Another cracking weekend of football, another great set of numbers to crunch. Here are the best.
Chelsea and Leicester City kicked off the weekend’s action with a fun 2-2 draw. Arsenal and Manchester United eked out goalless draws against Burnley and Wolves respectively, while Tottenham Hotspur stunned Manchester City 2-0. But let us start with the steamrolling juggernaut that is Liverpool Football Club.
Thanks to their 4-0 win over Southampton, and City’s loss, Liverpool are 22 points clear of second-placed Manchester City in the PL table. This is the biggest lead any league-leader has ever had in English top-flight history.
Their dominance at home certainly helps. Liverpool have now won their last 20 league matches at Anfield; only once in English top-flight history has a team had a longer winning streak on home soil – Liverpool themselves between January and December 1972, under Bill Shankly.
Now, the rest.
Burnley haven’t led ever in 11 PL games against Arsenal. Portsmouth are the only team to have played more games against an opponent without ever leading – 14 games v Chelsea.
Only Jürgen Klopp (9) has beaten Pep Guardiola more times than José Mourinho (6). No other manager has won more than three matches against him.
Tanzania is the 117th nation to be represented in the PL, with their national team captain Mbwana Samatta making his debut (and scoring) for Aston Villa on Saturday.
A stat that sums up just how bizarre this season has been for Arsenal — Only Liverpool (0) have lost fewer games than the Gunners (6) but only Norwich City (4) and Watford (5) have won fewer.
Real Madrid maintained their lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona staying in touching distance with a 2-1 win over Levante. The surprise package of the season, meanwhile, have been Getafe. Their 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao means they are now third in the league.
Zinedine Zidane has quietly gone about resurrecting Real Madrid after their poor showing last season. And he’s started from the back. Real Madrid have conceded just 13 goals after 22 league games this season, the fewest they have ever conceded at this stage in the competition’s history.
Borussia Dortmund routed Union Berlin 5-0, Bayer Leverkusen lost to Hoffenheim 2-1, and RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. All this means is that normal service has been resumed in Germany — after their 3-1 win over Mainz, Bayern Munich now lead the league by a point.
But the headlines have been all about one man, a January signing who’s played just 136 minutes of Bundesliga football. Erling Haaland is the first player in the Bundesliga history to score seven goals in his first three appearances. Those seven goals have come from his first seven shots on target in the league.
Juventus continue to set the pace in Serie A, a 3-0 win over Fiorentina maintaining their three-point advantage over Inter Milan, who beat Udinese 2-0.
Daniel Maldini is the first player born in the 2000’s to play a Serie A match with AC Milan. He’s the third generation of the Maldinis to play for Milan after father Paolo and grandfather Cesare.
Romelu Lukaku is the first player in the three points per win era (since ’94-’95) to score 11+ goals in his first ever 11 appearances away from home in Serie A.
With his brace in Lazio’s 5-1 triumph over SPAL, Ciro Immobile has now scored 25 league goals this season. At this stage of the season, no player in history had more (Antonio Valentin Angelillo also scored 25 goals, for Inter, in 1959). The Lazio forward is the first player in the top-5 European leagues to hit the 25-goal mark this season.
Cristiano scored two, Lionel assisted two. Age is just a number, eh?
Ronaldo is the first Juve player to score in nine successive Serie A appearances since David Trezeguet in December 2005.
In the 50 Serie A games Ronaldo has played till date, he has had a hand in 50 goals (40 goals, 10 assists). No one has scored more since his arrival in Italy (tied with Ciro Immobile).
With his two assists on Sunday, Messi now has the most assists (8) in La Liga this season. He is also the league’s top scorer (14).