EPL

Premier League data dive: Liverpool blow another two-goal lead, Dallas delivers on Leeds milestone

By Sports Desk January 02, 2022

The first heavyweight tussle of the new year in the Premier League did not disappoint as Chelsea and Liverpool played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were held at home for the fifth time in six league games, a run that includes three straight draws in the top flight for the first time since February 2016.

But Thomas Tuchel's side can be happy with a point after recovering from two goals down as they extended their unbeaten run against the Reds in the league to four matches.

While there was nothing to separate the sides sitting second and third, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United were all victorious on Sunday.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the Opta data from another eventful day in the Premier League.

Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool: Blues hit back after Salah strikes again

Sadio Mane opened the scoring in a Premier League game for the 37th time since joining Liverpool in 2016-17 – only Tottenham's Harry Kane (40) has done so on more occasions.

However, some will argue that Mane was fortunate to be on the field at that point after catching Cesar Azpilicueta with his elbow after just six seconds.

Mane was instead issued a yellow card with 15 seconds on the clock, making it the earliest booking in a Premier League game since Opta started recording such data in 2006-07, nine seconds faster than the previous quickest caution for Scott McTominay against Newcastle United in December 2019.

Mohamed Salah went on to double Liverpool's lead with his fourth league goal against Chelsea, which is the joint-most any player has scored against the Blues after playing for them, along with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne.

Chelsea responded brilliantly with two goals in the space of 245 seconds through a Mateo Kovacic stunner and Christian Pulisic's well-taken strike, ensuring they remain a point above their opponents having played a game more.

This was the fourth occasion in this season's Premier League that a side has failed to win a game in which they have led by two goals, with Liverpool accounting for two of those occasions, having also drawn 2-2 with Brighton in October.


Leeds United 3-1 Burnley: More Maxwell magic not enough

Leeds scored three times in a Premier League game for the first time this season on their way to ending a four-game run without a victory, putting distance between themselves and Burnley in the final relegation spot.

Previously with just one win to their name in the competition since the end of October, Jack Harrison squeezed home for Leeds to open the scoring at Elland Road before Maxwell Cornet equalised through Burnley's first direct free-kick goal since Boxing Day 2017.

That was Cornet's sixth Premier League goal in 10 appearances, the most by an African player in their first 10 games since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal in April 2018 (also six).

Stuart Dallas restored Leeds' advantage on his 250th appearance for the club in all competitions, becoming the first United player to reach that tally since Lucas Radebe in November 2003.

The much-needed victory was sealed by Daniel James in added time, meaning Leeds are unbeaten in 10 Premier League games against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (W8, D2) since returning to the top flight last season.

As for Burnley, they have now won just one of their last 20 Premier League matches and are winless in 11 on their travels, their worst such run on the road since 17 without a victory between August 2016 and April 2017.


Everton 2-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Mac Allister inspires soaring Seagulls

The highest-scoring game of the day in the Premier League took place at Goodison Park, where Everton suffered defeat in their opening league game of a calendar year for the fifth year running, their worst such streak since a run of seven between 1957 and 1963.

Brighton's opening goal via Alexis Mac Allister after two minutes and 43 seconds was the Seagulls' fastest-ever away from home in the competition, and their third-fastest overall.

Dan Burn doubled the visitors' lead on Merseyside, shortly before the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the 22nd different player to miss a Premier League penalty for the Toffees – only Arsenal (23) have more.

Anthony Gordon scored his first senior goal to give Everton a bit of hope, only for Mac Allister to register for a second time as Brighton moved to 27 points after 19 games – their joint-best return at this stage of a top-flight campaign alongside 1981-82.

It was another afternoon to forget for Rafael Benitez, however, with Everton having now picked up only 19 points from 18 games, which is their worst return at this stage since accruing 17 from 18 matches in 2005-06.

Brentford 2-1 Aston Villa: Bees bounce back again

Comeback experts Brentford hit back to beat Villa late on thanks to goals from Yoane Wissa and Mads Roerslev after Danny Ings had opened the scoring in west London.

Only West Ham (12) and Everton (11) have won more points from losing positions in the Premier League this term than Brentford, who have now recovered nine points in total.

That is in complete contrast to a Villa side that have lost more games in the competition since the start of last season after scoring first than any other side (eight).

Ings has now opened the scoring in more different English top-flight games since the start of 2019-20 than any player (18), but that early strike was not enough for Steven Gerrard's men.

Wissa's equaliser was Brentford's first Premier League goal from outside the box and full-back Roerslev, who set up that strike, completed the turnaround to become the second Bees player to score and assist in the same game in the competition for the club after Ivan Toney.

