With teams slowly getting into their stride, this post-lockdown stretch of non-stop football is really starting to heat up. Here are the best numbers from the mid-week action.
Manchester United have a hat-trick hero. No, really. They dismissed Sheffield United 3-0. The more significant (in the context of the league title) event occurred a few hours later as Liverpool crushed Crystal Palace 4-0 to move one step closer to that elusive trophy. A Manchester City loss/draw vs. Chelsea later tonight, and this will be Liverpool's 19th league triumph (1st in the PL era).
When we say Liverpool crushed Palace, we mean CRUSHED. As this astounding stat from Opta illustrates. The league leaders did not allow their opponents a single touch in the opposition box, the first time that has happened in the PL since Opta have full data for this statistic (2008-09). Zero touches!
Alisson Becker has now kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper has in the PL this season (12). In fact, and this is where the stat really takes flight, he has more clean sheets than goals conceded (11 conceded).
Mohamed Salah has scored 15 PL goals at home this season; no other player has scored more than 10. And he has been at it for a while. Over the last 3 seasons, Salah has scored 47 home goals in the PL. That is the most home goals over a 3-season span in the Premier League since Cristiano Ronaldo from 2006-09 (also 47).
Liverpool have won their last 23 PL games at Anfield, the best-ever winning run at home in English top-flight history. They are now unbeaten in their last 55 home league games.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been directly involved in 30 PL goals since his debut in August 2016 (5 goals & 25 assists), at least four more than any other defender in the league in that time (Andrew Robertson, 26). In fact, his 15 goal involvements this season is the most across Europe's top-5 leagues (tied with Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi).
Meanwhile, Tottenham beat West Ham 2-0. During his entire managerial career, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has managed more games against David Moyes without losing than he has versus any other manager (9 wins, 5 draws).
And of course, Harry Kane scored. This was his 137th goal in his 200th league appearance. The only player in the competition's history to have scored more in their first 200 games for a club is Sergio Aguero (138). This 137 league goals is also the joint second-most by a player before turning 27 (Along with Alan Shearer. Out front is Wayne Rooney, with 146).
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the first manager in Premier League history to make a quintuple substitution. This bit of trivia history had to go to the super sub, eh?
That, astonishingly, is the number of days it took for a Manchester United player to score a PL hat-trick after Robin van Persie last scored one for them against Aston Villa in March 2013. That was seven years, two months, and two days ago -- in Sir Alex Ferguson's last season. Players of 21 different teams scored 76 hat tricks in that time frame -- the above-mentioned Aguero and Kane have scored 11 and 8 respectively. Just, wow.
This mammoth wait is the longest stretch any Big 6 club have gone without a hat-trick in PL history. The next longest stretch is by Man City at 1,868 days (Sept. 14, 2003 to Oct. 26, 2008).
At 15 years and 219 days, Mallorca's Luka Romero becomes the youngest player ever to play a La Liga game. This is an 81-year-old record that Romero has broken - when Sanson debuted for Celta Vigo, aged 15 years and 255 days in December 1939.
1⃣5⃣ years and 2⃣1⃣9⃣ days...
- LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) June 24, 2020
Sergio Ramos is the first defender to score 8+ goals in a single La Liga season since Ezequiel Garay for Racing in 2006/07 (9). Just to put his consistency in context, Ramos has more La Liga goals (with 67) than Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Xavi, and Neymar!
Speaking of consistency, Inaki Williams has now played in 150 consecutive La Liga games for Athletic Bilbao.
With a trademark 1-0 win away at Levante, Diego Simeone won his 194th game for Atletico in La Liga (Played 319, Won 194, Drawn 75, Lost 50). This equals Luis Aragones record of most wins for the club (Played 407, Won 194, Drawn 96, Lost 117).
A frenzied match at the San Siro saw Inter Milan squander the lead twice to draw with Sassuolo 3-3 before an equally dramatic match at Atalanta saw the hosts come back from 0-2 down to beat Lazio 3-2. Meaning the sides third (Inter) and second (Lazio) dropped points even as Juventus did what Juventus do - notch up a regulation win (2-0 at Bologna).
History, though, was equaled in Parma's 4-1 humbling of Genoa. Andreas Cornelius' hat-trick in that game makes him the third player in Serie A history to score 3+ goals against a single opponent in both games in a single campaign. (After Kurt Roland Hamrin in 1957/58 v Genoa (!) and Marco Borriello in 2007/08 v Udinese.)
He is also only the fourth player in Europe's top 5 leagues to have achieved this feat in the last ten seasons (Timo Werner v Mainz 19/20, Cristiano Ronaldo v Espanyol 15/16, Lionel Messi v Malaga 11/12)
Lionel Messi still awaits career goal no. 700, but his assist was the difference between three points and one vs. Athletic. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, opened his post-lockdown account with a penalty.
Lionel Messi is the first player in Europe's top five leagues to complete 10+ take-ons and create 5+ chances in a single game this season.
Lionel Messi has scored 15+ goals and provided 15+ assists in a single La Liga season for the fifth time in his career (10/11, 11/12, 14/15, 15/16, 19/20), more than anyone in Europe's top 5 leagues since his debut.
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)