2020–21 Primeira Liga
|Dates||18 September 2020 – 19 May 2021|
|Champions League||Sporting CP|
|Europa Conference League||Paços de Ferreira|
|Goals scored||739 (2.42 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Pedro Gonçalves|
|Biggest home win||Sporting CP 4–0 Tondela|
(1 November 2020)
Santa Clara 5–1 Nacional
(11 April 2021)
Porto 5–1 Farense
(10 May 2021)
Porto 4–0 Belenenses SAD
(19 May 2021)
Sporting CP 5–1 Marítimo
(19 May 2021)
Santa Clara 4–0 Farense
(19 May 2021)
|Biggest away win||Boavista 0–5 Porto|
(26 September 2020)
Paços de Ferreira 0–5 Benfica
(10 April 2021)
|Highest scoring||Porto 4–3 Tondela|
(5 December 2020)
Benfica 4–3 Sporting CP
(15 May 2021)
|Longest winning run||7 matches|
|Longest unbeaten run||32 matches (record)|
|Longest winless run||10 matches|
|Longest losing run||10 matches|
Santa Clara 1–2 Sporting CP
(24 October 2020)[note 1]
|Lowest attendance||0[note 2]|
The 2020–21 Primeira Liga (also known as Liga NOS for sponsorship reasons) was the 87th season of the Primeira Liga, the top professional league for Portuguese association football clubs. The season started later than usual, on 18 September 2020, due to the delayed end of the previous season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it concluded on 19 May 2021.
This was the fourth Primeira Liga season to use video assistant referee (VAR). As was the case at the end of the previous season, there were limited or no attendance in the stadiums besides each team's staff and personnel.
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal, since March 2020, in contrast with various European leagues, the Primeira Liga began playing matches behind closed doors. On 13 September, Sporting confirmed that three players had tested positive for coronavirus, leading their pre-season match against Napoli to be cancelled due to the orders of the Portuguese Ministry of Health. The following day, Sporting confirmed that four players and a member of their staff had tested positive for coronavirus. Meanwhile, Gil Vicente confirmed that fifteen players had tested positive for coronavirus, leading also their pre-season match against Vitória de Guimarães to be cancelled. Three days later, Sporting confirmed that their manager Ruben Amorim and another player tested positive for coronavirus, with both going into self-isolation. On 17 September, it was announced that the Gil Vicente and Sporting fixture on matchday 1 would be postponed, following direct orders from the Portuguese Ministry of Health, after it was confirmed that Gil Vicente had four more positive cases of coronavirus.
On 3 October, Santa Clara faced Gil Vicente on matchday 3 at the Estádio de São Miguel, in Ponta Delgada, Azores, in a match, which was the first one to allow spectators in Portugal, with the stadium being limited to 10% of its capacity (1,000 spectators). Ten days later, it was announced that Paços de Ferreira's manager Pepa had tested positive for COVID-19, leading him and his staff being placed in quarantine as a preventive measure, forcing him to miss Paços de Ferreira's match against Santa Clara on October 18 at matchday 4.
On matchday 5, played between 23 and 26 October, there were three matches in which spectatores were allowed: Tondela against Portimonense at Estádio João Cardoso, Santa Clara against Sporting at the Estádio de São Miguel (with spectators being allowed for the second consecutive match) and Farense against Rio Ave at Estádio Algarve, where Farense played their first three home matches, instead of their regular home stadium Estádio de São Luís, due to a turf change. Like the match against Gil Vicente, Santa Clara match was played with the stadium capacity limited to 10%, as the other two matches were limited to 15% (approximately 750 and 4,500 spectators in Estádio João Cardoso and Estádio Algarve, respectively).
Santa Clara announced on February 20 that spectators will be allowed in Estádio de São Miguel, for the third time this season, in the match against Paços de Ferreira on matchday 21, played one week later on 27 February. This time, one third of the stadium's maximum capacity was allowed.
Eighteen teams competed in the league – the top sixteen teams from the previous season and two teams promoted from the LigaPro. Nacional and Farense were promoted on 5 May 2020 by decision of the Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional, after the suspension of the 2019–20 LigaPro due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal. This decision was made based on UEFA's recommendations, focusing on sporting merit, as these teams were in first and second place of the LigaPro, respectively, at the time of cancellation.
Nacional came back to the top division one season after being relegated, while Farense secured their return after a 18-year absence. They replaced Desportivo das Aves and Vitória de Setúbal, who were relegated after three and sixteen seasons in the top flight, respectively.
