EPL

Premier League data dive: Man City's winning run grinds to a halt as Kane and Son go into the record books

By Sports Desk March 08, 2021

All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

 

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

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  • Wolves 0-1 Liverpool: Late Origi winner catapults Reds above Chelsea Wolves 0-1 Liverpool: Late Origi winner catapults Reds above Chelsea

    Divock Origi hit a stoppage-time winner to send Liverpool above Chelsea in the Premier League table as the Reds overcame Wolves 1-0 at Molineux.

    A dramatic breakthrough arrived in the fourth added minute when Mohamed Salah raced down the right and pulled the ball back for Origi, who controlled, turned and fired past Jose Sa to decide a game that looked certain to finish goalless.

    The Reds, who had scored at least twice in each of their last 18 games, dominated possession and had two particularly presentable chances, but they were mainly handled well by a strong Wolves defence until the late drama.

    A determined home side grew into the game, and threatened on occasion, with Adama Traore particularly troubling the Liverpool midfield and backline with his power and pace, but ultimately it was not enough to avoid defeat.

    After a quiet start, the game came to life around the half-hour mark as Trent Alexander-Arnold and former Wolves man Diogo Jota missed opportunities from crosses, but it was Salah who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.

    The Egyptian was about to tap in an Andy Robertson ball across the box when Romain Saiss somehow nicked the ball away from the Premier League's top scorer at the last moment.

    The visitors continued to probe for an opener in the second half and could not believe they were not ahead on the hour. Jota seized on a mistake between Jose Sa and Saiss but inexplicably smashed the ball straight at Conor Coady on the goal-line.

    After trying to blow the Wolves' door down, the winner finally arrived when Salah squared for Belgian substitute Origi, who made no mistake to send his team top of the table for at least a few hours.

  • Mount points to 'tired minds, tired bodies' as Chelsea mistakes prove costly at West Ham Mount points to 'tired minds, tired bodies' as Chelsea mistakes prove costly at West Ham

    Mason Mount pointed to "tired minds, tired bodies" as he assessed the mistakes that cost Chelsea in their 3-2 Premier League defeat at West Ham.

    Jorginho's poor back-pass played Edouard Mendy into trouble, leading to the goalkeeper conceding a penalty which Manuel Lanzini converted, before the shot-stopper made another error late on, allowing Arthur Masuaku's cross to sneak inside the near post.

    Mount, who scored a superb volley to make it 2-1 to the Blues shortly before half-time, hinted the fact Chelsea have already played 23 fixtures across all competitions is starting to catch up with them.

    "We have had a difficult week and the game midweek [a 2-1 win against Watford] we came away with three points where maybe we shouldn't have," Mount told the BBC.

    "We made mistakes, the same today. We are making mistakes we haven't done for a while and need to bounce back now.

    "A lot of games, it can take a toll, but that's not an excuse we can use – we come out here and want to win, it's a derby. We don't concede many, so that is something we need to look at."

    He suggested the errors were only recently creeping in, and added: "Tired minds, tired bodies, but we need to keep the standard high. We regroup and come back next game."

    Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel also bemoaned individual errors but felt his side's display was still good enough to have earned all three points.

    "I don't think we did a bad match, it was okay, we can win with this performance," Tuchel told BT Sport.

    "It is tough to play here, we did too many individual mistakes, we did already against Manchester United and Watford and got punished. If you want a result at this level you have to minimise mistakes. We talked about it before, it's obviously not helped."

    Looking at the mistakes that led to conceding the penalty, Tuchel said: "Everybody is involved, the pass is not the best decision, the orientation is not the best. We can save it, but the decision-making is also not the best from Edou in this moment.

    "We created a lot of half-chances, a lot of touches in the box, but sometimes you need a bit of luck, a deflected shot or loose ball that falls to our feet. Their third one is a strange one, the two big chances they had in the first half were our mistakes.

    "We could not finish it with clear and better chances, be more ruthless; we struggled also in defending some situations.

    "Every loss is a bump in the road, that will not hold us back from what we demand from us, but we need to play more accurate, more stable and reduce big mistakes."

    The scoreline marks just the third time Chelsea have conceded more than once in a game in 53 outings under Tuchel and was the first such instance this season, with the Blues having shipped just six goals in the 14 league outings prior to the defeat by the Hammers.

  • Milan 2-0 Salernitana: Kessie on target as leaders cruise to victory Milan 2-0 Salernitana: Kessie on target as leaders cruise to victory

    Milan ended a three-game winless run at home with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Serie A's bottom club Salernitana on Saturday.

    First-half goals from Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers eased the league leaders to three points at San Siro.

    It should have been a more one-sided scoreline, the Rossoneri spurning a host of second-half chances through Brahim Diaz and Junior Messias to extend their lead.

    The contest was firmly in Milan's control almost from the off. Kessie squeezed a left-foot shot into the bottom-right corner with just five minutes played, and both Saelemaekers and Brahim were whiskers away from adding a second.

    Milan suffered a blow when Pietro Pellegri was forced off injured after a quarter of an hour, but a deserved second goal soon followed, Saelemaekers given time to consider a cross before placing a fine finish beyond Vid Belec's reach from just inside the box.

    Rade Krunic was denied by Belec and Kessie side-footed wide just before the interval, with Alessio Romagnoli heading wide just after the restart.

    It began to look a case of when rather than if Milan would score again: Fikayo Tomori nodded wide and Messias was denied by a fine one-handed save from Belec, who also smothered the ball at the feet of the lively Brahim.

    Messias stung the palms of Belec from the edge of the box and both Brahim and Sandro Tonali prodded wide with the goal at their mercy, but the risk of a Salernitana comeback was never on the cards.

    What does it mean? Rossoneri put pressure on chasing pack

    Having lost 11 of their first 15 league games this season, few expected Salernitana to spring a surprise at San Siro and the contest looked over as soon as Kessie broke the deadlock.

    The result leaves Stefano Colantuono's side bottom, while Milan's lead at the top is at two points ahead of Inter's tricky trip to Jose Mourinho's Roma and Napoli's home game with Atalanta.

    A fitting tribute

    Saelemaekers celebrated his goal by holding up a Simon Kjaer shirt in support of the centre-back, whose season has been ended by injury.

    It was a moment to cap a lively overall performance. Saelemaekers attempted the most opposition-half passes (41) and open-play crosses (three) from the right of the Milan attack.

    Sinking feeling

    Nadir Zortea tested Mike Maignan late in the first half, after which Salernitana failed to trouble the Milan keeper with a shot on target.

    It is hard to see how they will haul themselves out of trouble if their attacking play does not improve.

    What's next?

    Milan host Udinese next Saturday but, before then, there is the small matter of a home Champions League clash with Liverpool that offers the chance to qualify for the last 16.

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