Saturday provided no shortage of talking points as the Premier League returned after the international break.
Manchester United suffered another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of Watford, and it will likely be one too humiliation too many for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
There was also a harsh dose of reality fed to Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, as they were given a bruising by Liverpool at Anfield.
But two new managers began their respective tenures with victories, as Aston Villa and Norwich City each hope to enjoy a prolonged ‘new manager bounce’.
Below, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday’s Opta facts…
Watford 4-1 Manchester United: Writing’s on the wall for Solskjaer
Another week, another humiliating defeat for United and Solskjaer – Watford were the latest side to toy with the Red Devils.
United’s loss was their biggest league defeat to a promoted side since a 5-1 reverse to Manchester City in September 1989, and it took them to 20 goals conceded this season already.
Only in 2001-02 (11 games) have United conceded 20 or more after fewer than in 2021-22 (13 games), while this is the first time Watford have ever beaten them in successive home league games.
United were still in with a shout at 2-1 until Harry Maguire’s first red card in 121 appearances for the club, but it all fell apart thereafter.
It looks set to be the result that costs Solskjaer his job.
Leicester City 0-3 Chelsea: Foxes intimidated by pacesetters again
Most would have expected Chelsea to get a proper examination of their title credentials here – who knows, maybe this was a real statement.
Either way, Thomas Tuchel’s men saw off Leicester City with great authority, or so it seemed.
In reality, Leicester actually have a dreadful record against teams starting the day top of the table. Granted, the side at the summit is usually fairly handy, otherwise they wouldn’t be setting the pace, but Leicester’s run is particularly poor.
They are now winless in 17 league games against the team that started the day top of the table, conceding 40 goals at a rate of 2.35 per game.
In the process of winning here, Chelsea moved level with Tottenham and Manchester City with the most away wins (five) at the King Power Stadium in the top tier.
Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: Gunners come crashing back to reality as Reds continue domination
Although Arsenal came into the weekend in good form, having not lost any of their previous 10 matches in all competitions, there was more than a hint of predictability about their Anfield defeat and the manner of it.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal (37) than any top-flight side has against another opponent since October 2015, which in itself is a fairly damning indictment of the Gunners’ fall from grace.
Mohamed Salah got Liverpool’s third goal of the game, which was also their 100th against Arsenal in the Premier League, a haul they can only better in meetings with Newcastle United (105).
It was the fifth time this season Arsenal have failed to score in a league game, with only Norwich and Watford (both seven) having a worse record.
The Gunners aren’t “back” yet.
Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Gerrard off to winning start
Steven Gerrard began his tenure as Villa boss in positive fashion, seeing off Graham Potter’s Brighton.
It was a largely unspectacular bow for Gerrard but Villa eventually got the job done with two goals late on, making the Liverpool legend only the club’s third permanent manager to begin with a win in the Premier League.
Ollie Watkins was the man to get the first goal of the Gerrard era, taking his tally to a club-high 17 strikes since the start of last season in the top flight.
There was also a first assist of the season for Ashley Young, who set up a Villa goal for the first time in 10 years and 189 days.
Norwich City 2-1 Southampton: Smith lifts Canaries off the foot the table
The man who made room for Gerrard at Villa, Dean Smith, also began the latest chapter of his career with a victory.
Norwich initially trailed to Che Adams’ goal, but they turned things around as the Canaries came from behind to win a Premier League game for the first time in five-and-a-half years, or 36 matches.
But if they were going to end that run against anyone, the Saints would have been a good bet – since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, they have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the Premier League (67).
Grant Hanley got Norwich’s winner, his first Premier League goal in nine years and 324 days since netting for Blackburn Rovers against Manchester United in December 2011.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) November 20, 2021
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