Premier League 2023/24 season review: A record-breaking campaign

Another compelling campaign in the books.

The dust has settled on a Premier League season unlike any other. Records were shattered, underdogs rose, and the title race went down to the wire. 

From the great wallopings to unforgettable upsets, we give our plaudits to the biggest winners and key players, and the participation medals to those that didn’t quite live up to expectations in this, our Premier League 2023/24 season review.

League-wide excellence

It was a brilliant year, one that set new records for scoring. 1246 goals were scored over the 380 games, which is a record in itself and comes out to 3.28 goals on average per match, the record in a Premier League season and the highest in the top flight since the 1964/65 campaign.

We were finally treated to a proper title fight unlike we have seen for many seasons, with three teams all vying for the trophy almost right up until the end. It came down to just two, but the two who were in the fight were both more than deserving of the glory.

There was a fairly large gap between the top three and the best of the rest - a 14-point gap, to be precise - but the fight then for the remaining European spots was very engrossing, 

Team brilliance

Manchester City’s eventual title win has set new ground as well, becoming the first team not just in the Premier League era but ever in the English top flight to win four straight titles.

96 goals in the campaign from them led the league and with 34 conceded, they joined Arsenal with a league-high +62 goal difference, one better than last season's best.

Speaking of Arsenal, Mikel Arteta’s side continued to show improvement, pushing City all the way until the end and only losing out by two points. If they continue this way, the clubs wait for a first Prem title since their invincible campaign will surely come very soon.

Aston Villa also continued their upward trend and took advantage of another poorer season from Chelsea and Manchester United’s failure (more on them both later) by taking the fourth and final Champions League spot. 

Credit: Manchester City lift the Premier League title (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

But take nothing away from them, against their fellow top-six opponents this year, they came out as the very best, winning five, drawing two and losing three for a total of 17 points from the 10 games. For comparison, Arsenal won four, drew four and lost two for 16 points, and Man City only managed two wins, six draws and two losses for 12 points.

Some brilliance didn’t come right away or lasted all year, but instead came late on. Chelsea finally had the resurgence they have sorely needed and propelled themselves up the table for a guaranteed European spot thanks to their run of 11 wins in the final 19 games that made up the second half of the season, including five wins in a row to finish the year.

Crystal Palace also saw a very strong resurgence after Roy Hodgson left his post midway through February. He left the role with the Eagles sitting dangerously low in 16th, only five points above the relegation zone.

In stepped former Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner, who then guided them to only three loses in their remaining 14 games and easily to safety, finishing 10th in the table, their highest league finish since the 2014/15 campaign and joint-highest ever in the Prem.

Stellar star players

There were so many top players this year, some that stood out and caught the headlines week in and week out, others that went unmentioned but did wonders for their side.

Erling Haaland won his second consecutive Golden Boot, this time though with only 27 goals. It was one of his teammates that won the big awards though, as Phil Foden took home the FWA and Premier League Player of the Season awards - rightfully so to some, but not to all.

Much praise was understandably given to Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who bet on himself this year by pushing for a move from the treble winners at the start of the year, the only club he had ever played for. It ultimately paid off, as he would score 22 goals and was really the main reason why the Blues were able to climb the table at the end.

Ollie Watkins showed himself to be a big star himself this year, bagging the fourth-most goals with 19 and leading the league in assists with 13. His importance to Villa’s success this year can not be understated, as he led the team his team in more than just goals and assists, playing in all but one game and playing more minutes than anyone else, 16th most in the league and second-most for forwards behind Dominic Solanke.

Credit: The FUNNIEST moments from the 2023/24 season! (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

Speaking of Solanke, he was a standout amongst the teams towards the back end, scoring 19 goals, over three times as many he scored last season.

And we can’t not mention new Crystal Palace legend Jean-Philippe Mateta, who simply thrived under the guidance of Glasner. Before he came along, he only had three goals in the year. After his arrival, he exploded for 13 goals in those 13 games, including a brilliant hat-trick on the final day of the season.

