It was a Premier League weekend in which the Premier League seemed to take a back seat, with Sunday’s emergence of a European Super League blowing everything else out of the water.
However, Monday’s sacking of Jose Mourinho did at least serve to remind us that, yes, Tottenham did play on Friday and were typically flaky, letting a lead slip again even if they did get a leveller to tie with Everton.
Against the same Super League backdrop, Arsenal added more fuel to the burning question of why they’re involved in it at all, given they required a 97th-minute equaliser to draw with Fulham, who now look doomed to relegation with Sheffield United.
And a week on from emulating Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood levelled a record held by Wayne Rooney.
Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches.
Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Mourinho pays the price for Spurs’ mentality issues
Given what’s happened in the time since, it’s easy to forget Spurs’ draw at Everton was as long ago as Friday.
But it proved to be Mourinho’s final game in charge of Spurs nonetheless, with Tottenham’s Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread – good job they’ve secured themselves a spot in a closed competition!
20 – No Premier League side has dropped more points from winning positions this season than Tottenham Hotspur (20, level with Brighton). Issues. pic.twitter.com/PW5vkMx8Hy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2021
There will be many theories about Mourinho’s demise, but perhaps the most pertinent with respect to his Spurs team relates to concerns over mentality.
After all, the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park saw them drop points from a winning position yet again. That’s 20 points they’ve thrown away in 2020-21 – no team has a worse record.
Even Harry Kane’s heroics weren’t enough, as he twice punished defensive errors and became only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in at least five Premier League seasons.
Who knows, maybe he’ll soon follow Mourinho out the door…
Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Blades among the Premier League’s worst ever teams?
Now, obviously it depends on how you determine the “worst” teams – everyone will likely have their own point of view.
Derby County of course hold the record for the lowest ever points total of 11, which the Blades have already surpassed, but their 1-0 defeat at Wolves consigned them to relegation.
It means they suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, along with Derby (2007-08), Ipswich Town (1994-95) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).
6 – With six games remaining, Sheffield United have suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, alongside Ipswich Town (1994-95), Derby County (2007-08) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19). Misery. pic.twitter.com/OTXln3dESK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 17, 2021
Certainly, United are party to one of the biggest drop-offs in a relegation season, as no team had finished as high as ninth one campaign and then been relegated the next since Birmingham City in 2010-11.
But here’s the kicker – it was their 26th defeat of the season, equalling a club record. They could yet surpass the 29 suffered by Sunderland and Derby.
Arsenal 1-1 Fulham: Gunners’ late equaliser highlights lack of progress against Super League backdrop
The rumours relating to the European Super League had emerged prior to Arsenal’s Sunday clash with struggling Fulham. It provided a timely reminder of the competition’s nonsensical premise.
Eddie Nketiah scored an equaliser deep into second-half stoppage to spare Arsenal’s blushes – actually, if anything it probably accentuated their blushes given Fulham’s failing battle against relegation.
13 – Fulham have now dropped more points from winning positions away from home than any other team in the Premier League this season. Agonising. pic.twitter.com/RaVzk3zbNB
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 18, 2021
The point means Arsenal have the exact same number of points (46) after 32 games as they did last term.
The last time they amassed fewer at this stage of a season was 1994-95 – it’s hardly a show of progress.
On this evidence, Arsenal might be better off performing a Super League U-turn to avoid humiliation.
Manchester United 3-1 Burnley: Greenwood finding his groove again to match Rooney
It’s not been the easiest of seasons for Greenwood. From getting booted out of an England camp to struggling badly for goals, it’s fair to say a few have questioned whether they were right to believe the hype.
Thankfully the youngster has rediscovered his scoring touch lately and appears transformed, attacking defenders with confidence and purpose once again.
His brace against Burnley took him to 15 Premier League goals for United, levelling a record set by Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by a teenager for United.
15 – Mason Greenwood is now the joint-top scoring teenager in Premier League history for Manchester United (15, level with Wayne Rooney). Class. pic.twitter.com/O1Xj5SP6t4
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 18, 2021
Greenwood will surely overtake Rooney in this regard as well, given he doesn’t turn 20 until October 1.
On a similar note, his second effort on Sunday meant he has scored more top-flight goals as a teenager than any other player in the top five European leagues since the start of 2019-20.
But has he left this surge too late for a Euro 2020 call-up?
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