Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wijnaldum´s home comforts and Mourinho´s counter-attack kings – the Premier League weekend´s quirky

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Dec 2020


It was a Premier League weekend when fans returned to grounds and witnessed victories full of swagger for potential title contenders.

Table-topping Tottenham are starting to look like they might go the distance under Jose Mourinho after the prolific partnership between Harry Kane and Son Heung-min made Arsenal’s forward line look second rate.

Liverpool returned to winning ways with a confident victory over Wolves at Anfield, this time video technology working in their favour when a penalty given against Sadio Mane was overturned at a key moment.

Manchester City strung together back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season, against Fulham, in Pep Guardiola’s 250th match in charge of the club while Chelsea briefly went top of the table as Frank Lampard got the better of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.

Manchester United once again showed their ability to come from behind, as yet again they claimed an away-day victory after trailing. Even Paul Pogba managed to get on the scoresheet.

Away from the major topics of discussion to emerge over the past few days, we use Opta stats to pinpoint some of the quirkier talking points.


Jose’s big-game counter-attack plan

Mikel Arteta blamed the lack of cutting edge from his Arsenal players up front as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham in the north London derby where Mourinho’s side counter-attacked to great effect.

The Gunners certainly saw plenty of the ball during the match (69.8 per cent to Spurs’ 30.2), however, this was the 11th time a Mourinho-led side has had 35 per cent possession or lower in a Premier League match.

Mourinho has won nine of those 11 games, although interestingly the two matches he has not claimed have also come in particularly high-profile encounters when he also tried to sit back and hit on the break.

As United manager in 2017, the Red Devils drew 0-0 with Guardiola’s City and in 2020 as Spurs head coach he suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

Gini enjoys home comforts

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum’s contract situation might be uppermost in the thoughts of many Anfield regulars, given his love of a goal on home turf.

Wijnaldum has scored 26 Premier League goals, and 23 have come at home (88.5 per cent), the highest ratio scored on home soil of any player with 20-plus goals in the competition’s history.

Another midfielder, retired former United star Michael Carrick, is next on that list behind the Dutchman with 20 of his 24 goals scored at home at the rate of 83.3 per cent.

But which player is better on the road? Well, former Sunderland and Leeds United forward Michael Bridges tops that list with 15 of his 22 Premier League goals (68.2 per cent) scored away from home.

Sterling pound for pound the best penalty winner

Kevin De Bruyne confidently converted Manchester City’s second goal from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, but he possibly only gave a brief thought for the player who won it.

When Raheem Sterling was upended by Fulham’s Joachim Andersen, he became the first player to win 20 penalties in the Premier League.

The next player behind Sterling is Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy – who has won 19 penalties. But with Vardy aged 33 and Sterling eight years’ younger at 25 it looks like the Manchester City man be good to win a few more spot-kicks in years to come.

Manchester City are currently ranked seventh in the Premier League for penalties won having been awarded 124 spot-kicks.

Solskjaer’s super subs love a fightback

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was synonymous with inspiring United fightbacks as a player, often coming from the bench to do so, so it should be no surprise he gets calls right with substitutes as a manager.

All three of United’s substitutes (Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Juan Mata) were directly involved in a goal in their 3-1 win over West Ham.

This is just the second time this has happened for the Red Devils in a Premier League game – previously in August 2017 versus Leicester (Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini).

The Red Devils have also now won more points from losing positions than any other team in Premier League history (385), ahead of Tottenham (383), Arsenal (356), Liverpool (336) and Chelsea (335).


SoccerNews is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Live Scores


Betting Guide Advertisement


Become a Writer
More More
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x