EPL

Premier League data dive: Arsenal's set-piece setback, Tottenham hunted by Foxes

By Sports Desk February 11, 2023

Arsenal dropped points in the title race on a busy Saturday in the Premier League, denied by an Ivan Toney equaliser as Brentford drew 1-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Mikel Arteta's had a better day of it than north London rivals Tottenham, though, as Spurs were thrashed 4-1 at Leicester City, despite taking an early lead.

Elsewhere, Chelsea were denied a win at West Ham after Emerson Palmieri equalised Joao Felix's first goal of his loan spell from Atletico Madrid.

Southampton's woes continued as they were beaten 2-1 at home against Wolves, despite taking the lead and having a man advantage for over an hour after Mario Lemina was sent off for the visitors.

Newcastle United's run of draws continued as they were held 1-1 at Bournemouth, while Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion also could not be separated, and Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

Here, Stats Perform looks at Saturday's biggest games, with the guidance of Opta data.

West Ham 1-1 Chelsea: Blues struggle to handle Hammers

Graham Potter's Chelsea were left frustrated after a late claim for handball was denied at London Stadium, and this draw was the first in nine Premier League encounters between West Ham and Chelsea since a 0-0 in September 2018.

The Blues have drawn three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since February 2012, and remarkably, there were no shots on target in the second half from either side, being just the second Premier League match where that has occurred this season after Southampton v Nottingham Forest in January.

Emerson became the first former Chelsea player to score his first Premier League goal for a club against the Blues since Frank Lampard for Manchester City in September 2014.

On his return from suspension, Joao Felix became the 12th different player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League this season, with no side having had more in 2022-23 (excluding own goals), which perhaps is not a surprise when you consider the number of players they now have.

Arsenal 1-1 Brentford: Toney time dents Gunners' title push

It seemed like business as usual when Leandro Trossard gave the hosts the lead, but this ended up being the first time Arsenal had failed to win a Premier League home game in which they scored first since January 2022. They had won 10 in a row at Emirates Stadium when opening the scoring before this game.

Brentford showed great resilience and have now scored 15 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season, with no side netting more (including penalties).

That could also be something for Arsenal to work on, as each of the last three Premier League goals the league leaders have conceded have come from headers, despite not conceding any beforehand this season.

Only Harry Kane (nine) has found the net away from home more often in the Premier League this season than Brentford striker Toney (seven), whose equaliser broke Gunners hearts.

Leicester City 4-1 Tottenham: Lloris-less Spurs hammered by Foxes

A high-scoring game was hardly a shock at King Power Stadium. There have been 128 goals scored in 34 Premier League matches between Leicester and Tottenham, with the average of 3.8 per game the highest such ratio among fixtures to be played more than 20 times in the competition.

Spurs, who were without injured goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, have lost two of their last three away games in the Premier League (W1), conceding four goals in each defeat, having only lost two of their previous 14 such games beforehand (W7 D5). The other recent heavy loss was 4-2 at Manchester City.

Despite having a disappointing campaign so far, Leicester here became the first team in Premier League history to score three first-half goals in back-to-back matches when conceding first in each game, having also done so at Aston Villa last time out.

Leicester's James Maddison, who was linked with a move to Antonio Conte's Spurs this week, scored and had an assist. Maddison has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Premier League starts (seven goals, four assists), scoring in each of his last three league appearances against Spurs.

Southampton 1-2 Wolves: Jones under pressure as Saints lose to 10 men

Head coach Nathan Jones is not the first Jones to struggle at Southampton. Saints have lost five consecutive Premier League home games for the first time since April-August 1998, when they were under the leadership of Dave Jones.

Wolves fought from a goal and a man down to win against their favourite Premier League opposition, having won each of their last five meetings, the first time they have ever been victorious in five consecutive games against a specific opponent in the competition.

It is clear where a big problem lies for Saints, having only kept one clean sheet in their last 28 Premier League matches (1-0 v Bournemouth in October).

Jan Bednarek found his own net, again, and has now scored four own goals as a Southampton player in the Premier League; the joint-most of any player for the club in the competition, along with Jos Hooiveld.

Related items

  • One day and one game at a time is Arsenal focus in title race – Mikel Arteta One day and one game at a time is Arsenal focus in title race – Mikel Arteta

    Mikel Arteta insists title-chasing Arsenal are taking each game at a time as they head into their final seven matches of the Premier League season.

    The Gunners went into the weekend leading Liverpool on goal difference and sitting a point ahead of Manchester City.

    Arteta’s men, who drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Emirates on Tuesday, face Unai Emery’s Aston Villa on Sunday.

    “It is the only thing possible to look at one day and one game,” Arteta told a press conference on Friday.

    “It is the only thing that is possible because it’s the only thing that maintains your focus and determines the tasks that you have to do on the day, which is the only thing that you can control.”

    The title race is set to go down to the wire as Arsenal set their sights on securing the Premier League title for the first time since 2004.

    The north Londoners could find themselves knocked off top spot should Manchester City beat Luton and Liverpool pick up any points against Crystal Palace in the earlier fixtures.

    Arteta called for his team to focus on themselves going into Sunday’s clash at the Emirates.

    “We will know the results but we’ll still have our duty to win our game which is the only thing that we can control,” he added.

