EPL

Guardiola's worst points haul, Rashford's home comforts – the Premier League Data Diary

By Sports Desk November 10, 2019

Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League season continued in some style as they turned on the style in a 3-1 win over Manchester City, who they have not lost to at Anfield in the top flight since May 2003.

Meanwhile, it was another tough weekend for Premier League fans across North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both dropping points as the dark clouds continue to gather around both clubs.

Arsenal's defeat at high-flying Leicester City left the Gunners winless in their last four top-flight outings, while Spurs are without a victory in five attempts after their 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United.

With Arsenal failing to win, Manchester United had the opportunity to narrow the gap between sixth and seventh to just one point and they did just that, bringing Brighton and Hove Albion's two-game winning streak to an end in a 3-1 victory.

All four games produced a feast of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are brought to light below.

DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST CITY POINTS HAUL

Trips to Liverpool have rarely been kind to Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City and Sunday's defeat was his fourth during his time in the Premier League.

City have amassed 25 points this season - Guardiola's lowest return after 12 games of a Premier League season - and he is more than three points behind the league leaders for the first time at this stage of a season.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City and only Manchester United in 1993-94 have been further ahead after 12 games in the Premier League era.

The Reds prospered courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the latter scoring at Anfield in the league for the 22nd time since August 2018.

No other top-flight player has scored more at a single venue in the same period.

RASHFORD REVELS IN UNITED'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Marcus Rashford gave the Old Trafford crowd a rare moment to savour in a difficult season when his shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar to put Manchester United 3-1 up against Brighton.

It was the 22-year-old's 30th goal on home turf for the Red Devils, six of which have come in 2019-20, and he needs three more to equal his best goal return in home matches (nine in 2017-18).

Rashford's form has been key to United's recent upturn in fortunes at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and their last seven across all competitions - their longest run under the same manager since March 2018 (eight unbeaten under Jose Mourinho).

Solskjaer named his youngest Premier League starting line-up of the season, averaging 23 years and 350 days, and his side extended Brighton's miserable run on the road against the top flight's "big six": the Seagulls are winless in 15 such games.

ARSENAL IN WORST START FOR 37 YEARS

Unai Emery might be running out of chances after a 2-0 loss to Leicester City condemned Arsenal to their worst record at this stage of a top-flight season since 1982-83.

The Gunners accumulated 17 points from 12 games in 2014-15, as many as they have now, but could at least lay claim to a positive goal difference of +5 at that time, unlike the -1 that resides next to their disappointing points tally this term.

Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium marked Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge and his 13th defeat.

He has overseen 25 victories and led the club to 87 points, two fewer than Arsene Wenger accrued over his final 50 matches as manager.

The contrast could not be greater to electrifying Leicester, who have now won five successive Premier League home games and boast one more point (26 in total) than they did at this point of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

SON SHINING BUT SPURS STILL STUCK IN DARKNESS

If there is some comfort to be found for Arsenal, it is in the malaise affecting north London rivals Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could only draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, who became the third promoted side – after Blackburn Rovers (1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (1994-95) – to go unbeaten through their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

George Baldock's goal earned a share of the spoils and means Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.

Worse still, the Champions League finalists have banked only 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games since 2008-09, a season that cost Juande Ramos his job.

Son Heung-min, scorer of the opener, is one player pulling his weight. The South Korea star has netted five times in his past five appearances in all competitions.

Related items

  • Liverpool couldn't have expected Salah, Mane and Firmino to be this good – Klopp Liverpool couldn't have expected Salah, Mane and Firmino to be this good – Klopp

    Jurgen Klopp saluted Mohamed Salah ahead of a Liverpool milestone, but acknowledged he did not expect the Egyptian and his fellow forwards to be as effective as they have become.

    Salah joined the Reds from Roma three years ago in a deal that reportedly cost an initial £34million.

    In 105 Premier League matches, Salah – who is generally deployed from the right – has scored 73 goals, including a record-setting 32 in 2017-18.

    The Egypt star has helped turned Liverpool into European and domestic champions, his understanding with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in attack making them a deadly trio that has scored 250 times under Klopp.

