EPL

Premier League is back: Aguero's goals, youthful United – the best 'Big Six' stats this season

By Sports Desk May 28, 2020

The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has at last been given a date from which to resume.

The competition, suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return from June 17 and, all being well, be played to its conclusion.

The disruption came with Liverpool just two wins away from a first league title in 30 years, while Manchester United had been improving in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the most interesting facts relating to England's 'Big Six' and their campaigns so far.


LIVERPOOL

- Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the pile but do not look as defensively solid as they did in the 2018-19 season. Liverpool have conceded 21 times in the league this term, just one goal fewer than in their entire previous 38-game campaign.

- Roberto Firmino finally ended a long wait for an Anfield goal against Atletico Madrid in March. It was his first home Liverpool strike in 20 games in all competitions since netting against Porto in April 2019, 337 days earlier.

- The Reds were just starting to wobble slightly. With the defeat at home to Atletico, Liverpool had lost four of their past six matches in all competitions – as many defeats as in their previous 67 games.


MANCHESTER CITY

- Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than in their previous two campaigns combined.

- Heading into the break, Sergio Aguero had scored 180 Premier League goals for Manchester City. Only Wayne Rooney – 183 for United – has scored more for a single team in the competition's history, with Aguero passing Thierry Henry – 175 for Arsenal – earlier this term.

- Kevin De Bruyne is the first player to register 15 or more assists in three different Premier League seasons. Only Cesc Fabregas had previously done so in more than one campaign.


CHELSEA

- Chelsea have lost five Premier League home games already this season. Only in 1994-95 – seven times – have they been beaten more often at Stamford Bridge.

- The Blues are also winless away from home in the league in 2020, drawing three and losing one of their four matches. They last endured a longer such run in the 2015-16 season, failing to taste victory over seven straight away trips.

- Frank Lampard has been reliant on homegrown talent this season. Only Leicester City (31) and Southampton (24) have more goals from English players than Chelsea's 21 – level with United.


MANCHESTER UNITED

- United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, but their points return of 45 is still their lowest through 29 games of a Premier League season.

- Bruno Fernandes inspired their change in fortunes, though, and he has been involved in more Premier League goals (five – two goals, three assists) since his February 1 debut than any other player.

- At 25 years and 86 days old, United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.


TOTTENHAM

- No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham's four this season. The last time they kept so few in the first 29 matches of a campaign was in 2006-07 (also four).

- Spurs had been missing Harry Kane (131.18 minutes per goal), Son Heung-min (152.31 mins per goal) and January signing Steven Bergwijn (280.5 mins per goal) through injury. Dele Alli has the best minutes per goal ratio – 298 – among the rest of the squad in all competitions this season. Perhaps the break may have done them some good...


ARSENAL

- Arsenal have drawn 13 Premier League games this season – already their highest such tally since 17 in 1993-94.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 17 goals have been worth 16 points to Arsenal this season. Only Sadio Mane's 14 goals have been worth more (18 points) to a single club.

Related items

  • Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies Sarri ignoring criticism as Juventus chase trophies

    Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri insisted he was unworried about criticism as his team continue to chase trophies this season.

    Ahead of a trip to Sassuolo on Wednesday, Juve are six points clear atop Serie A with six games left to play, and also in the Champions League last 16.

    Sarri, who has lost the Coppa Italia final and Supercoppa Italiana this season, has faced some criticism, but the Juventus coach is not bothered.

    "Honestly, I don't pay much attention to criticism, I always try to be focused only on what I can do," he told a news conference.

    "I don't know what people say on social media because I'm not on them and I will never be in my life.

    "If we talk instead of people in the streets, I only receive support and affection."

    Juventus are winless in their past two games and needed a pair of penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo to draw with Atalanta last time out.

    Sarri was asked about his side's lack of goals from midfield, but he has no concerns about their firepower, although Ronaldo (seven) and Paulo Dybala (four) have netted the majority of their goals in the past six games.

    "We scored 17 goals in the last six matches and I'm not concerned about our scoring ratio frankly," he said.

    "We all know that among our midfielders [Aaron] Ramsey is the one that can potentially score more goals considering his individual characteristics.

