One player’s unwanted record of failing to win a game when in the starting XI now stands at 1,241 days, while Nathan Redmond and Gary Cahill prevented an unwanted first for English players in the Premier League.
Here, we take a look at some of the most interesting stats from the weekend.
Three and a half years without a win
Bizarre as it now seems, Gareth Bale once had a reputation as being an unlucky omen for Tottenham.
After signing for Spurs from Southampton in 2007, it took Bale two years and eight months (or 22 starts) to be part of a Tottenham victory in the Premier League. It had taken him two years and four months even to feature in a league win in any capacity, and that was only when he came on as an 84th-minute substitute with his team already 4-0 up against Burnley.
Perhaps what happened next to Bale – two-time PFA Player of the Year, world record move to Real Madrid and two Champions League wins – could serve as some kind of inspiration for Jack Rodwell, another player once tipped for great things.
Rodwell has now gone three years and five months without being a starter in a winning side in the league, a run that takes in his entire Sunderland career and stretches back to May 2013, more than a year before he moved from Manchester City in August 2014.
It means he sits at the top of a list that makes miserable reading for the 25-year-old, who has three caps for England.
Reasons for optimism at Leicester
With Leicester 12th in the Premier League table, there is a perception that the defending champions are enduring a difficult domestic season.
Their record of 11 points from nine games is level with 2014-15 champions Chelsea’s tally at the same stage of last season, a return that ranks below only Blackburn’s 10 in 1995-96 as the worst at that stage by any defending Premier League champions.
They also have the worst away record of any side in the division.
But delve a little deeper and Leicester can have cause for optimism.
There is mitigation in their record of four defeats from four on the road, since that run includes trips to Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea, three of their toughest fixtures of the season and ones from which they amassed only two points last year anyway.
Also, all three of those games came immediately before Champions League matches, when manager Claudio Ranieri might have had one eye on the upcoming European fixture.
In fact, leaving out results against promoted sides who were not in the league last season, Leicester’s record in matches this term compared with the corresponding games last season is fairly similar – they have eight points from those games this time out compared with 11 in 2015-16.
And when it comes to home games, they have the longest unbeaten run in the division, stretching back 20 matches, and their 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday means only Chelsea have won more points at home this season than the Foxes and Manchester City.
Leicester also seem to be coping remarkably well with the rigours of Champions League football.
They have won all three matches in the competition, and they are unbeaten immediately after European fixtures, a time when sides historically struggle.
That run of mixed fortunes before and after European games could well continue, since their next match against Copenhagen is sandwiched between a trip to Tottenham and a home game against West Brom.
Bring back Harry Kane!
Goals were few and far between this weekend, with just 19 scored in 10 matches.
That total was 13 from eight on Saturday, and going into Sunday’s two fixtures there was the prospect of a first ever Premier League gameweek without an English scorer.
The weekend’s goals were provided by players from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland and Wales.
Thankfully from an English perspective, Nathan Redmond and Gary Cahill were on target on Sunday to prevent an unwanted first for homegrown players, ensuring England was added to that list.
He shoots, he scores
Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench at half-time to rescue a point for Manchester City against Southampton, finding the net with his only shot on target.
That is typical of the Nigerian, who has 11 goals from 17 attempts on target in his Premier League career – the best conversion rate of any player in Europe’s major leagues since his debut in August 2015.
His latest strike means the 20-year-old has eight goals in his past 11 league matches.
Pulis and set-pieces? Surely not
Liverpool have made a habit of conceding goals from set-pieces this season, while Tony Pulis has made a career out of capitalising on such situations.
Inevitably, the Reds conceded from a corner against the Baggies – ultimately no more than a consolation for Pulis’ side in a 2-1 loss at Anfield.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said afterwards that it felt at times like there were “15 players in white kit in the box”, so good are West Brom at set-pieces.
Indeed, the Baggies have scored 70% of their goals from dead-ball situations this season, a far higher proportion than any other team.
Bolasie to Lukaku… goal!
Yannick Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku combined for DR Congo international Bolasie to score in Everton’s 2-1 defeat at Burnley.
Bolasie stole the ball off Lukaku as the pair raced through, but the Belgian should not be too unhappy, since Bolasie has provided more goals for Lukaku (three) than any other player has provided for a single goalscorer this season.
The pair have combined for four goals in total – the deadliest combination in the top flight:
Another week, another unwanted Sunderland record…
Last week, we reported that Sunderland’s miserable run of eight matches without a win took them into the top five worst starts to a Premier League season.
Their bid for top spot in that particular chart continued as they lost 1-0 to a last-minute West Ham winner at London Stadium, meaning David Moyes has now overseen the worst start to a top-flight season by any Sunderland team.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37744431