    Speaking ahead of Wednesday's trip to Arsenal, in which Salah is expected to make his 150th appearance, Klopp said: "First and foremost, that means he played 50 games a year, each season, 50 games, and still counting. Unbelievable. That's a big number.

    "Obviously he was lucky and we were lucky that he could play all these games, because he was not injured, which is good.

    "I was very positive in the moment when it was clear that we signed him. I remember our talk, when we first met face to face, when we spoke.

    "'What's your favourite position?' 'It would be right wing, but Sadio Mane is playing there and he played a pretty good season.' 'Yes, he does, but he can play the other wing as well.'

    "That was pretty much the start. The idea was clear how we want to play with the boys up front, but it worked out in a manner which we couldn't have expected. They scored now 250 goals since they [joined the club], that's an incredible number.

    "It was a good day for Liverpool [when Salah signed] and a very good day as well for Mo because it fits really well and that's very important in life. You cannot change the world alone, but together, with the right people around you, you have a better chance to do it."

    Salah's future seems certain to lie at Anfield, and Dejan Lovren appears likely to stay put for the time being as well.

    The 31-year-old has been a fringe player this season, but Klopp insists he still appreciates what the Croatian offers.

    Although the German would not comment specifically on reports the Reds are to trigger a one-year extension option to keep Lovren until 2022, it seems a departure is unlikely.

    "Dejan played outstanding games for us, is a very important part of the squad, absolutely no problem," Klopp said.

    "It's always like this – we have four centre-halves and we play usually with two of them, but we needed all four always, so a very, very important role. He played the Champions League final for us, played a lot of big games, and was always a very reliable player.

    "Dejan was always either in the team or close to the team, or not available. There was nothing else, we never had problems. It's all good, but [I've] nothing to say about the contract situation because it's nothing to discuss in public. It's just how it is.

    "The situation is absolutely clear – Dejan is a player of Liverpool and we need him. In this moment again, with Joel [Matip] injured we have again only three centre-halves.

    "You need the quality we have on the centre-half position to be successful, and that's why there's nothing really to discuss."

  • Chicago Fire 2-1 Seattle Sounders: Pineda late show sinks champions Chicago Fire 2-1 Seattle Sounders: Pineda late show sinks champions

    Mauricio Pineda scored a late winner as his first senior goal gave Chicago Fire a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders in the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando.

    Defending MLS Cup champions Seattle had the better of the first half but fell behind in the Group B clash when Robert Beric displayed excellent composure to open the scoring in the 52nd minute after a pair of Sounders defenders inexplicably allowed him to latch on to a defensive clearance.

    Seattle were level 15 minutes later when Handwalla Bwana slid home from Jordan Morris' left-wing pull back.

    There was a sting in the tail, though, as Gaston Gimenez's corner made it all the way to the back post where Pineda settled the contest with a close-range volley.

    Chicago are top after starting with a win, while Seattle have just a point from two games.

  • 'Sometimes experience is overrated' - Lampard puts faith in Chelsea youngsters 'Sometimes experience is overrated' - Lampard puts faith in Chelsea youngsters

    Frank Lampard believes the "innocence" in his Chelsea ranks can drive the Blues to success - providing World Cup and Premier League winners also step up.

    Lampard's team are in a battle to qualify for next season's Champions League, as they, Manchester United and Leicester City go head to head for two places.

    Wolves have a distant chance of breaking into the top four too, but Lampard's team hold the upper hand of those chasing top-four positions.

    They welcome Norwich City to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, and head coach Lampard feels young players will be key to his hopes of bringing silverware and success to Chelsea.

    He went so far as to claim experience is sometimes an "overrated" commodity in football.

    "They need to be helped by the players that have been there and done that and won World Cups or won Premier Leagues, like some of the players have in our squad," Lampard told Sky Sports News.

    "In certain times, experience is overrated, in my opinion. It's good to have it within the group but sometimes it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the answer and that gives you success."

    Lampard has had World Cup winners Pedro, N'Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud in his ranks this season, but also bright young talents such as Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, with new signings Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner joining for the 2020-21 campaign.

    The Chelsea boss said: "Sometimes it's a bit of innocence, a bit of youthfulness and a bit of real desire without the feelings of past campaigns and successes and failures that can be something really positive within."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.