Sunday, October 25, 2020

Premier League data dive: Everton continue four-midable start, Rodrigo ends long wait

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Oct 2020

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There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday’s action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance – his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton’s Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton’s first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern – the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time – but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce’s side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James’ Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley’s goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

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