April 17, 2021
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Premier League Data Dive: Pep Guardiola's Double Milestone, Brighton's Woodwork Misery

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City won again while West Brom and Aston Villa also picked up victories in Saturday's Premier League action.

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Premier League Data Dive: Pep Guardiola's Double Milestone, Brighton's Woodwork Misery
Pep Guardiola rotated his team, as he promised, and included record scorer Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for the first time in the league since Oct 24.
File Photo
Premier League Data Dive: Pep Guardiola's Double Milestone, Brighton's Woodwork Misery

Manchester City maintained their march towards the Premier League title with a narrow victory over West Ham on another milestone occasion for boss Pep Guardiola.

Goals from Ruben Dias and John Stones, either side of Michail Antonio's leveller, made it 20 wins in a row for City in all competitions and moved them 13 points clear at the top.

It also brought up a 500th victory of Guardiola's managerial career with top-tier clubs - Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City - 200 of those coming with the Citizens.

Elsewhere in Saturday's action, Brighton and Hove Albion fell to a hugely controversial defeat against West Brom in a game that saw them twice hit the woodwork from penalties, making them the first team in Premier League history to do so in a single game.

Aston Villa beat Leeds United to keep their European aspirations on track, meanwhile, and Newcastle United were pegged back by Wolves to remain in real relegation danger.

Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Stones and Dias extend leaders' perfect run

West Ham put up a strong fight but it was a predictable outcome at the Etihad Stadium as City made it 27 games without defeat in all competitions - the second-longest run in the club's history after going 28 matches between April-December 2017.

Guardiola's 200th City win came in his 273rd game in charge, the Catalan overtaking Jose Mourinho - 309 matches with Chelsea - for the quickest to reach a double century with an English top-flight club.

West Ham have now failed to win any of their last 11 games against City in the league, though they did become the first team to score away to Guardiola's men in the league since West Brom on December 15 - a run of 629 minutes without conceding.

Dias became City's 19th different scorer this season with a header that was set up by Kevin De Bruyne, who now has 11 Premier League assists for the campaign - level with Harry Kane - and 77 overall in the competition, moving him into the all-time top 10.

West Brom 1-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Familiar story for goal-shy Brighton

After being stung by a late Christian Benteke strike in a game they dominated yet lost to Crystal Palace earlier this week, Brighton were once again left ruing their luck - or poor finishing and bad refereeing - after going down to lowly West Brom.

Kyle Bartley headed in his third goal of the season early on for what proved to be the winner at The Hawthorns, but the scoreline did not tell the entire story - not for the first time when Brighton are involved.

The Seagulls missed two penalties, hitting the frame of the goal from both, with Pascal Gross and then Danny Welbeck fluffing their lines from 12 yards.

Those misses were overshadowed by referee Lee Mason's decision to rule out Lewis Dunk's quickly taken free-kick, which helped West Brom to extend their unbeaten home league run against Brighton to 11 matches - their best return against any side.

Sam Johnstone made six saves to earn back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time this season, while at the same time becoming the first goalkeeper in the division to reach 100-plus saves in 2020-21.

Leeds United 0-1 Aston Villa: El Ghazi guides Villans to rare Elland Road win

Anwar El Ghazi scored the only goal and was heavily involved throughout as Villa picked up their first top-flight away win against Leeds in seven attempts since December 2000.

Dutch winger El Ghazi was involved in seven of Villa's nine shots, including his well-taken winner inside the opening five minutes. It is his sixth league goal of the season, and seventh in all competitions, which is his best return for the club.

At the other end of the pitch, Emiliano Martinez kept his eighth away clean sheet in the Premier League this campaign, the most of any goalkeeper and the joint-most of any Villa stopper in the competition's history, alongside Brad Friedel in 2009-10.

Leeds fired a blank for the sixth time in the league this season and have now lost six home top-flight outings in 2020-21, which is the second-highest number suffered by a Marcelo Bielsa-managed side.

Newcastle United 1-1 Wolves: Honours even again at St James' Park

Newcastle were on course for a much-needed win before Ruben Neves cancelled out Jamaal Lascelles' opener 17 minutes from time at St James' Park, though the result probably should not have come as any surprise.

Of all the Premier League fixtures to have been played at least 10 times, this one has seen the highest percentage of games finish in a draw, with nine out of 12 (75 per cent) doing so, including a run of five successive 1-1 draws.

Both teams have now scored in all 12 Premier League meetings between them, making it the most-played fixture in the competition with neither side keeping a clean sheet.

Lascelles' goal was his first in the Premier League in 29 games since the corresponding fixture with Wolves last season but the visitors, who named the same starting XI for a third league game running, hit back through Neves' headed equaliser.

Pedro Neto sent in the ball and has now been directly involved in 10 Premier League goals this term - five goals and five assists - which is four more than any other Wolves player.

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