EPL

Premier League data dive: Arsenal comeback an 11-year first after Man City continue Newcastle subjugation

By Sports Desk March 04, 2023

To say it's "as you were" in the Premier League's title race after Saturday's action wouldn't be doing Arsenal justice.

A brilliant turnaround against Bournemouth saw them answer Manchester City's earlier statement, a 2-0 win over a Newcastle United side who find themselves in a real rut.

Arsenal's lead at the summit somehow – we'll get there – remains five points, and the nature of their victory will surely prove a massive boost.

Also on Saturday, Graham Potter eased the pressure on him ever so slightly, though the same cannot be said for David Moyes.

Stats Perform has delved into the Opta data from the pick of the day's action.

Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth: Title tilt still on track as Gunners respond to Cherries' incredible start

If Arsenal go on to win the Premier League title, fans will probably look back on this game as absolutely vital.

Bournemouth opened the scoring through Phillip Billing after just 9.11 seconds, making it the second-fasted Premier League goal of all time, and Marcos Senesi made it 2-0 in the second half.

The Gunners appeared to be heading for a shocking home defeat, but their response was exceptional – and dramatic.

Thomas Partey and Ben White scored in an eight-minute spell to restore parity, and for a while that looked to be the best Arsenal could muster.

But with 96 minutes and 57 seconds on the clock, Reiss Nelson's brilliant left-footed strike from just inside the box completed the turnaround with Arsenal's second-latest league winner on record (since 2006-07).

It ensured Arsenal won a league game after finding themselves at least two goals down for the first time since February 2012 – the mentality of champions?

Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 West Ham: Homesick Hammers crushed with Moyes running out of time

There is little to be optimistic about at the moment for West Ham and David Moyes, with Saturday's one-sided defeat to Brighton seeing them plumb new depths.

Alexis Mac Allister got the scoring started from the spot, making it four out of four from the spot this season for the Argentina international – no one in the Premier League has a better 100 per cent record.

Joel Veltman then chested over the line to make it 2-0, before the tremendous Kaoru Mitoma knocked in from Pascal Gross' cross to tally his 11th goal involvement (eight goals, three assists) of the season, which is bettered only by his German colleague among Brighton players.

Danny Welbeck's seventh goal against West Ham – making them his favourite opposition – wrapped things up.

Defeat stretched West Ham's winless streak on the road in the league to 11, their longest dry spell away from home since December 2014-May 2015 (12 matches).

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Magpies unable to end champions' record run

Newcastle have endured a difficult start to 2023 – after initially looking destined for the top four, their chances of being in the Champions League next season are dwindling.

Having lost to Manchester United in last weekend's EFL Cup final, Eddie Howe had to try and inspire a response in a fixture that has long brought Newcastle misery.

Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva got City's goals, the first coming after a solo run and the second a clever poked finish from the Portugal international.

Those efforts sealed City's 14th successive Premier League home win over Newcastle, a run that no team has ever bettered against a single opponent in the competition.

That is now one win in their past 31 clashes with City for Newcastle, having emerged victorious from seven of their first 15.

Newcastle's failure here saw them lose three in a row for the first time under Howe, their inability to score allowing Ederson to keep his 100th Premier League clean sheet in his 208th appearance – only Petr Cech (180 games) and Pepe Reina (198 games) reached that milestone quicker.

Chelsea 1-0 Leeds United: Blues lacking magic but rare win a boost to Potter

It's going to take more than a slender victory over struggling Leeds for Graham Potter to win over his critics, but every turnaround has to start somewhere.

Once again, goals proved difficult to come by for Chelsea's attackers, with French defender Wesley Fofana heading in the decisive goal – his first in the Premier League.

But at this point Potter will not care where the goals come from as long as Chelsea get wins on the board.

Leeds were unable to provide a response, meaning Chelsea held on for only their second win from 12 games across all competitions in 2023 and their first since beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in January, ending a six-game winless run.

Saturday's visitors have taken only six points from away games this season, however, a joint-Premier League low, so it cannot be considered much of a statement from Chelsea.

Related items

  • Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph

    Daniil Medvedev staved off a Dominik Koepfer fightback to record a battling victory in the French Open first round on Monday.

    The world number five raced out the blocks on Court Simonne-Mathieu and eventually triumphed 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-3 in Paris.

    Medvedev, a five-time major runner-up and 2021 US Open champion, broke Koepfer's first service game in the French capital with that a seeming sign of things to come.

