Week 11 brought a breath of fresh air for the new big six (sorry Arsenal, in the words of our soon-to-be former President, you’re fired!). Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester City, Tottenham, and Liverpool all pulled three points out of the bag. One match was canceled due to Covid at the beginning of the week, Aston Villa versus Newcastle, which left my fantasy team with a Callum Wilson-sized hole in the final third. Elsewhere, fans were brought back for the first time in God knows how long around the United Kingdom, albeit in incredibly limited fashion, and only in stadiums designated “safe” based on their location. The biggest surprise of the week to my mind was Wolves’ drubbing at the hands of Liverpool. Wolves looked hapless the entire match, topping their woeful performance off with an own goal near the end of the match. Maybe “giant killers” is still a bit strong of a moniker for the men in…white and blue tie dye? Anyway, stats!
Starting off with easily the most impressive stat: Manchester United have now won six straight away matches after being behind at some point during the match. No other club, in any top flight European competition, has ever done this that I could find. It’s an astonishing statistic, and one that really speaks to the quality United possess, and the belief the players have in the system. Which makes sense, given their electrifying performances in the Champions League group-stage…
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 11 league goals from inside the box, more than any other player in any of Europe’s top five divisions this season.
Raheem Sterling has now won 20 penalties in the Premier League, more than any other player (active or otherwise).
Manchester United are also only the second side in Premier League history to score two or more goals in nine consecutive away matches.
Olivier Giroud became the oldest player ever to score in six consecutive Premier League starts, and is the first Chelsea player to do so since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001. Olivier Giroud has also scored more headed Premier League goals than anyone in the Premier League (31) since the start of the 2012/13 campaign.
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane have now combined for 31 Premier League goals, second most behind Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. 11 of these goals have come this season.
In the Europa League this week, the Premier League representatives (Tottenham, Arsenal, and Leicester City) made England proud, with all three clubs earning top spot in their respective groups. Arsenal didn’t even drop a point! The same cannot, however, be said of the clubs in the Champions League, with Manchester United crashing out thanks to a third place finish in the group stage (albeit in the hardest group in the Champions League, in my mind). Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all earned first place in their groups, and with no other real surprises in the group stage (except maybe Inter Milan flunking out), the Round of 16 promises to have some phenomenal fixtures (hopefully no England versus England matchups!).
A full slate of matches this week, barring any Covid setbacks, promises to be a good one. West Ham travel to Leeds to take on a struggling Bielsa, who has only picked up four of his last 15 available points. Manchester United clash with Manchester City in the first of the Manchester derbies this season, while Arsenal take on Burnley in a battle to see who can get relegated. Liverpool get an extra day to rest before they attempt to shove Fulham feet-first into the wood-chipper, so expect Jurgen Klopp to be all smiles in his post-match conference.