After an international break that seemed to go on for months rather than days, the Premier League was back with typical gusto this weekend. (More Football News)
Tottenham and Liverpool earned impressive wins over Manchester City and Leicester City respectively to sit top of the pile on 20 points, with Chelsea and the Foxes hot in their wake.
But away from the more obvious facts and figures there are always some hidden gems that you may have missed.
With help from the geniuses at Opta, we have delved into some of the quirkier things to emerge from the Premier League these past few days.
Reds pass the test
Diogo Jota made history by becoming the first Liverpool player to score in each of his first four home top-flight appearances for the Reds.
More impressively, his goal in the beating of Leicester came at the end of a sequence of 30 passes – the first time they have tallied so many in the build-up since Opta began collecting such data in the 2006-07 season.
In that same period, the most a team has had leading to goal was Tottenham when Nacer Chadli netted against QPR in August 2014 with a whopping 48 passes.
Manchester United (Juan Mata 45 versus Southampton), Manchester City (Ilkay Gundogan 44 versus Manchester United), Southampton (Morgan Schneiderlin 40 versus Newcastle United), and Manchester United again (Ashley Young 37 versus Blackburn Rovers) complete the top five in the metric.
30 - Diogo Jota's goal for Liverpool came after a sequence of 30 passes; since Opta have this data available from 2006-07, this is the most in the build-up to any@premierleague goal by the Reds. Silky. pic.twitter.com/SQXNDLRYEG— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 22, 2020
Relief for Ole
A poor run of form had seen the pressure grow on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United but back-to-back Premier League wins has helped his cause a little.
Saturday's 1-0 win over West Brom – secured by Bruno Fernandes' second-half penalty – ended a run of 323 minutes without a Premier League goal at Old Trafford.
Only twice have United gone longer without celebrating at home in the competition, the longest being 361 minutes between March and August 2002, while they went 334 minutes between April and August 2007.
Worryingly for Solskjaer, he has another streak in the top five with United going 235 minutes without a Premier League home goal between January and February earlier this year.
Grim reading for the Steel City
Chris Wilder and his Sheffield United side have little to smile about right now as a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham on Sunday left them with just one point from their opening nine matches.
Only three teams have ever accrued such a paltry sum at the same stage of a Premier League season.
Coincidentally, Steel City rivals Sheffield Wednesday did so in 1999-00, while Manchester City are the other unfortunate side in 1995-96. In a potentially bad omen for the Blades, both sides went on to be relegated.
With Wednesday mired in relegation trouble of their own in the Championship, both sides of the Sheffield divide will hope for a boost in fortunes as we edge towards Christmas.
Own goal-woe for Fernandez and Evans
Come on admit it…we all love it when a player ends up with egg on their face and scores past their own goalkeeper. In fact, the more comical the own goal the better.
Over the weekend, two particularly luckless players continued their rotten luck in this regard.
Federico Fernandez was on the scoresheet for the wrong team as Newcastle United were beaten by Chelsea. Since his Premier League debut in 2014, no other player has more own goals than his five – level with Lewis Dunk.
Jonny Evans racked up a sixth Premier League own goal as Leicester City were outclassed by Liverpool. Only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher (7) and Martin Skrtel (7) have put more in their own net.
6 - Jonny Evans' own goal was his sixth in the Premier League; in the competition's history, only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher (7) and Martin Skrtel (7) have ever put more through their own net. Oops. pic.twitter.com/wv5ZM69NNe— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 22, 2020
Fulham paying the penalty
There are never any guarantees that a penalty will bring a goal…just ask poor Fulham fans.
Ivan Cavaleiro's miss from 12 yards in the 3-2 loss to Everton on Sunday means the Cottagers have missed five of their past eight Premier League penalties, with three different takers in that time.
Both Arsenal and Leicester City have missed five in a row in the competition before (the Gunners between October 1992 and November 1993, and the Foxes August 1994 to September 1996).
The most recent example of a side failing with four in a row was Manchester City last season.
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