    Though the 28-year-old dropped his serve in the first set, Medvedev had little trouble in responding with the score finely poised at 3-2 to claim first blood at Roland-Garros.

    The fifth seed has only ever gone as far as the quarter-finals, three years ago, at the French Open but showed his clinical best to snatch the second set after holding all six service games for a narrow triumph.

    World number 65 Koepfer battled back in the third but the resilient Medvedev responded by breaking his German opponent early in the fourth set, finally securing victory in just over three hours.

    Data Debrief: Medvedev gets better of Koepfer again

    Medvedev has won all four of his meetings with Koepfer, with his most recent such victory seeing him reach the second round at Roland-Garros for the third time in eight attempts.

    Since the start of the 2021 season, Medvedev is 27-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only loss in that run coming against Seyboth Wild in the French Open first round last year.

    Koepfer, meanwhile, extends to 1-17 against top-10 players in his career, earning his only such victory against over Gael Monfils – then ranked ninth in the world – at the 2020 ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

  • Mitrovic clinches last-gasp success for Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal Mitrovic clinches last-gasp success for Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal

    Aleksandar Mitrovic produced a last-gasp winner for Al-Hilal as the Saudi Pro League champions signed off with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Al-Wedha on Monday.

    Jorge Jesus' side finished the league campaign unbeaten across the 34-game season, though needed late heroics from top scorer Mitrovic to snatch all three points.

    Mohamed Kanno opened the scoring for the visiting champions in the first half but Yahya Naji's second-half leveller pegged Al-Hilal back at King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium.

    Yet Mitrovic provided the decisive moment in the 92nd minute, converting a Mohammed Al Burayk assist for his 28th league goal of the season.

    The Serbia international ranks only behind Cristiano Ronaldo in this campaign's scoring charts, after the Al-Nassr forward claimed a piece of Saudi League history in a 4-2 victory over Al-Ittihad.

    Ronaldo moved past Abderrazak Hamdallah's 34-goal tally – in the 2018-19 season – after his deadly double took him to 35 strikes and broke the single-season scoring record in the competition.

    Victory for Al-Nassr means they finish second behind the impressive Al-Hilal, while Al-Ahli had already secured third in the standings before their 1-0 victory over Al-Fayha.

    Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game in that narrow triumph, finding the net after 85 minutes at Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium.

    At the other end of the table, Abha Club – who had Marcel Tisserand sent off late on – suffered heartbreak on the final day after losing 2-1 to bottom-placed Al-Hazem to seal their relegation.

    Ahmed Abdu opened the scoring to boost Abha's survival hopes but second-half goals from Muhammed Badamosi and Mohammed Al Thani proved their undoing.

    Al-Akhoud beat the drop after overcoming Al-Tai, who went down with Abha and Al-Hazem, 2-0 thanks to goals from Saviour Godwin and Leandre Tawamba at Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa'ed Stadium.

  • Al-Nassr 4-2 Al-Ittihad: Ronaldo breaks Saudi Pro League scoring record in final-day win Al-Nassr 4-2 Al-Ittihad: Ronaldo breaks Saudi Pro League scoring record in final-day win

    Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a piece of Saudi Pro League history after scoring twice in Al-Nassr's 4-2 final-day victory over 10-man Al-Ittihad on Monday.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was on target in either half at Al Awal Park, moving to 35 goals across the 2023-24 league campaign in Saudi Arabia.

    Ronaldo opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time after receiving a long ball from Mohammed Al-Fatil, before doubling his tally – and Al-Nassr's lead – with a header from Marcelo Brozovic's corner.

    That second finish after Suwailem Al Manhali was dismissed for the visitors saw Ronaldo eclipse Abderrazak Hamdallah's 34-goal tally – in the 2018-19 season – for the most strikes in a single campaign.

    Abdulrahman Ghareeb then added another from the penalty spot before Meshari Al Nemer made sure of three points after late goals from Farhah Al Shamrani and Fabinho had pulled Al-Ittihad back into contention.

    Having already been unable to stop Al-Hilal secure the title, Al-Nassr finish second in the table – ending on 82 points after 26 wins from the 34-match campaign.

    Data Debrief: Al-Nassr dominance pays off

    Much will be made of the record-breaking Ronaldo, who has scored 50 goals in as many games across all competitions this season.

    Yet Al-Nassr were dominant from the off in this one, mustering nine shots on target to Al-Ittihad's three, while accumulating 2.73 expected goals (xG) – far superior to the visitors' 1.43 xG.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.