Guys, guys…I leave for one month, and you let Lampard get sacked and West Ham into the top six?? Who let Arsenal into the top 10? CHELSEA lost to Arsenal 3-1? Did Mourinho fall off a cliff, or was it just Tottenham that fell off a cliff? The city of Manchester is doing its best to represent the 2018 season again, with City and United in first and second. Looks like you guys decided the relegation race too? An eight-point gap between 17th and 18th might be insurmountable already, although Sheffield United have picked up nine of their last 15 available points. Who replaced 2021 Southampton with 2020 Southampton? NINE goals conceded and two red cards? Since when are Liverpool allowed to lose to Brighton, at home of all places? Come on lads…and Wolves… guess having a striker with a fully intact skull is kind of important these days. Who knew? Let’s dive in:
Obviously there are way too many crazy stats to highlight from the past month, but I’ll do my best to point out some of the best – comment if I missed one!
Gabriel Jesus still has a perfect record when scoring, winning 34 matches and drawing two.
Chelsea’s new Thomas Tuchel (seriously, can someone tell me how to pronounce his last name? I’ve heard three different pronunciations over the past week) has earned three clean sheets in his first three league fixtures, matching the record set by Rafa Benitez for Chelsea in 2012. Tuchel also set Premier League records against Wolves, when Chelsea recorded 78.9% possession and 820 completed passes, both the highest numbers ever by a newly minted manager.
Mo Salah became the first player for Liverpool to score 20+ goals in four straight seasons since Ian Rush in 1987.
Jose Mourinho lost three consecutive league fixtures for the first time in his career – ever.
Liverpool have won six consecutive league matches against Tottenham for the first time.
We’re almost two-thirds through the season (I know, scary thought), and I’ve watched the least amount of league football ever in my lifetime. This season has been one of the most insane, and the fight at the top of the table has highlighted that, with at least four different league leaders over the past two months. It has seen more red cards than any other at this point in the campaign (four in the past week) and prodigious goalscoring (statistically almost a goal more per game on average this season), despite the number of goals overturned by VAR. Speaking of which, unless I missed something dramatic, there have been fewer controversies surrounding VAR decisions. The top teams have suffered more surprising losses (although Manchester City haven’t lost a league match since November), and as the league table widens, more familiar patterns are emerging. With Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham lagging, we will almost certainly see new sides in the top eight, and maybe even one in the top six.
The relegation zone is becoming clearer and it looks like two of the three promoted clubs will have to claw their way back out again. Leeds have performed incredibly well and could reasonably make a top-ten finish in their first season back in the Premier League, though conceding fewer goals would make this a lot more straightforward. This week brings us a full slate of fixtures, including the clash of the titans , Liverpool vs Manchester City (though given current form, Liverpool might be in for a bit of a beating). Tuchel will look to break Benitez’s record against one of the cellar dwellers Sunday, while Manchester United will have to put seven past Everton to have a whiff of first place before Manchester City play the next day. Stay tuned!