EPL

Premier League data dive: Mane's Anfield half-century, Grealish off the mark in another Man City rout

By Sports Desk August 21, 2021

Liverpool went top of the Premier League after a Sadio Mane landmark goal helped the Reds sink Burnley.

The Senegal forward struck for the 50th time at Anfield in the competition, becoming just the fifth Reds star to do so in the Premier League era, as Liverpool swept to a 2-0 win.

Danny Ings joined notable company as he scored a stunning goal in Aston Villa's victory over Newcastle United, while Manchester City hit five goals in a game, which is becoming almost routine for Pep Guardiola's champions.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across four of Saturday's standout fixtures.

Liverpool 2-0 Burnley: Mane joins Salah in Anfield 50-goal club

Mane's clincher against Burnley was his 50th Premier League goal at home for Liverpool. The only players to have achieved that feat previously have been Robbie Fowler (85 goals), Steven Gerrard (69), Michael Owen (63) and Mane's team-mate Mohamed Salah (56).

Given their strong finish last term, Jurgen Klopp's team have won each of their past seven Premier League games now. That is as many victories as they enjoyed in their previous 20 games in the competition (D5 L8) and their longest winning streak in the league since a run of 18 ending in February 2020. Their run of fourth clean sheets in the league is their longest since a run of seven between December 2019 and January 2020.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's assist for Mane was the ninth time he has teed up a goal for the former Southampton man, four more than he has for any other Liverpool player.

Virgil van Dijk made his 48th home Premier League appearance with Liverpool and has lost none of those games (W43 D5), with the team's dip last season coming in his injury-enforced absence. Only Lee Sharpe has played more home games for one club in the competition without losing any of them (59 with Manchester United).

As Liverpool celebrated, Burnley were left to lick their wounds after losing five games in a row in the Premier League for the first time, last doing so in any division in the 2008-09 Championship campaign. The Clarets have lost 11 of their 15 Premier League matches against Liverpool (W2 D2), more defeats than they have suffered against any other side in the competition (losing 10 against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City).

Manchester City 5-0 Norwich City: A first for City, but a familiar outcome

For the first time in Manchester City's 25 Premier League campaigns, their opening goal of the season was an own goal, Tim Krul the unlucky man.

But if that was irregular, the final outcome surely surprised very few as the champions put the promoted Canaries to the sword.

Since Pep Guardiola joined Manchester City ahead of the 2016-17 season, there have been 49 Premier League games won by a margin of five or more goals, and the Catalan's team have been responsible for 23 of these (47 per cent).

City have now won their past four home league games against Norwich by an aggregate score of 19-1 since a 3-2 reverse in May 2013.

Jack Grealish became the first English player to score on his home Premier League debut for City since Frank Lampard netted against Chelsea in September 2014, while there was a collector's item from Aymeric Laporte. The defender scored his ninth goal for City in all competitions, but it was his first to come at the Etihad Stadium.

Norwich have had a brutal start, with a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool followed by the torture of City away. In Premier League history, only Leicester City in 2001-02 (-9) and Wigan Athletic in 2010-11 (-10) have ever had a worse goal difference from their opening two games of a season than Norwich's current -8.

Given their awful finish to the 2019-20 season, Norwich have now lost 12 consecutive Premier League games, the outright second-longest losing streak in the competition’s history, behind only Sunderland’s run of 20 from 2003 to 2005.


Aston Villa 2-0 Newcastle United: Diamond Ings shows his class

Former Southampton frontman Ings is looking like a smart signing by Villa already, and his bicycle kick that stunned Newcastle was a special goal.

Going back to last season with Saints, it means he has been directly involved in seven goals in his past eight Premier League starts, scoring six and assisting one. Ings also became just the fourth player to score in his first two Premier League appearances for Villa, after Dalian Atkinson in 1992, Dion Dublin in 1998 and Ross Barkley in 2020.

Villa have not lost in seven top-flight games in a row against Newcastle (W3 D4), doing so for the first time since a run of seven victories between 1955 and 1958.

The Magpies are having a tough time of it again, having lost their first two games of a league campaign for the fourth time in the past six seasons, after winning or drawing at least one of their first two fixtures in each of the 16 campaigns before that.

Their slow starts in the Premier League are becoming habitual and problematic, with Newcastle having won just two of their past 19 Premier League games in August (D6 L11), beating West Ham at home in 2017 and Tottenham away in 2019.

