Thursday, December 8, 2022

Premier League data dive: Chelsea take top spot as United rally again

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 Dec 2020


Chelsea finished the day top of the Premier League for the first time since September 2018 after their win against Leeds United on Saturday.

The Blues came from behind to win in the late game, having seen Manchester United do the same at West Ham earlier on.

Manchester City also earned three points, but the spoils were shared between Burnley and Everton.

We reflect on another day of drama in the top flight with the help of Opta data.

Burnley 1-1 Everton: Dom frustrates Dyche in milestone match

Sean Dyche could not become the fifth English manager to win their 200th Premier League game in charge as Burnley were held 1-1 at home to Everton.

Dyche was the 35th coach to reach the milestone and the 16th English boss, but a stalemate at Turf Moor – the first in this fixture in the Premier League era – means his Burnley side have just one win in 11 matches.

Although the Clarets made a strong start and led inside three minutes through Robbie Brady, as Everton conceded for the 10th league game running to extend their wait for a first clean sheet at Burnley in the competition, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 11th strike of the season secured a point.

Each of the England forward’s goals have come from inside the penalty area – his 11 the highest such tally in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues – while this was his sixth from inside the six-yard box. No other Premier League player has more than three from that range.

Manchester City 2-0 Fulham: De Bruyne dominant in routine win

There were no surprises at the Etihad Stadium as City claimed a 10th win in a row against Fulham in all competitions.

City are unbeaten in 16 in this fixture and their 10 straight successes have come by an aggregate score of 29-3, as Fulham became the first Premier League side to concede in 10 different matches this season, shipping their 20th and 21st goals – a division high.

Raheem Sterling netted the opener and then won the penalty for the second, the record 20th spot-kick he has earned in the Premier League.

Kevin De Bruyne, the creator of the first, made no mistake from 12 yards to register a goal and an assist in a 16th Premier League game since moving to City in 2015, level with Mohamed Salah as the leader in that regard over this period.

De Bruyne has been involved in more shots than any other Premier League player this season (62 – 34 attempts, 28 chances created), including six efforts and two key passes on Saturday.

Victory meant a happier landmark for Pep Guardiola than Dyche, this the 700th match of his coaching career and 250th at City.

West Ham 1-3 Manchester United: Comeback kings strike again

United do not know when they are beaten away from home this season, as they proved again in a second-half fightback at West Ham.

The Red Devils claimed a fifth straight league away win from the start of the campaign for the first time since 1985-86, despite trailing to Tomas Soucek’s first-half opener.

Goals from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford ensured United came from behind to win again, as they had in each prior away game this term.

They have claimed 15 points from losing positions this season, 22 in 2020 and 385 in Premier League history – all division highs.

Pogba and Greenwood seized their opportunities, but United were aided by their substitutes as Bruno Fernandes assisted the equaliser and then Juan Mata teed up Rashford’s clincher.

It was just the second time United have seen three substitutes contribute to goals after Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini did so against Leicester City in August 2017.

Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United: Giroud goal rush continues

Olivier Giroud again showed age is just a number as he became the oldest player to score in six straight Premier League starts – at 34 years and 66 days – as Chelsea went top of the table.

Giroud, named in the XI for the first time this season, is the first Chelsea player since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in October 2001 to net in half a dozen consecutive starts, following up his four-goal haul against Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek.

The World Cup winner’s strike cancelled out an opener from Chelsea old boy Patrick Bamford, who has netted seven of his eight league goals this season away from Leeds’ Elland Road.

Kurt Zouma continued his fine form in front of goal with the second, before Christian Pulisic got his first of the campaign – making him the 13th different Chelsea player to score in the Premier League this term, four more than any other club.

Leeds have now lost four consecutive away league games against Chelsea for the first time since August 1937.


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