Related items

  • Football rumours: Brentford monitoring Norwich striker Josh Sargent Football rumours: Brentford monitoring Norwich striker Josh Sargent
    What the papers say

    Brentford are reportedly keeping tabs on Norwich’s in-form American striker Josh Sargent. The Sun says the Bees view the 24-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 17 matches this season, as an ideal replacement for Ivan Toney, who is expected to be sold in the summer.

    Miguel Gutierrez is on the radar of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, according to The Sun. Citing a report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the paper says the 22-year-old defender is a high priority transfer target for the United boss, though Gutierrez’s former club are thought to Real Madrid retain 50 per cent of his rights and a buy-back clause and could prove a substantial roadblock for the Red Devils.

    And the Daily Mirror reports Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all had scouts in attendance to watch Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres net his 31st goal of the season against Benfica last week.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Andy Robertson: Football Insider says Liverpool are set to open contract talks with the defender, who has been linked with Bayern Munich in recent days.

    Francesco Camarda: Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia, reports Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the 15-year-old AC Milan forward.

  • On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea

    On this day in 2012, Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea as former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo was appointed interim manager until the end of the season.

    Villas-Boas, 34, lost the job he had held for just eight months less than 24 hours after a 1-0 defeat at West Brom which left the Blues sitting in fifth place in the Premier League table and having won just five of their previous 15 games in all competitions.

    The Portuguese had been recruited at great expense – around £13.3million – as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement by then Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in June 2011 and handed the task of overhauling an ageing squad after winning a remarkable quadruple with Porto.

    However, he quickly found himself under pressure and reports of dressing room unrest coupled with faltering form prompted the club to act ahead of an FA Cup trip to Birmingham and an impending Champions League showdown with Napoli.

    In a statement, they said: “Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.

    “The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts.

    “With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.”

    Assistant Di Matteo was placed in temporary charge and made rather a good fist of it, at least initially.

    The Italian guided Chelsea to FA Cup final victory over Liverpool and then famously at the Allianz Arena, a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final as Didier Drogba, whose late header had taken the game to extra time, converted the decisive spot-kick to complete Abramovich’s quest for European glory.

    Di Matteo’s reward was a permanent two-year contract, although his reign too proved short-lived when he was sacked after just five months at the helm.

  • Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao

    Barcelona remain third in LaLiga after being held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.

    A frustrating evening for Barca included midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri coming off with injuries in the first half.

    Xavi’s men are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid, who had drawn 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

    And they are a point behind second-placed Girona, whose 1-0 loss at Mallorca earlier on Sunday, via a first-half Jose Manuel Copete goal, had offered Barca the chance to climb the table.

    Fourth-placed Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-1 at home with a Rui Silva own goal and Alvaro Morata effort putting the hosts in charge before William Carvalho’s reply, and Alexander Sorloth netted a hat-trick as Villarreal thrashed second-bottom Granada 5-1 at El Madrigal.

    In Serie A, second-placed Juventus suffered a third defeat in five games as they lost 2-1 at Napoli.

    Giacomo Raspadori scored a late winner on the follow-up when Victor Osimhen’s penalty was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, after Federico Chiesa had cancelled out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener.

    It leaves Juve 12 points adrift of Inter Milan, who host Genoa on Monday.

    Fourth-placed Bologna strengthened their Champions League bid by coming from behind to triumph 2-1 at Atalanta, with Scotland’s Lewis Ferguson netting the winner.

    Cagliari moved up a place to 18th with a 1-0 win at Empoli. They are level on points with 17th-placed Hellas Verona, who beat Sassuolo 1-0 at home.

    Sunday’s other top-flight game in Italy saw Frosinone and Lecce draw 1-1.

    Bayer Leverkusen went 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win at 10-man Cologne.

    After the hosts had Jan Thielmann sent off early on, Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo scored in each half for Xabi Alonso’s men as they took full advantage of second-placed Bayern Munich being held at Freiburg on Friday.

    Maximilian Beier’s first-half brace secured a 2-1 win for Hoffenheim at home against Werder Bremen, the hosts holding out for three points after having Marius Bulter sent off in the 73rd minute and conceding a stoppage-time Skelly Alvero goal.

    In Ligue 1, Brest are nine points behind Paris St Germain in second after Pierre Lees-Melou’s first-half effort secured a 1-0 home win over Le Havre, extending their unbeaten run to 13 games.

    Toulouse came from behind to win 2-1 at home against fifth-placed Nice, and Lens are up to sixth following a 3-0 win at Lyon.

    Lorient moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Rennes, Montpellier dropped in having drawn 2-2 at home with Strasbourg and second-bottom Metz won 2-0 at Nantes.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.