Leeds United 2-2 Everton: Toffees extend Premier League scoreline record

This was Everton's 70th 2-2 draw in Premier League history, and they have contested at least 15 more matches with that outcome than any other side in the competition.

If that was an all too familiar outcome, there was a first occurrence of note for the Toffees, too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin's opener was his 55th goal in all competitions for Everton, but his first scored from the penalty spot for the team who are now bossed by Rafael Benitez.

Demarai Gray scored his first Premier League goal for Everton, becoming the 34th different player to score both for and against the Toffees in the competition. Only West Ham (46), Aston Villa (42) and Liverpool (39) have had more players score for and against them in the competition.

Mateusz Klich and Raphinha earned a point for Leeds. Klich has now scored two goals in his past three Premier League games for Leeds, more than he had in his previous 32 (one). Klich has now scored five Premier League goals in total, as many as all other Polish players in the competition combined.

Since the start of last season, only Patrick Bamford (17 goals, eight assists) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Leeds United than Raphinha (seven goals, nine assists).

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  • Xavi: Undeserved win will give Barcelona big morale boost Xavi: Undeserved win will give Barcelona big morale boost

    Xavi believes Barcelona's 3-1 win over Villarreal will give his players a morale boost despite acknowledging their performance did not warrant all three points.

    The former Barca midfielder oversaw a 1-0 win over Espanyol last weekend after taking over the reins from Ronald Koeman, but it looked like he would be denied another victory on Saturday when Samuel Chukwueze cancelled out Frenkie de Jong's opener.

    Memphis Depay came to Barca's rescue, though, with a vital goal in the 88th minute, before Philippe Coutinho added a third from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

    Not only was it Barca's first away win in LaLiga this season, it was also the first time they have won back-to-back games in the competition this term.

    The win over Espanyol was followed by a 0-0 draw with Benfica in the Champions League in midweek, and Xavi says the victory at La Ceramica was comfortably the worst his side has played across his first three games in charge.

    "It was very even, Villarreal is a great team," he told a media conference. "Of the three games that I have played, it is the one that we have dominated the least and the one that we least deserved to win.

    "Today could have ended up as a draw and instead we are leaving with a victory. That is tremendous and gives us a lot of morale.

    "It is a spectacular victory that gives us a lot of morale to continue growing. This victory gives us life.

    "That game was the minimum required. Belief, attitude, respect for the badge, and hard work; they are the foundations of a team. Today was a victory of team spirit. When we do not play well, we also have to win. We are Barca."

     

    Both sides had cause to be frustrated with the officials during a chaotic opening 10 minutes. 

    Villarreal midfielder Dani Parejo was fortunate to escape a red card for a shocking early challenge on Sergio Busquets, while Gerard Pique went unpunished for a blatant handball in the penalty area soon after. 

    Xavi refused to criticise the officials, though, adding: "In the end, I will not talk about the referees. It is a very difficult job and I will not put myself into it.

    "In the end, it is the referee who decides. One day he can help you and another day harm you. It is difficult to be a referee."

    Jordi Alba was replaced by Oscar Mingueza in the 71st minute after sustaining an injury, with Xavi revealing the full-back fought through the pain barrier to continue. 

    "At half-time it looked like he could not continue, but he has made a brutal effort to carry on," the Barca boss said. "He is an example; he is one of the captains, and he is pushing us forward. Jordi has made an effort until he couldn't take any more."

  • Premier League data dive: Liverpool thump Southampton, Arsenal cruise past sorry Newcastle Premier League data dive: Liverpool thump Southampton, Arsenal cruise past sorry Newcastle

    Liverpool were in typically ruthless form on Saturday as they brushed aside Southampton 4-0 at Anfield.

    The result meant Jurgen Klopp's men became just the second English top-flight team to score two or more goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions, after Sunderland in 1927.

    Elsewhere, rock-bottom Newcastle United's winless start to the Premier League season continued as they were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

    Steven Gerrard secured his second consecutive win since taking over as Aston Villa boss, with his side sealing a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace.

    Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United played out a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium, as did Norwich City and Wolves at Carrow Road.

    Here, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday's Opta facts…


    Liverpool 4-0 Southampton:Jota at the double for rampant Reds

    Liverpool have now scored 39 goals in their 13 Premier League games this season – their highest total at this stage of a top-flight campaign.

    Diogo Jota got them on the way with their earliest goal in the Premier League (one minute and 37 seconds) since Naby Keita netted against Huddersfield Town in April 2019 (15 seconds).