But it’s not just the goalscorers who deserve praise, but the shot-stoppers too. Arsenal wouldn’t be able to say they boasted the joint-best goal difference if it wasn’t for (mainly) David Raya’s heroics in goal. He came away with the Golden Glove for a league-high 16 clean sheets.

You may not hear his name uttered amongst the best defensive players this year, but make no mistake, not many can boast of making the most tackles + interceptions (198) without making a single error that led to an opponent’s shot this season, something with Fulham’s Joao Paulinha was able to do, who rightfully won his team’s Player of the Season award.

Bitter disappointments

It is harsh to say, but amongst the many good things about this season, there were a few disappointing campaigns.

Manchester United very much belong there, following up a promising first season under Erik Ten Hag with the worst campaign of the club's history in the Premier League.

They finished eighth, their lowest-ever finish in the Premier League and their lowest finish in the top flight since their 13th-place finish in the 1989/90 season. 

They also recorded their most losses in a Prem season with 14, their lowest-ever goal difference in the Prem with -1, and a total of 58 goals conceded, the most since the 1978/79 season. It surely can only get better for them next season.

Further back, we must say we weren’t surprised to see the bottom three be the three promoted sides as none of them seemed to ever get it going this year. This was the first time since the 1997/98 season that the three promoted teams were sent straight back down.

There’s not much that needs to be said about Sheffield United, they were a free win each week and that was expected for at least one of the sides. Most goals conceded in a Premier League season (104) is quite something, and that’s even when accounting for the 42-game seasons.

Credit: The worst Premier League goalkeeper howlers in 2023/24 (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

We don’t want to lump Luton too much so in the disappointment side as they did technically take the fight all the way to the end, although asking for things to go in their favour with a -33 goal difference was quite a stretch.

But the most disappointing side out of the three in our opinion has to be Burnley. 101 points in the Championship the previous year, Vincent Kompany looked to be the next former top player to be a natural at managing.

All expected Burnley to be a strong surprise package, a fortress at home who could steal points off of anyone. Instead, there were never really any times that could suggest an upturn in form. Their wins were few and far between, and overall they lacked the quality to keep themselves up. 

In terms of disappointing players this season, really you could put in a number of Man United’s squad but in particular, and it’s sad for us to say, but Marcus Rashford could never get things going this year. 

The expectations were there that he could carry over his form from the latter stages of the previous season, but instead, he looked like the Rashford of old, lacking real confidence in front of goal and not providing when his side needed him most.

Some of Chelsea’s big summer signings were a big letdown, none more so than Moises Caicedo purely because of the £100m price tag. Coming from Brighton he looked like a star, but too often for the Blues, he seemed a detriment. He kind of got away with it when their form picked up in the second half of the season, but he still didn’t live up to his transfer cost.


Enough with the disappointment, let’s get back to the good of the year (mostly) and give out the Digital TV Premier League end-of-season awards!

Player of the Year & MVP – Phil Foden

Credit: "He is really SPECIAL!" 🌟 | Gary Neville labels Phil Foden a 'sensation' (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

First up, we have to agree with the consensus that Phil Foden was magnificent this year. He stepped up while Kevin De Bruyne was out most of the year, providing and scoring at a high rate, plus two very solid hat-tricks solidified his status as the best of the amazing bunch this season.

He takes the award for Player of the Year and MVP, which are two different categories as the most valuable player isn’t always the best player, but instead, the one that contributes the most to his team's success. 

Cole Palmer was a very solid shout for both of these awards as well due to his effort essentially being the sole reason why Chelsea climbed the table the way they did.

Ollie Watkins was also for a long time our pick for Player of the Year, but he slowed down a bit towards the end of the year and allowed the others to overtake him.

Goalkeeper of the Year – David Raya

The Golden Glove winner deserves the Goalkeeper of the Year nod. He came in to contest Aaron Ramsdale, give him some competition, and instead completely ousted the Englishman to become Arsenal’s number one.

He did make a few mistakes this year that cost the Gunners a couple of goals, but for the most part, he was solid throughout the campaign – the 16 clean sheets are there to prove that.

