English Premier League

PL weekend in numbers: Liverpool have more points against the top six than the bottom six

Also, Manchester United brought up their 600th win with their 3-1 victory at the Riverside.

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:

0

Sergio Aguero's touches in the first half, via WhoScored.com
Sergio Aguero's touches in the first half, via WhoScored.com

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.

1

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.

3

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.

7

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.

10

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.

12

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).

13

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.

14

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.

14

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!

Goals scored from corners by PL teams, via Squawka.com
Goals scored from corners by PL teams, via Squawka.com

20

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.

21

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.

23

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.

47

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.

62

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.

184

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.

509

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.

600

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.

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From catching Goan dances in Lisbon to sampling langar in Munich

A guide to the surprising Indian connect in Lisbon and Munich.

For several decades, a trip to Europe simply meant a visit to London, Paris and the Alps of Switzerland. Indians today, though, are looking beyond the tried and tested destinations and making an attempt to explore the rest of Europe as well. A more integrated global economy, moreover, has resulted in a more widespread Indian diaspora. Indeed, if you know where to look, you’ll find traces of Indian culture even in some unlikely cities. Lisbon and Munich are good cities to include in your European sojourn as they both offer compelling reasons to visit, thanks to a vibrant cultural life. Here’s a guide to everything Indian at Lisbon and Munich, when you wish to take a break from all the sight-seeing and bar crawling you’re likely to indulge in.

Lisbon

Lisbon is known as one of the most vibrant cities in Western Europe. On its streets, the ancient and the modern co-exist in effortless harmony. This shows in the fact that the patron saint day festivities every June make way for a summer that celebrates the arts with rock, jazz and fado concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions taking place around the city. Every two years, Lisbon also hosts the largest Rock festival in the world, Rock in Rio Lisboa, that sees a staggering footfall.

The cultural life of the city has seen a revival of sorts under the current Prime Minister, Antonio Costa. Costa is of Indian origin, and like many other Indian-origin citizens prominent in Portugal’s political, business and entertainment scenes, he exemplifies Lisbon’s deep Indian connect. Starting from Vasco Da Gama’s voyage to India, Lisbon’s historic connection to Goa is well-documented. Its traces can be still be seen on the streets of both to this day.

While the Indian population in Lisbon is largely integrated with the local population, a few diaspora groups are trying to keep their cultural roots alive. Casa de Goa, formed in the ‘90s, is an association of people of Goans, Damanese and Diuese origins residing in Lisbon. Ekvat (literally meaning ‘roots’ in Konkani) is their art and culture arm that aims to preserve Goan heritage in Portugal. Through all of its almost 30-year-long existence, Ekvat has been presenting traditional Goan dance and music performances in Portugal and internationally.

Be sure to visit the Champlimaud Centre for the Unknown, hailed a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, which was designed by the critically-acclaimed Goan architect Charles Correa. If you pay attention, you can find ancient Indian influences, like cut-out windows and stand-alone pillars. The National Museum of Ancient Art also has on display a collection of intricately-crafted traditional Goan jewellery. At LOSTIn - Esplanada Bar, half of the people can be found lounging about in kurtas and Indian shawls. There’s also a mural of Bal Krishna and a traditional Rajasthani-style door to complete the desi picture. But it’s not just the cultural landmarks that reflect this connection. The integration of Goans in Lisbon is so deep that most households tend to have Goa-inspired textiles and furniture as a part of their home decor, and most families have adapted Goan curries in their cuisine. In the past two decades, the city has seen a surge in the number of non-Goan Indians as well. North Indian delicacies, for example, are readily available and can be found on Zomato, which has a presence in the city.

If you wish to avoid the crowds of the peak tourist season, you can even consider a visit to Lisbon during winter. To plan your trip, check out your travel options here.

Munich

Munich’s biggest draw remains the Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer festival for which millions of people from around the world converge in this historic city. Apart from the flowing Oktoberfest beer, it also offers a great way to get acquainted with the Bavarian folk culture and sample their traditional foods such as Sauerkraut (red cabbage) and Weißwurst (a white sausage).

If you plan to make the most of the Oktoberfest, along with the Bavarian hospitality you also have access to the services of the Indian diaspora settled in Munich. Though the Indian community in Munich is smaller than in other major European destinations, it does offer enough of a desi connect to satisfy your needs. The ISKCON temple at Munich observes all major rituals and welcomes everyone to their Sunday feasts. It’s not unusual to find Germans, dressed in saris and dhotis, engrossed in the bhajans. The Art of Living centre offers yoga and meditation programmes and discourses on various spiritual topics. The atmosphere at the Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sabha is similarly said to be peaceful and accommodating of people of all faiths. They even organise guided tours for the benefit of the non-Sikhs who are curious to learn more about the religion. Their langar is not to be missed.

There are more options that’ll help make your stay more comfortable. Some Indian grocery stores in the city stock all kinds of Indian spices and condiments. In some, like Asien Bazar, you can even bargain in Hindi! Once or twice a month, Indian film screenings do take place in the cinema halls, but the best way to catch up on developments in Indian cinema is to rent video cassettes and VCDs. Kohinoor sells a wide range of Bollywood VCDs, whereas Kumaras Asean Trades sells Tamil cassettes. The local population of Munich, and indeed most Germans too, are largely enamoured by Bollywood. Workshops on Bollywood dance are quite popular, as are Bollywood-themed events like DJ nights and dance parties.

The most attractive time to visit is during the Oktoberfest, but if you can brave the weather, Munich during Christmas is also a sight to behold. You can book your tickets here.

Thanks to the efforts of the Indian diaspora abroad, even lesser-known European destinations offer a satisfying desi connect to the proud Indian traveller. Lufthansa, which offers connectivity to Lisbon and Munich, caters to its Indian flyers’ priorities and understands how proud they are of their culture. In all its India-bound flights and flights departing from India, flyers can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options, making the airline More Indian than You Think. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalised by Lufthansa to the extent that they now offer a definitive Indian flying experience.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.