Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Premier League data dive: KDB misses the mark as City-Liverpool stalemate leaves Leicester top

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Nov 2020

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Another day of Premier League drama finished with Leicester City at the summit, unseating Tottenham while Liverpool were held.

Spurs had required a late winner at West Brom before the Foxes edged past Wolves, setting the stage for another mammoth meeting between Manchester City and the champions.

Sunday’s action was not done there, though, as Aston Villa went to Arsenal and won in style.

Read on for the story of the day’s play in our Opta-powered data dive.

 

West Brom 0-1 Tottenham: Kane leaves it late but keeps closing on the greats

Tottenham were made to wait at West Brom in the day’s early game, but Harry Kane’s 150th Premier League goal maintained their perfect away start to the season.

Spurs have now won each of their first four away matches in the league for only the fourth time in their history, 2020-21 joining 1949-50, 1960-61 and 2017-18 in the history books.

This had more in keeping with the scrappy win at Burnley than the big successes over Southampton and Manchester United, but Kane, just as in each of those games, made a telling contribution.

The England captain nodded in two minutes from time and reached 150 goals in his 218th game in the competition, slower only than Alan Shearer (212) and Sergio Aguero (217) in reaching that mark.

 

Leicester City 1-0 Wolves: Vardy takes fast-starting Foxes top

Jamie Vardy scored one of two first-half penalties to send Leicester top and secure their best ever start to a top-flight season with a 1-0 victory over Wolves.

Vardy netted his 23rd Premier League spot-kick – the most of any player since his 2014-15 debut – and the Foxes held on even after their talisman passed up a second opportunity from 12 yards.

The former England striker has plenty of practice from 12 yards, with Leicester now having been awarded eight penalties through eight games. Previously, United in their 16th game last season had been the fastest Premier League team to eight spot-kicks.

 

Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool: Hosts held again despite spot-kick drama at Etihad

Kevin De Bruyne missed the target from 12 yards as City drew 1-1 with Liverpool, their third stalemate in five Premier League matches.

After Mohamed Salah fired Liverpool into the lead from the spot, De Bruyne teed up Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser but then dragged his penalty wide, becoming the first Premier League player to direct a spot-kick off target since team-mate Riyad Mahrez’s wild blast in October 2018 – also against Liverpool.

It meant another draw for City, who had been held three times in 70 matches before this five-game stretch.

Salah’s own penalty – the second conceded by Kyle Walker this season – had given him his eighth goal in eight league games this season, a start to a Premier League campaign in Liverpool colours matched only by Robbie Fowler in 1995-96 and Fernando Torres in 2009-10 (both also eight in eight).

But a sequence of 19 passes at the other end concluded with De Bruyne teeing up Jesus, the first time Liverpool had conceded following such a passage in the Premier League since September 2017 when again De Bruyne found Jesus with the last of 19 balls.

 

Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa: Emirates a happy hunting ground again for Watkins-led Lions

Ollie Watkins’ brace led Villa to a stunning 3-0 success at Arsenal in the late game, the visitors’ third straight away win at the start of the season.

Villa have started a league campaign with three consecutive wins on the road for the first time in their history after Watkins twice added to Bukayo Saka’s own goal.

Only Chelsea in 2005-06 and City in 2015-16 have similarly started with three away wins without conceding, although victory at Emirates Stadium perhaps should not have come as a surprise. It was Villa’s fourth in the league, with only Chelsea (five) managing more as a visiting team at Arsenal’s modern home.

Jack Grealish teed up Watkins for the third and has now been involved in nine Premier League goals this season (four scored, five assisted), trailing only Tottenham pair Kane (15) and Son Heung-min (10) in that regard.

Arsenal’s captain was far less effective. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed the full 90 minutes in a home Premier League match without registering a shot for the first time.

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