    "Then we have two players that are growing a lot and in the future, I'm sure they will score more like [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Adrien] Rabiot."

  • Lampard urges Chelsea to focus ahead of 'tough' finish Lampard urges Chelsea to focus ahead of 'tough' finish

    Frank Lampard believes it will be tough for Chelsea to secure Champions League qualification despite consolidating third place on Tuesday.

    Olivier Giroud's first-half goal was enough to see Chelsea edge Norwich City 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, moving four points clear of Leicester City and Manchester United, who are fourth and fifth respectively and have played one less game.

    But Lampard's men have league matches against Liverpool and Wolves to finish their campaign as they look to secure a top-four finish.

    The Chelsea head coach believes Chelsea still face a battle to secure their place in next season's Champions League.

    "I keep talking about mentality and I don't like the word bottle too much, but when you're coming up against Liverpool away and Wolves at home, it's just two very good opponents," Lampard told a news conference.

    "We just have to focus on those games one by one, prepare right, show the right attitude, I thought we showed it [against Norwich] in a way, those two games will look completely different to what tonight did.

    "But rather than talk about bottle, I want to talk about focus and I want to talk about attitude and then hopefully we have enough to get through, but it's going to be tough."

    In Lampard's first season in charge, Chelsea are also in the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League last 16, although they suffered a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg.

    The 42-year-old has been pleased with Chelsea's progress, although accepted they still had a long way to go to catch Liverpool and Manchester City.

    "We can be pretty happy with where we're at right now," Lampard said.

    "I don't want to jump the gun because we have games that are going to be really pivotal on where we actually finish, but if we were to have said we would've been in third and contesting like we are and in the FA Cup and Champions League, I know it's going to be really tough but we got through the group stage, and you see the transition of the team and the youth and the issues we had, a lot of our players were on loan last year and most of those in the Championship, I think we can be pretty happy.

    "But I really do feel like there's a lot of work to do, I don't think we should get overly excited, the gap is clear with Liverpool and Manchester City in terms of points.

    "We are in a situation here, we're in a work in progress and there is a lot to do so I'm happy and I want a lot more and when we come back for the start of next season however this season ends we have to tackle it and say, 'Can we start closing that gap?' And it's going to be a tough job."

  • Lampard pays tribute to match-winner Giroud Lampard pays tribute to match-winner Giroud

    Frank Lampard paid tribute to Olivier Giroud's character and professionalism after becoming a key player for Chelsea in recent weeks despite appearing to be on his way out of the club in January.

    Giroud, 33, was strongly linked with a transfer away from Chelsea at the start of the year having reportedly grown frustrated with a lack of first-team football, finding himself back-up to Tammy Abraham.

    But Chelsea kept hold of the Frenchman and he has taken on a key role in the club's bid for Champions League qualification since the Premier League's resumption last month, scoring four times.

    His most recent was the winner in Tuesday's 1-0 triumph over Norwich City, which put Chelsea four points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, and Lampard saluted Giroud's impact.

    "He is always going to give you a desire to get in there for the team," Lampard told Sky Sports. "He had a few half chances in the central area. That is what you have to do when he is in the team – use his attributes, try and cross the ball.

    "It's a great cross from Christian [Pulisic] for Olivier's goal. He is a big character for us, he has scored important goals, and that is really good.

    "Just before the lockdown as well, he came in and got us a couple of big results and that's probably credit he was due anyway.

    "He has never given me a problem, always trained brilliantly, and when Tammy was really playing very well earlier in the season and regularly staying in the team, his professionalism was always good.

    "I told him in January I wanted him to stay and he was fantastic with how he handled that, and he has continued to do that in the way he trains, and the way he plays is important for us."

    Lampard was by no means impressed with the collective display at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, though he accepts that getting the points is all that matters for the time being.

    "It was OK – I shouldn't joke because at this stage of the season, as we've seen in the last 48 hours, results are critical and we didn't concede any chances of note, we created a few ourselves, got our one goal," he said.

    "We could have got more with better quality, but it was OK, professional is probably the word. I want more, but that can wait. Where we are at as a team and the position in the table, three points was everything."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.