Stadia and locations
Personnel and sponsors
This section needs to be updated.(April 2021)
|Team||Outgoing manager||Manager||Date of vacancy||Pos in table||Incoming manager||Date of appointment||Ref.|
|Santa Clara||João Henriques||Mutual consent||24 July 2020||Pre-season||Daniel Ramos||28 July 2020|||
|Vitória de Guimarães||Ivo Vieira||24 July 2020||Tiago Mendes||28 July 2020|||
|Boavista||Daniel Ramos||25 July 2020||Vasco Seabra||30 July 2020|||
|Rio Ave||Carlos Carvalhal||25 July 2020||Mário Silva||30 July 2020|||
|Marítimo||José Gomes||Signed for Almería||27 July 2020||Lito Vidigal||30 July 2020|||
|Braga||Artur Jorge||End of caretaker role||28 July 2020||Carlos Carvalhal||28 July 2020|||
|Benfica||Nélson Veríssimo||1 August 2020||Jorge Jesus||3 August 2020|||
|Tondela||Natxo González||Mutual Consent||5 August 2020||Pako Ayestarán||9 August 2020|||
|Vitória de Guimarães||Tiago Mendes||8 October 2020||10th||João Henriques||13 October 2020|||
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Sporting CP (C)||34||26||7||1||65||20||+45||85||Qualification to Champions League group stage|
|3||Benfica||34||23||7||4||69||27||+42||76||Qualification to Champions League third qualifying round|
|4||Braga||34||19||7||8||53||33||+20||64||Qualification to Europa League group stage[a]|
|5||Paços de Ferreira||34||15||8||11||40||41||−1||53||Qualification to Europa Conference League third qualifying round[a]|
|6||Santa Clara||34||13||7||14||44||36||+8||46||Qualification to Europa Conference League second qualifying round[a]|
|7||Vitória de Guimarães||34||12||7||15||37||44||−7||43[b]|
|16||Rio Ave (R)||34||7||13||14||25||40||−15||34||Qualification to Relegation play-offs|
|17||Farense (R)||34||7||10||17||31||48||−17||31||Relegation to Liga Portugal 2|
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Head-to-head away goals scored; 5) Goal difference; 6) Matches won; 7) Goals scored; 8) Play-off.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated
- Braga qualified for the Europa League group stage by winning the 2020–21 Taça de Portugal. Since they would have qualified for the Europa Conference League third qualifying round by finishing fourth, the berth was awarded to the fifth-placed team (Paços de Ferreira), and the Europa Conference League second qualifying round berth reserved to the fifth-placed team was awarded to the sixth-placed team (Santa Clara).
- Vitória de Guimarães are ranked ahead of Moreirense on head-to-head points: Vitória de Guimarães 4, Moreirense 1.
- Famalicão are ranked ahead of Belenenses SAD on head-to-head points: Famalicão 4, Belenenses SAD 1.
- Tondela are ranked ahead of Boavista on head-to-head points: Tondela 4, Boavista 1.
- Portimonense are ranked ahead of Marítimo on head-to-head points: Portimonense 4, Marítimo 1.
The relegation play-offs will take place on 26 and 30 May 2021.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
Positions by round
The table lists the positions of teams after each week of matches. In order to preserve chronological evolvements, any postponed matches are not included to the round at which they were originally scheduled, but added to the full round they were played immediately afterwards.
|1||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||23|
|5||Carlos Jr.||Santa Clara||14|
|8||Mateo Cassierra||Belenenses SAD||10|
|Mario González||Tondela||Moreirense||3–2 (A)||17 April 2021|
|Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Marítimo||5–1 (H)||19 May 2021|
(H) – Home team
(A) – Away team
|1||Antonio Adán||Sporting CP||19|
|3||Paweł Kieszek||Rio Ave||11|
|Stanislav Kritsyuk||Belenenses SAD|
|Bruno Varela||Vitória de Guimarães|
|Jordi||Paços de Ferreira|
|Marco Pereira||Santa Clara|
- Most red cards: 2
|Month||Player of the Month||Goalkeeper of the Month||Defender of the Month||Midfielder of the Month||Forward of the Month||Manager of the Month||Goal of the Month|
|September/October||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Bruno Varela||Vitória de Guimarães||Pepe||Porto||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Thiago Santana||Santa Clara||Jorge Jesus||Benfica||Bruno Jordão||Famalicão|
|November||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Matheus||Braga||Pedro Porro||Sporting CP||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Rodrigo Pinho||Marítimo||Pepa||Paços de Ferreira||Luis Díaz||Porto|
|December||Sérgio Oliveira||Porto||Antonio Adán||Sporting CP||Pedro Porro||Sporting CP||Sérgio Oliveira||Porto||Mehdi Taremi||Porto||Sérgio Conceição||Porto||Iuri Medeiros||Braga|
|January||Mehdi Taremi||Porto||Antonio Adán||Sporting CP||Pedro Porro||Sporting CP||Bruno Costa||Paços de Ferreira||Mehdi Taremi||Porto||Pepa||Paços de Ferreira||Pedro Porro||Sporting CP|
|February||Ali Al Musrati||Braga||Antonio Adán||Sporting CP||Sebastián Coates||Sporting CP||Ali Al Musrati||Braga||Mehdi Taremi||Porto||Rúben Amorim||Sporting CP||Ryan Gauld||Farense|
