EPL

Premier League data dive: Liverpool and Chelsea inseparable again as Everton dealt hammer blow

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

Liverpool and Chelsea failed to find a cure for their January blues as the out-of-form giants played out a goalless draw in Saturday's headline Premier League clash at Anfield.

While Graham Potter's visitors went close through £89million signing Mykhaylo Mudryk, the contest offered a stark reminder of why both teams are marooned in mid-table, though there was plenty of intrigue to be found elsewhere. 

While Champions League-chasing Newcastle United failed to make further inroads in a stalemate of their own at Crystal Palace, it was a day of contrasting fortunes at the bottom.

West Ham clinched a huge win over Everton as Leicester City were pegged back by Brighton and Hove Albion, leaving both Frank Lampard and Brendan Rodgers under severe pressure.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the most interesting facts to emerge from Saturday's Premier League action.

Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea: Reds and Blues fire another blank 

Fans of Liverpool and Chelsea have become accustomed to goalless draws when their sides meet. Saturday's game represented the third consecutive fixture between the teams to finish 0-0.

Liverpool have only recorded a longer such run against an opponent once in their history, playing out four successive 0-0 draws with Everton in 1974 and 1975. Chelsea have never done so.

Jurgen Klopp would have been hoping to see Cody Gakpo hit the ground running when he arrived from PSV earlier this month, but the Netherlands international disappointed once again at Anfield – since his Reds debut on January 7, no Premier League player has had more shots without scoring in all competitions than Gakpo's 12.

While Potter has now overseen 16 goalless draws since making his Premier League bow in the 2019-20 season, at least twice as many as any other manager in that time, Klopp was left to curse the identity of Liverpool's opponents on a landmark occasion.

The German has now completed 1,000 games as a manager – 411 with Liverpool, 319 with Borussia Dortmund and 270 with Mainz. However, 10 of his 20 career meetings with Chelsea have been drawn, more than against any other side.

Leicester City 2-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Foxes denied by in-form Ferguson

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester looked to be on course for a crucial victory when goals from Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes put them on top following Kaoru Mitoma's stunning opener.

Barnes has scored more Premier League goals (seven) in 18 appearances this season than he did in 32 games last term (six), but the winger was to be outdone at the death as Evan Ferguson headed a late leveller for Brighton.

With three goals and two assists in his five Premier League appearances, Ferguson is averaging a goal involvement every 40 minutes in the competition – the best ratio among players to have played at least 90 minutes this term. 

The result leaves Leicester boss Rodgers facing mounting pressure, with the Foxes winless in their last five league games (W1, D4) after winning five of their previous eight.

West Ham 2-0 Everton: Bowen at the double as Lampard's woes deepen

At the London Stadium, West Ham struck a huge blow in the battle to avoid the drop, ending a run of seven league matches without a win (D1, L6) as Jarrod Bowen's brace sunk Everton.

The England international was on hand for two close-range finishes before the interval as the Hammers escaped the relegation zone. With 21 goals at the venue, Bowen is now level with Michail Antonio as the joint-top scorer at the London Stadium.

Everton, however, are in crisis mode after collecting just 15 points from their first 20 games of the season. Accounting for three points per win across all seasons, this is the Toffees' worst return at this point of a campaign in their history.

Their run of eight league games without a win (D2, L6) is the longest of Lampard's managerial career, casting further doubt on his future at Goodison Park.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle United: Magpies showcase solidity at Selhurst Park

Newcastle's failure to make the breakthrough against Crystal Palace will not have pleased Eddie Howe, but a sixth consecutive Premier League clean sheet demonstrated the solid streak which has put them in top-four contention.

The Magpies' run of six successive shutouts is the longest managed by a Premier League side under an English manager since Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough went seven games without conceding in the 2003-04 campaign.

Meanwhile, Newcastle's sequence of 15 games without defeat in the Premier League (W9, D6) is now the longest in their top-flight history.

