercely contested Serie A campaign for several seasons.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31 league goals ultimately fired Juventus to a record-extending 36th Scudetto, however, sealing the championship with victory against Sampdoria before losing their final two dead-rubber fixtures to allow Inter to close the gap.
The title success proved not enough to save manager Maurizio Sarri, however, the Italian dismissed and replaced by Andrea Pirlo following the club’s disappointing Champions League exit to Lyon.
La Liga – 5 points
Real Madrid wrestled back the ascendancy in Spanish football in the annual battle between the country’s top two, finishing five points clear of defending champions Barcelona as Zinedine Zidane added yet more silverware to his extensive managerial collection.
It continued a trophy-laden start to the Frenchman’s managerial career, with Zidane having now remarkably averaged a trophy every 19 games since taking charge at the Bernabeu over two spells, winning three Champions League titles and La Liga on two occasions.
His latest triumph was secured after losing just three games throughout the league campaign, Real taking charge of the title race with a 2-0 victory over Barcelona in March before an almost flawless restart to the season, winning 10 consecutive fixtures before a final day draw with Leganes.
Ligue 1 – 12 points
French football is often subjected to the ‘Farmers League’ jibe given the dominance of Paris Saint-Germain, and it was the Parisian outfit who were once again crowned as champions following another impressive campaign.
Thomas Tuchel’s side sat 12 points clear at the top of the division – with a game in hand – when the campaign was curtailed amid the coronavirus pandemic, the French football authorities awarding PSG the title to seal their seventh success in the past eight seasons.
Runners-up Marseille were a distant second to a PSG side which claimed a domestic treble and will be in pursuit of a quadruple as they target a maiden Champions League success this month, the capital club now just one title short of matching the all-time French record of ten – jointly held by both Marseille and Saint-Etienne.
Bundesliga – 13 points
Another Bundesliga season ended almost inevitably with Bayern Munich claiming yet another championship, the German giants crowned as champions for a record-extending 30th time.
Bayern’s pursuit of the Bundesliga has felt almost like a formality for much of the past decade, this season’s success coming with little challenge as they claimed an eighth title in succession.
Borussia Dortmund finished as runners-up for the second consecutive campaign but were powerless to prevent the Bavarian juggernaught taking more silverware to Munich, finishing 13 points behind a Bayern side which overcame a difficult start to thrive following a managerial change at the Allianz Arena.
Hansi Flick’s appointment as manager saw Bayern enjoy an almost flawless second half of the season, winning 19 and drawing one of their final 20 fixtures to seal the title in style.
Premier League – 18 points
So there we have it, ‘the most competitive league in world football’ wasn’t all that competitive in 2019/20 after all.
Liverpool’s record-breaking start to the season saw Jurgen Klopp’s side lead the title race from almost start to finish, moving top of the division in mid-August and remaining there until being crowned Premier League champions with a record seven games to spare.
The best start to a league season in the history of Europe’s top five leagues paved the way for the Reds to end a three decade wait for title success, winning 26 of their opening 27 fixtures with the only blemish a draw at Manchester United.
Klopp’s side finished with a club-record 99 points and a winning margin of 18 points over runners-up Manchester City, the second-highest winning margin in the history of the Premier League.