Oh, club football. How we had missed you. By The Numbers shakes off a fortnight’s worth of rust, and brings to you the best stats from another madcap weekend of action in Europe’s big leagues:
2020-21, the gift that keeps on giving in the PL. A Merseyside derby that ended 2-2 saw a red card and plenty of VAR controversy kicked off a weekend that saw Chelsea vs. Southampton and Tottenham vs. West Ham end 3-3, Manchester United come from behind to beat Newcastle United 4-1 and Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0.
A slightly offbeat stat to start. Manchester United are the first team in PL history to win a match after conceding an own goal in the first 2 minutes. In the 12 instances this has happened before, there have been 11 losses and 1 draw.
West Ham are the first team in PL history to avoid defeat in a game having been 0-3 down as late as the 81st minute.
Chelsea’s offense is something. Their defence is something else. They have made five individual errors leading to goals in this season’s PL, at least two more than any other team.
It doesn’t get much worse — Aleksandar Mitrovic missed and then conceded a penalty vs. Sheffield United in their 1-1 draw on Sunday. He is the first player to both miss and give away a penalty in the same PL since Mikel Arteta for Arsenal in November 2012 – which was against Fulham.
Harry Kane is quite something, isn’t he? He has now been directly involved in 12 goals this PL season (5 goals, 7 assists). That is the most goal involvements this season in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Everton vs. Liverpool has seen the most red cards in PL history (22). 15 of those have been shown to the blue side — a record for one team against another in the competition.
Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane have combined for 28 PL goals, the fourth most of any duo in PL history and the most of any current duo. They have started this season in fine fashion — the 8 PL goal combinations this season between Son and Kane are already one shy of the Tottenham record for most in a PL season.
Arsenal have failed to win an away PL game against the rest of the big 6 in 29 games. Their last win? A 2-0 win over Manchester City in Jan 2015.
Some more Son-Kane love for you. Since Jose Mourinho took charge of Spurs in November 2019, Kane (33) and Son (30) have had a direct hand in more goals in all competitions than any other PL players.
A slightly bizarre stat, but aren’t those the best kind? Players from the Ivory Coast have scored 25 of their 28 PL penalties to date — the latest being Wilfried Zaha vs. Brighton, This is the highest conversion rate of any nationality from the spot in the competition’s history (min. 5 taken). Only Didier Drogba, Aruna Dindane & Wilfried Bony have missed!
Aston Villa have won their opening four games of a league season for the first time in 90 years, since the 1930-31 campaign, when they went on to finish 2nd in the top-flight.
Since Virgil van Dijk made his PL debut for Liverpool, he has played 98.6% of all available PL minutes and appeared in all 95 possible games. Just how much will the champions miss their champion defender?
Mohamed Salah has scored his 100th goal in his 159th game for Liverpool in all competitions – only Roger Hunt (144) and Jack Parkinson (153) have reached the milestone in fewer appearances for them.
Aston Villa and AC Milan are the only teams in the top five European leagues with a 100% win record (both have played and won 4). Have we been beamed back to the ’80s?
What a milestone. Pep Guardiola has won 500 games in all competitions as a manager (including Barcelona B), winning 172 as Manchester City boss.
Bruno Fernandes has missed a penalty in a league game for the first time in 1659 days. His first miss in 19 attempts.
A weekend of upsets. Cadiz travelled to Real Madrid and beat them 1-0. Getafe hosted Barcelona and beat them 1-0. And right now, Real Sociedad and Unai Emery’s Villarreal are atop La Liga.
Barcelona attempted just one shot on target in their defeat to Getafe.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have both lost a league game on the same day for the first time since September 2018.
Next weekend is El Clasico – the first time both Madrid and Barca walked into a Clasico on the back of defeats was 17+ years ago — April 2003 when Sociedad beat Madrid (4-2) & Deportivo beat Barca (also 4-2).
Luis Suárez has scored 150 goals in 195 appearances in La Liga, becoming the second fastest player to reach this milestone in the competition in the 21st century, after Cristiano Ronaldo (140).
Diego Simeone has recorded his 200th win in his 330th game for Atlético Madrid in La Liga, becoming the second manager to reach this milestone for the same club in the competition’s history, after Miguel Munoz for Real Madrid.
No Ronaldo, no party — Juventus drew 1 -1 at Crotone. Napoli smashed Atalanta 4-1, Sampdoria did likewise to Lazio, winning 3-0. Oh, and a cracking Derby della Madonnina saw AC beat Inter 2-1 thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace.
AC Milan have won both derbies in Serie A (Men and Women) against Inter in a single campaign for the first time in their history.
Federico Chiesa is the first player to have received a red card in his Serie A debut game with Juventus in the three points for a win era.
AC Milan have won each of their first four Serie A games of a season for the first time since 1995/96, with Fabio Capello.
Atalanta’s games have seen an average of 5.8 goals – only Bayern Munich’s (6.7) have seen more in the top five European Leagues. It’s not often they’re on the receiving end of 4 goals, though.
Have AC Milan really turned a corner? They have scored in 24 Serie A matches in a row for the first time since 1973 (when they reached 29).
Gianluigi Buffon is the first player ever to play 650 Serie A games. Just how remarkable is this landmark? Seven of his 10 starting teammates in this game WERE NOT BORN when he made his Serie A debut (in November 1995).
RB Leipzig beat Augbsurg 1-0, Bayern Munich beat Arminia Bielefeld 4-1, and Borussia Dortmund beat Hoffenheim 1-0. They are 1-2-3 in Bundesliga right now.
Thomas Muller has provided 10 assists for Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga since the start of last season, twice as many as any other duo in that timeframe.
With his goals against Arminia, Lewandowski found the net against all 18 current Bundesliga teams… including Bayern!
One’s in quarantine, the other looked a little lost on the pitch.
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)