|March||Haris Seferovic||Benfica||Helton Leite||Benfica||Sebastián Coates||Sporting CP||Sérgio Oliveira||Porto||Haris Seferovic||Benfica||Jorge Jesus||Benfica||Beto||Portimonense|
|April||Sebastián Coates||Sporting CP||Antonio Adán||Sporting CP||Sebastián Coates||Sporting CP||Pedro Gonçalves||Sporting CP||Mario González Gutiérrez||Tondela||Rúben Amorim||Sporting CP||André Almeida||Vitória de Guimarães|
Team of the season
|Team of the Year|
|Goalkeeper||Antonio Adán (Sporting CP)|
|Defence||Pedro Porro (Sporting CP)||Pepe (Porto)||Sebastián Coates (Sporting CP)||Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP)|
|Midfield||João Palhinha (Sporting CP)||Pedro Gonçalves (Sporting CP)||Sérgio Oliveira (Porto)|
|Attack||Carlos Jr. (Santa Clara)||Haris Seferovic (Benfica)||Mehdi Taremi (Porto)|
Number of teams by district
|Rank||District Football Associations||Number||Teams|
|1||Braga||5||Braga, Famalicão, Gil Vicente, Moreirense and Vitória de Guimarães|
|2||Porto||4||Boavista, Paços de Ferreira, Porto and Rio Ave|
|3||Lisbon||3||Belenenses SAD, Benfica and Sporting CP|
|4||Faro||2||Farense and Portimonense|
|Funchal||Marítimo and Nacional|
|5||Ponta Delgada||1||Santa Clara|
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal, the matches that were not played behind closed doors, were allowed to be played with limited attendance.
- All league matches played were played behind closed doors without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal, with the exception being four Santa Clara's home matches, Tondela against Portimonense and Farense against Rio Ave
- "Direção da Liga Portugal em reunião extraordinária" [LPFP board extraordinary meeting]. LPFP (in Portuguese). 5 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "Liga NOS stats". LPFP. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Oficial: Daniel Ramos é o novo treinador do Santa Clara" [Official: Daniel Ramos is the new manager of Santa clara]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "Oficial: Tiago é o novo treinador do Vitória de Guimarães" [Official: Tiago is the new manager of Vitória de Guimarães]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "Oficial: Vasco Seabra é treinador do Boavista" [Official: Carlos Carvalhal is manager of Boavista]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 30 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Mário Silva é o sucessor de Carlos Carvalhal no Rio Ave" [Mário Silva is the successor of Carlos Carvalhal at Rio Ave]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 30 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Lito Vidigal sucede a José Gomes no Marítimo" [Lito Vidigal succeeds José Gomes at Marítimo]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 30 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Oficial: Carlos Carvalhal é o novo treinador do Braga" [Official: Carlos Carvalhal is the new manager of Braga]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
- "Benfica oficializa contratação de Jorge Jesus com comunicado enviado à CMVM" [Benfica confirms signing of Jorge Jesus in statement sent to the CMVM]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 17 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Tudo concluído: Jorge Jesus assina depois do dérbi" [Deal closed: Jorge Jesus signs after derby]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). 25 July 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- "Pako Ayestarán vai suceder a Natxo González no comando do Tondela". Record (in Portuguese). 9 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- Andrade, Tomaz; Casaca, Manuel (8 October 2020). "Tiago deixa comando técnico do Vitória: números de um curto percurso" [Tiago leaves helm of Vitória: numbers of a short spell]. O Jogo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 10 October 2020.
- "Top Scorers: Liga NOS". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- "Assists: Liga NOS". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- "Primeira Liga Player Stats – Yellow Cards". Zero Zero. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
- "Primeira Liga Player Stats – Red Cards". Zero Zero. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- "Primeira Liga Club Stats – Yellow Cards". Zero Zero. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
- "Primeira Liga Club Stats – Red Cards". Zero Zero. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "Best of September/October 2020-21: Pedro Gonçalves and Gonçalo Ramos are the highlights of the month". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
- "Best of December 2020-21: Sérgio Oliveira and Crespo are the highlights of the month". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
- "Liga Nos Team of the season". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 10 June 2021.