As Manchester City and Liverpool played out a perfectly enjoyable stalemate at the Etihad Stadium, the 1-1 draw did more for City’s cause than it did for the latter. Liverpool, with no games left against the top six have a clear run towards the end of the season and will be glad to get a point off City but could very easily have been three points for them had Adam Lallana not fluffed his lines.
Manchester City, who travel to Arsenal and Chelsea next will see their season decided in these three games as they look to put their Champions League disappointment behind them and seal a spot in next year’s competition.
Their neighbours, Manchester United, finally moved from their sixth spot which they hung on to for what seems like eternity now. The biggest losers of the weekend were Arsenal, whose 3-1 loss at West Bromwich Albion saw them drop below United to that sixth spot, with the Gunners in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the first time in the Arsene Wenger era.
Here are some of the key numbers from this weekend’s action:
Number of touches by City’s Argentine marksman in the opposition’s penalty box in the first half. Sergio Aguero went missing in the first 45 minutes as Liverpool pushed for an opener, having a total of 11 touches, the lowest of any player in the opening half.
The next highest? Simon Mignolet with almost double the touches, 20. As the shadow of Gabriel Jesus looms large over the frontman’s situation at the Etihad, Aguero’s second half goal was a timely reminder of his poaching abilities. His first half no-show though wouldn’t have gone unnoticed by Pep Guardiola.
Away wins that Leicester City have this season after their 3-2 win over West Ham at the London Stadium. The defending champions lie third from bottom in the away table, and have six points in their 14 games on the road so far.
Leicester are 18th in the away table, but Burnley are dead last, picking up only three away points. Their 0-0 draw against Sunderland brought Sean Dyche’s men their third away draw of the season, the Clarets having lost their remaining 12 games away from Turf Moor.
In contrast, they sit sixth in terms of points gained at home, with 29 points from 14 games, at a rate of more than two per game. As a testament to how good they’ve been at home, they sit above both the Manchester teams in the home table.
Games Arsenal have lost this season, tying them with Everton and higher than all the other teams in the top seven. While the Toffees have lost just one of their last five, the Gunners have lost four in that time span. This is their worst run since suffering six losses in seven games under caretaker manager Stewart Houston in April 1995.
That season, the North London club would finish 12th in the league, only six points above relegation.
Tottenham Hotspur have ten wins at home after defeating Southampton 2-1 on Sunday. The Lilywhites are having their best home season since 1987-’88, when they claimed 14 wins at home and are enjoying their best unbeaten home start to a season since 1964-’65.
They have claimed 41 points at home, more than anyone else in the league. It’s a pity Mauricio Pochettino’s team struggles on the road, otherwise we might have seen a stiffer challenge to Chelsea’ runaway title train.
Number of times Ross Barkley was dispossessed this weekend, higher than any other Premier League player. Barkley managed to lose the ball more times in Everton’s 4-0 win over Hull City, higher than other culprits Aguero (9) and Diego Costa (9).
Christian Eriksen has scored more goals from outside the penalty area than any other Premier League player since he joined Tottenham in the summer of 2013. The Danish maestro now has contributed to 10 goals in his last six games and it is about time for the European big guns to come calling on Daniel Levy.
Players under the age of 21 to score 14 or more league goals for their sides in Europe’s top five leagues: only three. Dele Alli is in an elite club with Red Bull Leipzig’s Timo Werner and AS Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
Harry’s pain is Alli’s gain.
West Bromwich Albion have scored more goals from corners than any other Premier League teams. They added two to that tally on Saturday, Craig Dawson putting Arsenal to the sword on both occassions.
You’d think Wenger’s team would have been ready for the obvious, but alas!
Liverpool have been more flip-flop than a penguin on thin ice. They are unbeaten in games against the top six this season, garnering 20 points, winning five and drawing the same number. Points picked up by Jurgen Klopp’s men against the bottom six, 19.
Romelu Lukaku leads the race for the Golden Boot in the Premier League, as Harry Kane’s injury coupled with the Belgian’s two goals has seen him register his finest return for a single season in England.
Gary Lineker was the last Everton player to register more than 20 goals in 1985-’86 while Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler are the only other players to score more than 80 Premier League goals before turning 24.
In what was an indicator of West Brom’s tactics in their win over the Gunners, they had only 23 percent of the possession and yet this was not a smash-and-grab. Albion were much more clinical and had some shoddy defending from their opponents to thank for their three goals.
A Tony Pulis victory never truly goes out of style, ever.
James Milner has never lost any of the 47 league matches that he has scored in, winning 37 of those and drawing 10. Liverpool’s lucky talisman continued that streak on Sunday, dispatching from the spot, taking his season’s penalty tally to 7, a worthy tally for a makeshift left-back.
David Silva seems to be the most generous man in the Premier League, with 62 assists to his name since the Spanish wizard joined City, the highest of any player in the league in that time. Aguero may be the first true City great in the modern era, but Silva’s contribution is just as invaluable if not as eye-catching.
Manchester United held onto the sixth spot in the table for 184 days, a little over six months. They’ve been on an unbeaten run of 18 games, the highest of any team in Europe’s top five leagues but that’s just half the story. A high number of draws had ensured that Jose Mourinho’s men stay rooted to the spot which they finally vacated by ensuring a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.
When Rudy Gestede’s goal went in the 77th minute, it must have been a relief for the players and the Riverside faithful. Boro’ had gone on a goal drought for over 500 minutes, spanning seven games.
The Red Devils also became the first team to win 600 games in the Premier League era, also recording the lowest number of losses (147) for any team to have played more than 500 games in this timeframe. United have won 2004 points since the start of the inaugural Premier League, scoring 1844 goals in the process.