Jordan Pickford was also a great shout for the award. Everton saw a good push on this year that kept them far clear of the dropzone, with big help from Pickford, who managed 13 clean sheets this year, the second most in the league.

In the bronze position, we’re going to go controversial with it here and give it to Andre Onana. Laugh all you want, the memes largely went quiet after he returned from AFCON because he simply became a fairly solid keeper.

Don’t get us wrong, he’s still no proper David De Gea replacement yet, but he showed the capability that got him the move in the first place and should keep his number-one spot for next year.

Coach of the Year – Unai Emery

It was close between Unai Emery, Mikel Arteta and Oliver Glasner, but we’ve given it to Emery for overachieving throughout the year and making his Villa side the best-performing top-six club against the top six clubs.

That’s a strong achievement in itself, but to guide his team to Champions League football for the first time since 1983 is worthy enough of our Manager of the Year award.

Arteta obviously would’ve been a good shout too, and he definitely would have got it if Arsenal won the league, but they didn’t so he hasn’t. Simple as that.

And Glasner would win it in the second-half-of-the-season awards, but his efforts with Palace over the last three months were strong but can’t surpass what Emery has achieved across the whole campaign.

Biggest Suprise – Post-Hodgson Crystal Palace & Chelsea

We’ve already spoken about these two earlier and we couldn't pick between them which deserved it more, so they’re both getting the award.

Both sides endured abysmal starts to the year, but when 2024 rolled around, or in the case of Palace once Hodgson was finally gone, they suddenly turned it up and steamrolled most of the table to finish strong.

You can take the biggest surprise then for either half of the season, as we were surprised to see them be so poor at the start, and then equally, if not more surprised to then see their strength in the second half.

Most disappointing – Burnley

We won’t dwell on this one too much as we’ve already outlined our biggest disappointments and the reasons for it. Hopefully, Burnley can have another strong campaign next year in the Championship and then try again in 2025/26, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Game of the Season – Wolves 3-4 Manchester United

Credit: Mainoo bags 97th minute winner in thriller!  | Wolves 3-4 Man United | Premier League Highlights (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

We’ll give one thing to Man United, they may have had the most dramatic win this hectic season saw all year, which is saying something.

Many games could’ve taken this award, but to be completely honest, we’re giving it to United purely because of the winning goalscorer, Kobbie Mainoo, and how brilliant he looked at times this year, in particular for his last-gasp winning goal against Wolves.

United were up 2-0 and 3-1, with Wolves constantly fighting back. Pedro Neto got what was sure to be the point-stealing equaliser in the 95th minute only for Mainoo to decide he was going to be prime Andres Iniesta for a second, dancing through the Wolves defenders in the area and slotting the ball home smartly to win it. Pure brilliance.

Best comeback – Bournemouth 4-3 Luton

What a game this was. It was a replay due to the postponement the first time around after Luton’s Tom Lockyer’s cardiac arrest during the initial game in December, and what we got in the replay was an all-time Premier League classic.

Down 3-0 at halftime with their home fans booing them, the Cherries rallied back to become the fourth side to win having been down three goals in the Premier League.

Goal of the Season – Alejandro Garnacho vs Everton

Credit: Every angle of Garnacho's INCREDIBLE bicycle kick! (Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube)

You don’t see them often, and you don’t see them much better than that. Alejandro Garnacho brought shades of Wayne Rooney back to Goodison Park with his wonderfully perfect bicycle kick early into the game. There was nothing Pickford could do about it.

Very honourable mentions belong to Alexis McAllister’s strike against Fulham and Moises Caicedo’s halfway-line heave against Bournemouth on the final day of the season.

Digital TV’s Team of the Season

GK – David Raya

DEF – Ben White

DEF – Gabriel

DEF – William Saliba

DEF – James Tarkowski

MID – Cole Palmer

MID – Martin Odegaard

MID – Rodri

MID – Phil Foden

ATT – Erling Haaland

ATT – Ollie Watkins

Bench – Dominic Solanke, Kieran Trippier, Alexander Isak, Mohammed Salah, Jordan Pickford

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