EPL

Premier League Data Dive: De Bruyne becomes City's assist king

By Sports Desk October 08, 2022

It is too early to declare the Premier League a two-horse race for the title, but the blows Manchester City and Arsenal continue to trade are making for increasingly compelling viewing.

Arsenal will have to respond on Sunday after City's latest majestic showing against sorry Southampton.

Chelsea look re-energised under Graham Potter, while Eddie Howe continues to weave his magic at Newcastle United, who scored more goals than even City on Saturday.

Antonio Conte's Tottenham only needed one goal to round off the day by maintaining their impressive start to the campaign at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Before attention turns to events at Emirates Stadium, Stats Perform picks out the best data from Saturday's matches.

Chelsea 3-0 Wolves: Manager-less visitors far from cloud nine

The sacking of Bruno Lage did nothing to improve Wolves' fortunes, as their run of winless away Premier League games was stretched to nine (D2 L7).

That is their longest such run since going 10 games (D4 L6) without a win on the road in January 2012.

On top of that, Wolves remain winless in nine league away games with Chelsea (D3 L6)

Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the Blues and has now found the net twice in his last three league games, more than in his previous 12 matches in the competition. The German has netted in consecutive home league games for the Blues for the first time.

Mason Mount laid on two of the goals for Potter's men, marking the first time he has recorded two assists in a single Premier League games since a meeting Leicester City in February 2020.

Manchester City 4-0 Southampton: KDB the assist king for rampant champions

Pep Guardiola's men will be in the rare position of hoping Liverpool deliver a result against Arsenal on Sunday, after the champions leapfrogged the Gunners back to the top of the table.

Erling Haaland was on the scoresheet again, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, though he did only register one goal in this one-sided affair.

The Norway star is just the second player to score in seven consecutive Premier League games for Manchester City, after Sergio Aguero (May-September 2019).

Kevin De Bruyne provided the assist for Phil Foden to double City's lead after Joao Cancelo opened the scoring. De Bruyne's 94 assists mean he now has the outright most for City in the Premier League, overtaking David Silva (93).

City's incredible prowess in front of goal saw them become the first team to score at least four goals in five consecutive top-flight home games since Tottenham in September 1963 (a run of six).

Newcastle United 5-1 Brentford: Bruno the talk of the Toon

The Magpies are fifth after a dominant performance at St James' Park, and their fans can perhaps afford to hope of challenging at the top consistently for the first time since the days of Bobby Robson.

Newcastle's five-goal effort followed a 4-1 win at Fulham, making it the first time they have scored four-plus goals in successive Premier League games since September 2001, when Robson was in charge and oversaw wins over Middlesbrough and Manchester United. This was also the first time Newcastle have scored five in a Premier League game since May 2016 (5-1 vs Tottenham), a game that came after their relegation to the Championship was already confirmed.

Worries about the second tier look to be a distant memory now. Newcastle have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games (W5 D5), while only City (66), Liverpool (61), Tottenham (61) and Arsenal (55) have won more points than the Magpies (52) in the competition this calendar year.

Newcastle's remarkable form under Howe is down in no small part to Bruno Guimaraes. The Brazil midfielder scored a fine double in this one and now has more goals (7) than any other Newcastle player since making his Premier League debut in February.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-1 Tottenham: Conte defeats another compatriot

Conte is one of four Italian managers to lift the Premier League trophy and enjoyed success against another trying to make his way in England as Spurs saw off Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton side.

Conte is now unbeaten in all seven of his Premier League matches against fellow Italian managers (W6 D1) and has seen his sides keep clean sheets in four of their last five such games.

Son Heung-min teed up Harry Kane for the game's only goal, making it the 43rd time they have combined for a Premier League goal, extending their own record.

Kane has scored 12 goals in his last 12 league games, and has found the net in each of his last four, his joint-longest scoring streak in the competition and the seventh time he has achieved that feat.

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    Erik ten Hag admits he does not know whether or not he has managed Manchester United for the last time, after guiding the Red Devils to FA Cup glory.

    The Dutchman led his team out against Manchester City in a repeat of last year's final with his job reportedly on the line, regardless of the result ahead of the final at Wembley.

    Nevertheless, the Red Devils produced a spirited performance with first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo eventually enough to secure a 2-1 win over their rivals.

    It provided a happy ending to a difficult season for United, in which they recorded their lowest Premier League finish of eighth, but still managed to snatch European football for next term.

    However, speculation and question marks continue to hang over the future of Ten Hag, who waved to United supporters during the team's lap of honour after collecting his second trophy in as many years at Old Trafford.

    But the former Ajax head coach remains tight-lipped on what will happen next.

    When asked if that was his last game in charge, he told BBC Sport. "I don't know. The only thing I can do is prepare my team, progress and develop my team and individual players.

    "This is a project. When I came in, it was a mess. We are better, but we are by far not where we want to be.

    "Football is about winning trophies. I want to play the best football. I want to play dynamic football, attacking football, but in the end, you have to win games and trophies. That is the mentality that we brought in.

    "We only had one opportunity this season – that was the FA Cup. We did it. I'm so very proud of the players and staff, who did an incredible job."

    Ten Hag could well suffer the same fate as compatriot Louis van Gaal, who was dismissed by the club after guiding them to FA Cup glory in 2016.

    The 54-year-old stated his belief that he and the team had been unfairly treated by the media over the course of the campaign, during which he felt injuries to key players severely hampered his side's progress.

    "I think so. The team, me as well – it was not right," he added. "We didn't have the players. It was not always good football, but we have had to make compromises all the time, then you can't play the football you want to play.

    "I have been here two years, and we maybe had three, four times, the full squad [available]. Today, we had some massive players like Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Casemiro not on board.

    "All the compliments to the team. They have played very well, to our identity. You can see when we have the players on board, how we can play to our philosophy. Some of them are not even fit, or match fit.
     
    "I have said the whole year. When the players are fit, we can play good football and have a good performance against the best team in the world.
     
    "Always, when you have a local rivalry, it's much more important when you play against the other team from the city. But for us, it was not about this, it was more to prove a point after such a tough year.

    "With so many setbacks, the team showed so much resilience, and I'm very proud of them."

  • 'Who knows what will happen?' - Celtic loanee Idah unsure of future after Scottish Cup matchwinner 'Who knows what will happen?' - Celtic loanee Idah unsure of future after Scottish Cup matchwinner

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    Substitute Idah reacted quickest in the 90th minute, with the final goalless and seemingly heading for extra-time, pouncing on the loose ball to slot away the rebound after Jack Butland could only parry Paulo Bernardo's fierce strike.

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    Atletico, who had already secured fourth place and a spot in next season's Champions League, finished the season on 76 points, 11 ahead of Athletic Bilbao in fifth.

    Meanwhile, sixth-placed La Real have qualified for the Europa League.

    Runaway champions Real Madrid are top of the standings on 94 points, 12 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona and 13 clear of Girona in third.

    Atletico took the lead in the ninth minute after Marcos Llorente burst up the right wing and delivered a low cross to the far post for Lino, who netted with a tidy finish past Alex Remiro.

    Remiro and Atletico's keeper Jan Oblak made several saves before Atletico were reduced to 10 men after Saul Niguez was shown a second yellow card in the 92nd minute.

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    Data debrief

    Diego Simeone's men ended the campaign with four wins in their last five league outings, and their performance was very much worth the three points against La Real.

    Atletico accumulated 2.31 xG (expected goals) to the hosts' 0.59, scoring their 10th and 11th goals in their last six matches to end the season on a high.

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