Friday, October 30, 2020

Premier League data dive: Man United and Liverpool routed on stunning Sunday

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Oct 2020

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There have been few days in Premier League history quite as remarkable as October 4, 2020. 

Manchester United’s 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham raised eyebrows, but Liverpool’s 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa a few hours later dropped jaws. Did that really happen? 

Those results at Old Trafford and Villa Park means there have been 144 goals in 38 Premier League games so far this season – making for an average of 3.79 per fixture – the highest in the top flight since 1930-31. 

Here, using Opta data, take a look at the key stats from Sunday’s six games.

Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool: Watkins-inspired Villains demolish champions

The reigning champions were humbled as ex-Brentford striker Ollie Watkins became the 10th player to score a Premier League hat-trick against Liverpool, taking his tally in league outings to 29 since the start of last season – more than any player in England’s top four tiers. 

Jack Grealish, who also scored twice, became the second Villa player to provide three assists in a single game, following in the footsteps of current Reds midfielder James Milner, who did so in 2010. 

Ross Barkley netted a debut goal for Villa, while John McGinn was also on target, meaning Mohamed Salah’s brace came in vain as Liverpool became the first reigning champions to ship seven goals since Arsenal did so against Sunderland in 1953.

Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham: Spurs smash Solskjaer’s sorry side

There was little indication of what was to come when Bruno Fernandes tucked away a second-minute penalty at Old Trafford to give United the lead. 

Spurs hit back in style – Tanguy Ndombele, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane all on target before Son’s second ensured United – who lost Anthony Martial to a first-half red card – conceded four in the opening half of a league fixture for the first time since 1957, which also happened to be against Tottenham. 

Serge Aurier added a fifth after the break and Kane then converted a late spot-kick as United suffered their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat, equalling their 6-1 home loss to Manchester City in 2011. 

As for ex-United boss Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese equalled his biggest ever Premier League win on the road, his team winning by five goals for the first time since Chelsea beat Swansea City 5-0 in 2015. It is also his first away league triumph against a team he has previously managed in the Premier League.

Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United: More home comforts for Arteta’s Gunners

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal claimed a ninth win from their past 11 home Premier League matches, with only Liverpool (34) having won more home points than the Gunners (29) since their manager’s first game in charge at Emirates Stadium last December.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring before Nicolas Pepe finished off a 19-pass move, which was the longest sequence before a goal in the top flight this term.

Sheffield United pulled one back late on through David McGoldrick but Chris Wilder’s side have now lost seven league matches in a row for the first time since 1975. It is the worst run for the Blades boss in his managerial career since 10 defeats on the spin when in charge of Halifax Town (February-April 2004).

Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United: Another amazing away day for Antonio

West Ham were the happy Hammers again at the King Power Stadium after making it back-to-back Premier League victories while keeping clean sheets for the first time since May 2019. 

Aaron Cresswell, playing his 192nd Premier League game, assisted two goals in a game for the first time in his top-flight career, Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals both profiting prior to half-time before Jarrod Bowen added a third. 

Antonio’s header saw him become the first Hammers player to score in five successive away games, with the in-form forward netting eight times in that run.

Wolves 1-0 Fulham: More defensive solidity from Nuno’s men

Having conceded four against West Ham last time out, Wolves were back to their stubborn best in a 1-0 win over Fulham that came courtesy of Pedro Neto’s second-half strike.

It was Wolves’ seventh clean sheet of the calendar year, more than any other Premier League club in 2020, with Nuno Espirito Santos’ side not conceding in seven of their past nine games at home.

As for Fulham, they have conceded 11 goals from their opening four league games, the most they have shipped at this stage in a campaign since the 1960-61 campaign (14).

Southampton 2-0 West Brom: Baggies’ slow start continues

A 2-0 defeat for West Brom left Slaven Bilic’s men with one point from four games, their fewest at that stage of a top-flight campaign since 1985-86.

Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu scored past Sam Johnstone either side of the interval, with the Baggies goalkeeper only the second in Premier League history to concede at least 13 times in his first four games after Swindon Town’s Fraser Digby in 1993-94.

The result sees the Saints march into the international break off the back of successive wins, while they have only lost two of their last 11 in the league (W6 D3).

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