Having also drawn 0-0 in the return fixture at St James' Park in September, Palace and Newcastle have attempted 64 shots between them without scoring in their two Premier League meetings this term – the most of any two sides in a single season on record (since 2003-04).

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    Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in Sunday's final to land a record-extending 10th Australian Open title and draw level with Rafael Nadal on 22 grand slams.

    The 35-year-old resisted a fightback from Tsitsipas by saving a set point in the second set on his way to a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) victory at Rod Laver Arena as he made it 10 wins from 10 Melbourne finals.

    Djokovic, who was blocked from defending his crown last year after being deported from the country over his COVID-19 vaccination status, dropped just one set across his seven matches and has now won 28 matches in a row in his favourite tournament.

    The Serbian consequently reclaims the world number one spot, as well as equalling Nadal for the most singles slams won by a male player.

    Tsitsipas was aiming to become the 27th male singles champion in the opening major of the year, but he was under relentless pressure right from the off and a double fault in the fourth game handed his opponent the first break of serve.

    Djokovic, backed by a crowd that occasionally became too vociferous amid warnings from the umpire, served out the opening set with relative ease and continued to trouble Tsitsipas with some strong serving in the second set.

    World number four Tsitsipas slowly grew in confidence and, after a string of unforced errors from Djokovic – who exchanged some strong words with coach Goran Ivanisevic – he forced set point.

    But an excellent forehand winner from Djokovic prevented Tsitsipas from levelling up the match, and the Serbian went on to edge the tie-break in what was a big moment in the contest.

    He had the occasional blip, with Tsitsipas earning his first break of serve in the opening game of the third set, but Djokovic responded instantly with another backhand winner to level up.

    There was little to separate the two in the next 10 games as another set went the distance, and once again it was Djokovic who held his nerve in an entertaining tie-break to wrap up the victory in a time of two hours and 56 minutes.

  • Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing Chelsea continue spending spree with Gusto signing

    Chelsea have continued their January spending spree with the signing of right-back Malo Gusto from Lyon.

    The France Under-21 international has signed a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but he will spend the remainder of the 2022-23 season on loan at Lyon.

    Gusto, who has made 54 appearances for Lyon since making his debut in January 2021, is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial £26.3million (€29.9m) plus various add-ons.

    He becomes Chelsea's seventh signing of the window following the arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, the latter joining on loan from Atletico Madrid.

    The 19-year-old attacking full-back will provide long-term competition and cover for Reece James, who has missed the majority of this season through injury. 

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  • Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought

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    United beat Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Wednesday's 3-0 first-leg win over Nottingham Forest means they are all but assured of a place in the EFL Cup final.

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    "I don't complain," he told reporters. "We know what the fixture schedule is; we have to deal with this.

    "At clubs we have to set squads and squads are big enough to deal with it and I think players like to play.

    "You can build and construct a good team when you play often and, in my perspective, when you play often the same you are getting the routines in."

    Ten Hag surprised many by naming a strong starting line-up against Championship side Reading, with Harry Maguire coming into the side as the only change from the Forest match, which followed on from a 3-2 league loss at Arsenal.

    "If you see everything in the perspective of the result, after a defeat we've bounced back," Ten Hag said. "I was happy with the performance at Arsenal, but we made mistakes.

    "We have to work on those mistakes but now twice we have had good performances and two good results."

    Casemiro's second-half double and a neat finish from Fred earned United victory over Reading, who had Andy Carroll sent off but pulled one back through Amadou Salif Mbengue.

    United lost key midfielder Christian Eriksen to injury prior to the hour mark, but Ten Hag says it is too early to determine if the Denmark international is going to spend any time on the sidelines.

    "It's always difficult to say in this moment so short after the game has finished," he said.

    "But it's an ankle [problem]. We have to see what the diagnosis is, so it will be a minimum of 24 hours before we know that and then I can say more."

    United are back in action on Wednesday with the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Forest, before returning to league action at home to Crystal Palace next weekend.

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