Each week, we look back on the Premier League’s weekend action and compile our divisional Top Stats of the Week, with the latest round of fixtures including the start of several managerial reigns and the end of another. After Manchester United’s poor form continued with a 4-1 hammering at struggling Watford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the latest manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season.
Steven Gerrard and Dean Smith both won their first games in charge of Aston Villa and Norwich, respectively, while Eddie Howe’s first match in charge of Newcastle finished in a tense 3-3 tie with Brentford.
Wolves beat West Ham 1-0 in a hard-fought Premier League match, with Raul Jimenez’s goal lifting Bruno Lage’s team to sixth place. Wolves put up a strong defensive performance, dealing well with the Hammers’ well-known set-piece threat, with Jose Sa confident in moving off his line to relieve pressure on his backline. In what was undoubtedly the most spectacular outcome of Lage’s reign so far, the Portugal international produced three saves to secure a clean sheet.
Elsewhere there were wins for Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race, whilst the Antonio Conte era got up and running in north London as Spurs came from behind to beat Leeds.
Meanwhile, with the help of OPTA stats we have gathered some mouthwatering stats from the weekend’s action.
- 17 – Manchester United have won just 17 points in their opening 12 league games this season; their second-worst start to a Premier League campaign, ahead of only 2019-20 when they had 16 points under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
- 38 – Since the start of the 2018-19 season, Trent Alexander-Arnold has provided 38 Premier League assists, four more than any other player in this period.
- 20 – Sadio Mane’s assist for Mohamed Salah is the 20th time the pair have combined for a Premier League goal – only Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler (24) have combined for more for Liverpool in the competition.
- 1989 – Manchester United have suffered their biggest league defeat against a promoted side since September 1989, a 5-1 loss against Manchester City at Maine Road.
- 29 – Manchester United have conceded 29 goals in all competitions this season, only Norwich (30) and Leicester (30) have shipped more amongst Premier League sides.
- 7 – Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other English midfielder this season (7 – 4 goals, 3 assists).
- 50 – Chris Wood has netted his 50th goal in the Premier League, becoming the first New Zealand affiliated player to reach this milestone in the competition’s history.
- 50 – Ivan Toney’s equaliser, coming just 75 seconds after Newcastle’s opener, is the 50th Premier League goal Newcastle have conceded via players who have once represented them in the competition, the most of any side.
- 5 – After failing to score in any of his first 11 matches in all competitions for club and country this season, Che Adams has now scored in five of his last six for Southampton (3) and Scotland (2), including each of his last three.
- 1% – As a Premier League manager, Brendan Rodgers’ lowest winning percentage (7.1%) and points-per-game ratio (0.71) against a single side are both versus Chelsea, winning only one of his 14 fixtures with the Blues (D7 L6).
- 2 – Only Chris Wood (4) and Emile Heskey (3) have scored more Premier League goals against Leicester as a former Fox than Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante (2), who has netted as many league goals in his last six, as he managed in the 51 matches beforehand (2).
- 50% – Exactly 50% of Antonio Rüdiger’s eight Premier League goals have come against Leicester (4), the only Premier League side the German has netted more than once against in the competition.
- 13 – Steven Gerrard is set to become the 13th different permanent manager to take charge of Aston Villa in the Premier League. Only two of the previous 12 have won their first such game for the club (D6 L4) – John Gregory (Feb 1998) & Gérard Houllier (Sep 2010).
- 9/9 – All nine of Jamaal Lascelles’ Premier League goals have been headed – the biggest 100% such ratio in Premier League history.
- 10 – Christian Benteke has scored more Premier League goals in 2021 than any other Crystal Palace player (10) – his best calendar year total since bagging 11 PL goals in 2016.