EPL

De Bruyne becomes fifth player to reach 100 Premier League assists

By Sports Desk April 08, 2023

Kevin De Bruyne became only the fifth player to reach 100 Premier League assists when he set up Manchester City's opener in their away match at Southampton on Saturday.

De Bruyne's teasing cross was headed home by Erling Haaland, taking him up to a century of assists.

The Belgium international is the quickest to reach that landmark, doing so in just 237 games, with Cesc Fabregas the next fastest having produced 100 in 293 appearances, while Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are the three other players to have reached three figures.

All but one of De Bruyne's assists were in a City shirt, with the other coming during his time with Chelsea, who he played for between 2012 and 2014 before returning to the Premier League with the City in 2015 after a spell with Wolfsburg.

The playmaker could move further up the all-time assists charts before the end of the season, with Lampard on 102 and Rooney on 103 in his sights.

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  • Stones backs Foden to be Euro 2024 player of the tournament Stones backs Foden to be Euro 2024 player of the tournament

    Phil Foden could be the Euro 2024 player of the tournament, according to England and Manchester City team-mate John Stones.

    Foden scored 19 league goals and added eight assists this season as he lifted a sixth Premier League title with City at the age of just 24.

    His efforts saw him named Premier League and Manchester City player of the year, and he now turns his attention to international football as England head to Germany looking to claim a first major tournament victory since winning the World Cup in 1966.

    Stones has full confidence in his national and club team-mate's ability to play a crucial role for the Three Lions in Germany.

    When asked if Foden could end up winning player of the tournament honours at the Euros, Stones told reporters: "Yes. I'm biased, [but] I think he's absolutely incredible.

    "First how he plays the game, so silky playing like he's in the park.

    "I feel like he has brought so much to his game, goals, maturity, knowing of situations, his pressing.

    "This season has been incredible for him and I hope and I'm sure he will bring that to the tournament."

    Stones believes Foden is "100 per cent" among world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham and feels England's attacking prowess alongside Foden could somewhat take the pressure off him.

    "I think it probably suits Phil that maybe that [spotlight] is not all on him," Stones added. "We all know the quality that he's got, what he can bring and does for the team.

    "I think in these occasions, it's where it brings it out of you and maybe it's time to show the world what he can really do."

    Kieran Trippier echoed his fellow Three Lions defender's sentiments on Foden, saying: "To be honest with you, I can't pick out individuals, because everybody has been quality, but obviously Phil Foden is Phil Foden. He's always one of my favourite players.

    "With Phil, I could walk back into the camp and he's got a ball at his feet. He's obsessed with football.

    "Everybody sees him on the pitch, but what people don't see in training is his vision, his technique, and his ability is frightening."

  • Euro 2024 data dive: Rampant Germany claim biggest European Championships win Euro 2024 data dive: Rampant Germany claim biggest European Championships win

    Scotland were no match for Germany as the rampant Euro 2024 hosts made a dream start to the tournament on Friday.

    Florian Wirtz got the ball rolling in the 10th minute, becoming the youngest scorer of an opening goal at the European Championships in the tournament's history.

    The excellent Jamal Musiala soon made it 2-0, rifling home after he was set up by Kai Havertz inside the area.

    In Wirtz (21 years, 42 days) and Musiala (21 years, 109 days), Germany became the first team in European Championship history to have two players aged 21 or younger score in the same match.

    Havertz turned scorer when he slotted in from the penalty spot before half-time, with Scotland defender Ryan Porteous seeing red for a lunge on Ilkay Gundogan, after a VAR review.

    Porteous became the second Scottish player sent off at a major tournament, after Craig Burley in the 1998 World Cup against Morocco.

    It is the first time a player has been sent off in the opening game of the Euros since 2012, when both Sokratis (Greece) and Wojciech Szczesny (Poland) were dismissed in a 1-1 draw.

    Havertz's successfully converted spot-kick also ensured Germany went in at half-time 3-0 up – it is just the third time in European Championship history a team has scored three goals in the first half of a game, along with France vs Belgium in 1984 (3-0 at half-time) and France vs Iceland in 2016 (4-0 at half-time).

    Germany made their numerical advantage count to go on and secure the biggest win by a host nation in their opening match at a European Championship tournament, and their biggest victory ever at the Euros, with an own goal from Antonio Rudiger the only negative.

    Indeed, that own goal was kind to Scotland, who had only one shot, which they failed to get on target, and mustered an xG of only 0.01, in comparison to Germany's 2.17.

    It marks the first time Scotland have failed to have a shot on target in a major tournament match since 1992, when they faced the Netherlands in the Euros.

    Steve Clarke's team put in a sorry performance, and must now pick themselves up to face Switzerland. They will go into that match on Wednesday on the back of suffering their heaviest defeat at a major tournament since they lost 7-0 to Uruguay at the 1954 World Cup.

    Germany, meanwhile, already have one foot in the knockouts, and could get the job done by beating Hungary.

    Musiala really was sensational, completing five of his eight dribble attempts while also having six touches in the opponent's box – four more than Scotland managed altogether.

    And finally, this match was the first match in European Championship history to see a red card, a penalty scored and an own goal scored.

    Euro 2024 has started in style, even if Scotland fans will be in a hurry to forget this result.

  • Nagelsmann hails Germany for handling pressure, admits surprise at Scotland's slow start Nagelsmann hails Germany for handling pressure, admits surprise at Scotland's slow start

    Julian Nagelsmann hailed his Germany players for the way they handled the pressure of being Euro 2024 hosts in their 5-1 win over Scotland, adding he was surprised by the lack of aggression on show from Steve Clarke's men.

    Germany recorded the biggest opening-game win at a European Championship, with Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Fullkrug and Emre Can scoring.

    The result made Nagelsmann just the second coach to win his first Euros game by four or more goals, after Sweden's Lars Lagerback in 2004 (5-0 versus Bulgaria).

    It was also Germany's biggest victory at the Euros, and the first time Scotland had conceded five or more goals in a competitive game since they were trounced 6-0 by the Netherlands in a Euro 2004 qualifier 21 years ago.

    Germany endured a troubled build-up to their home tournament, with Nagelsmann only having eight games to prepare after Hansi Flick was sacked last year.

    He believes they did an excellent job of handling the pressure that comes with a home opener, telling ITV Sport: "I'm happy, I'm satisfied. 

    "In the first game as the home country… we looked back at the first games of the last tournaments and there can be a kind of pressure.

     

    "Especially in the first 20 minutes, we were brilliant, we had great ball possession and great counter-pressing. 

    "I was happy with the performance and we stayed focused for the whole game.

    "We conceded one goal, but in the end it's okay. Our players were complaining about conceding that goal, which is a good sign when we were already four goals in the lead."

    Scotland did not attempt a single shot on target and failed to register an effort of any kind until Scott McKenna forced an own goal off Antonio Rudiger in the 87th minute.

    Nagelsmann admits he was expecting more from Clarke's team, who found themselves three goals and a man down by half-time as Ryan Porteous was sent off for a horror challenge on Ilkay Gundogan. 

     

    "I was kind of surprised that Scotland weren't that aggressive in the first 20 minutes," Nagelsmann said.

    "I think they were surprised by our possession, which was really concentrated. They started the game very well and made one mistake in the first 15 minutes.

    "Then they were kind of surprised, kind of afraid. They felt we had players in the offensive row that could score goals so they defended low. 

    "They didn't make the high pressure like they sometimes did in the qualifiers. I think the first 20 minutes were the key to the game."

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