Salah´s double threat, Fernandes the benchmark, Brentford the most clinical – the Premier League wee
Premier League football takes a back seat again for the best part of a fortnight now as the international break arrives, but the past weekend gave us plenty to chew on in the interim.
Liverpool and Manchester City played out a belter of a match at Anfield on Sunday, as Mohamed Salah shone yet again on English football’s biggest stage.
That contest provided further evidence of the gap between those two and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United, though Bruno Fernandes’ latest achievement suggests the Norwegian should be doing better given the talent at his disposal.
Below, Stats Perform looks at some of the quirky Opta facts from the weekend…
Salah a double threat
Sunday’s 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield was utterly engrossing, and Mohamed Salah played a key role in that.
Not only did he set up Sadio Mane’s opener with a brilliant run and pass, he then got Liverpool’s second at the end of an incredible run that saw him evade most of the City defence.
That was the 20th time he has both scored and assisted during a single Premier League game, which is six more than anyone else in the top-flight since his Reds debut on 2017-18 — Son Heung-min is next with 14.
There is also no Liverpool player particularly close to him in that regard in the club’s entire Premier League history, with Steven Gerrard second to Salah with 16 instances of getting a goal and assist in the same game.
Fernandes setting the pace
Manchester United may be erratic, but Bruno Fernandes certainly isn’t when it comes to decisive moments in the Premier League.
He set up Anthony Martial with a lovely turn and throughball for the first goal in United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday, that assist taking him to 50 goal involvements in 58 Premier League matches — only Andy Cole (43), Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona (both 54) reached that mark in fewer games.
But putting his achievement into modern-day context, Fernandes (30 goals, 20 assists) sits top of the pile for most involvements since his debut, his 50 being four more than Salah (34 goals, 12 assists).
The only other player on more than 40 in that time is Harry Kane (44 involvements, 30 goals, 14 assists).
The Premier League’s deadliest attack… Sort of
So, you think you know which team is the most clinical in the Premier League this season? Well, you’re wrong.
It’s not Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City. It’s certainly not Tottenham or Arsenal… It’s Brentford. In a way.
When it comes to the amount of goals scored from their shots on target, the Premier League new boys have been the most clinical, netting 10 (or 45.5 per cent) of their 22 accurate attempts following the 2-1 win at West Ham.
Liverpool are the league’s leading scorers with 17, but those goals have come from 53 shots on target, meaning only 32.1 per cent of their accurate efforts are beating the goalkeeper.
Norwich City prop up the table (11.8 per cent), with Spurs (18.8 per cent) and Arsenal (19.2 per cent) also in the bottom three.
Vardy almost the ‘golden oldie’
Jamie Vardy’s story is a familiar one these days. His journey to the top wasn’t straightforward, but since getting there he’s been absolutely devastating.
Of course, his 24-goal haul was essential in Leicester City’s incredible title triumph of 2015-16, but he’s continued at a great level, only recording under 15 Premier League goals in a single season once since.
He already looks well on track to better his tally of 15 from 2020-21 this season, with the former England man on six in seven league games, and now he’s closing in on a record.
Vardy’s goal against Crystal Palace at the weekend was his 90th in the top-flight since turning 30 in January 2017, with Arsenal great Ian Wright (93) the only player in the competition’s history to score more after his 30th birthday.
Source: Soccer News
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