    “That’s happened a few times already and it’s going to happen again in the next few weeks, so we’ll just focus on what we can do.

    “It’s the most beautiful part of the season coming up right now and a very busy schedule. We’re going to have a really tough (game) against a really good side, and are we going to have to be really good to beat them.”

    Injury-stricken Villa have some notable absences with the likes of Matty Cash, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Boubacar Kamara ruled out of the tie.

    Arteta wants Arsenal to take advantage of their opponent’s poor fortunes.

    He said: “We always try to use things to our advantage. We don’t know what they are going to do and that’s nothing we can control. They still won last night and they are a really good side, so we know the danger and we know our strengths as well, and we’ll try to do what we have to do to win.”

  • Jurgen Klopp not worried about Liverpool legacy but wants fitting finale Jurgen Klopp not worried about Liverpool legacy but wants fitting finale

    Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is not worried about what his legacy at Liverpool might be – but he wants to end the season by giving fans something more to celebrate.

    As Klopp goes into the final weeks of his reign, having announced he will step down at the end of the season, Liverpool remain locked in a tight three-way fight at the top of the Premier League as they prepare for Sunday’s match against Crystal Palace.

    This season’s Carabao Cup is already in the cabinet, but their Europa League hopes took a potentially fatal blow in Thursday’s 3-0 home defeat against Atalanta in the first leg of their quarter-final tie – something Klopp wants to turn into a positive.

    “For me I’ve had enough parades and parties, it was never about that and it will never be (about that) but I would love to give the people the opportunity to celebrate something special and I think it would be right as well,” Klopp told Sky News.

    “I’m still happy we are still in that fight. I want to make sure we really go for it. Sometimes life and football are the same – you need a proper smash to realise why you do what you do and we got that smash and we will use it.”

    But asked what it would mean for his legacy, Klopp added: “I don’t care… would that make me a great manager? I never considered myself a great manager. Never, ever in my life.

    “I am surprised until this day that people see me that way, that’s 100 per cent true but I accept it that people see me like that.

    “What’s important is that the Liverpool people are happy with what we did that’s the only important thing…

    “On my gravestone, I don’t want, ‘here is one of the most successful managers on the planet’, you are still lying three feet under. No, not for me. I want to be remembered as somebody who helped people through life.”

    Klopp, 56, announced in January that he would step down at the end of the season, having said he was “running out of energy”, and plans a break from football.

    “There’s a few things (Klopp’s wife) Ulla told me – I have to learn cooking and a dance class,” he said. “I said you don’t want me to have a break because if I do that I will start working after four weeks again! I should learn cooking probably so I can at least make some breakfast or whatever.

    “This will be the first time in my life where I don’t have a real idea of what I will do and that’s exactly what I want.”

    Asked about his cooking repertoire, he added: “No. Hot water, tea, does that count? During Covid I did scrambled eggs but after that I forgot it again.

    “I was raised in the Black Forest with two sisters, the only reason I knew where the kitchen was because the smell came from there! I’m pretty useless in private life.”

    Before then, the popular Klopp can expect a big sendoff from Liverpool no matter how the final weeks of the campaign play out.

    He has one obvious selection for the soundtrack, and one more obscure choice.

    “It’s Liverpool so it would be The Beatles 100 per cent, they could easily choose the song because I love them all,” he said.

    “Actually, the band that is alive is Die Toten Hosen, the translation is The Dead Pants. It’s a punk rock band and the lead singer Campino is a good friend of mine and the biggest LFC supporter on the planet – that would be the biggest day of his life.

    “They sing in German so no one would understand but that’s fine.”

  • Rangers taking nothing for granted against Ross County Rangers taking nothing for granted against Ross County

    Philippe Clement recently learned about Rangers’ impressive record against Ross County but is still anticipating a tough challenge in Dingwall on Sunday.

    In 24 meetings between the two clubs, the Light Blues have won 20 with four games drawn, three of which came in the 2016/17 campaign with the most recent in January 2022, when the Staggies’ Matthew Wright scored a stoppage-time equaliser for a 3-3 draw.

    The two cinch Premiership clashes this season ended with a 2-0 away win for Rangers last August when Michael Beale was still Gers boss before he was replaced by the Belgian in October, and a 3-1 win for the Govan side at Ibrox in February.

    However, Clement will not pay too much attention to the past and said: “I read from their manager that they are super-motivated and want to do something special.

    “It is always the case that we have respect for every opponent.

    “They played a good game at Ibrox also. We know we need to play a good game to get the three points. We are focused on that now.”

    Clement admits preparations have had to change this week after Wednesday night’s game against Dundee at Dens Park was postponed for a second time.

    Referee Don Robertson deemed the waterlogged pitch unplayable following a second inspection of the day at 3.30pm.

    The first cancellation came last month, 90 minutes before the scheduled kick-off, and the game will be played next Wednesday night on Tayside, although it could be moved to a neutral venue if the weather is again a problem.

    Clement said: “We had to change plans. It is a different preparation but no excuse towards the game on Sunday.

    “I am not somebody who wants to have excuses if we need to change plans.

    “We always adapt to the situation but, of course, if I see things that are not normal I will speak about it.

    “I will always adapt to win games with my team, whatever decisions are made we go to win games. That is the mindset. No excuses around that

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.