    Another from Jota and a strike from Thiago Alcantara put Liverpool 3-0 up at the break, before Virgil van Dijk rounded off the scoring early in the second half.

    Netherlands international Van Dijk's goal was created by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who earned his 40th Premier League assist. Only Wayne Rooney (22 years and 200 days) and Cesc Fabregas (21y 188d) have reached such an assists total in the competition at a younger age than the Liverpool right-back (23y 51d).

    Salah reached 150 Premier League goal involvements by setting up Jota's second, reaching that total (108 goals, 42 assists) in just 171 games. Only Alan Shearer (148 games) and Thierry Henry (163) have got there in fewer games.

    Southampton, meanwhile, have lost more away games (14) and conceded more away goals (47) than any other side in the Premier League side this calendar year.


     

    Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United: Gunners cruise against Howe's beleaguered men

    The Gunners continued their fine home form under Mikel Arteta with a routine win against Eddie Howe's struggling side.

    Since Arteta's first home game in charge in December 2019, only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have won more points at home in the Premier League than Arsenal (67).

    Bukayo Saka got them on their way before Gabriel Martinelli added a second just 93 seconds after coming on as a substitute. It was just Martinelli's second Premier League goal at the Emirates Stadium and his first since January 2020 against Sheffield United.

    The Magpies, meanwhile, became the sixth different team to fail to win any of their opening 13 games to a Premier League season, with four of the previous five sides suffering relegation (only Derby County in 2000-01 survived).

    Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa: Gerrard's winning start continues

    This victory meant former Rangers boss Gerrard became only the second manager to win his first two Premier League games in charge of Villa, after John Gregory in February-March 1998.

    Matt Targett scored the opener for Villa with his first Premier League goal in his last 75 appearances in the competition, the full-back having not netted since getting a late winner against Brighton in October 2019.

    John McGinn then added a second, the Scotland international already equalling his best goal tally for a full Premier League season (three in both 2020-21 and 2019-20).

    Marc Guehi pulled one back in stoppage time, but it was too late to prevent the Eagles suffering a first defeat in their last eight Premier League games (W2 D5), since a 3-0 away loss to Liverpool in September.

    Norwich City 0-0 Wolves: Smith maintains unbeaten start

    Dean Smith followed up a win in his first game in charge of the Canaries last weekend with a hard-fought point at home.

    Norwich have now taken seven points from their last three Premier League games (W2 D1), more than they had in their previous 25 in the competition (W1 D3 L21).

    The Canaries have also kept two clean sheets in their last four Premier League home games – as many as in their previous 26 at Carrow Road in the competition.

    It is perhaps no surprise they could not find a way past Wolves, with only Chelsea (five) and Liverpool (four) keeping more away clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Bruno Lage's men (three).

  • Palmeiras 2-1 Flamengo (aet): Deyverson the hero in Copa Libertadores title defence Palmeiras 2-1 Flamengo (aet): Deyverson the hero in Copa Libertadores title defence

    Palmeiras successfully defended their Copa Libertadores crown as they battled to a 2-1 extra-time win over Flamengo.

    The Brazilian sides were both bidding for their third Libertadores title in Montevideo on Saturday, and it was Palmeiras who came out on top to become the first side to win the tournament in successive seasons since Boca Juniors did so in 2000 and 2001.

    Palmeiras made a flying start, with Raphael Veiga scoring the earliest goal in a Libertadores final since 2008, but at the stadium where they won their maiden title in 1981, Flamengo's second-half dominance was rewarded when Gabriel Barbosa restored parity.

    Having scored early in regulation time, Palmeiras repeated the feat in the additional period – substitute Deyverson proving their hero.

    Veiga's fifth-minute opener was wonderfully worked, with Mayke getting to the byline and cutting it back for the onrushing midfielder to finish first time.

    Aiming to repeat the feat of rivals Corinthians, who are still the only team to win the title while going undefeated in the current format of the tournament, 2019 champions Flamengo would then have equalised if not for the reactions of Weverton, who denied Giorgian de Arrascaeta from point-blank range.

    After squandering a golden chance to head in from close range, Gabi, Flamengo's hero in 2019, atoned for his miss with a drilled strike in the 72nd minute, catching Weverton out at his near post with unerring accuracy, becoming the first player to score 11 goals in a Libertadores campaign.

    Yet a lapse in concentration from Andreas Pereira cost Flamengo five minutes into extra time. Having replaced Veiga, Deyverson pounced on the Manchester United loanee's loose touch and squeezed a finish past Diego Alves to etch Palmeiras' name on the trophy.

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