EPL

Man United halt Liverpool's winning streak as Man City close the gap - the Premier League Data Diary

By Sports Desk October 20, 2019

Premier League leaders Liverpool's winning start to the season was brought to a halt as they drew 1-1 against fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford's contentious goal looked set to claim all three points for United in the clash at Old Trafford, but substitute Adam Lallana hauled Liverpool level late on.

The Reds are still unbeaten in the league this season and lead the way, although Manchester City's victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means the gap is now six points.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino will not have been pleased by another unconvincing Tottenham display despite Dele Alli rescuing a point for Spurs against Watford.

Chelsea overcame Newcastle United, while Leicester City got back on the winning trail following their heartbreak at Anfield.

Marco Silva's Everton claimed a much-needed win over West Ham, with Aston Villa beating Brighton and Hove Albion late on. Wolves drew with Southampton and Norwich City held Bournemouth in Saturday's other encounters.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's big games.

 

SEVENTEEN AND OUT FOR LIVERPOOL

Lallana may have scored his first league goal since May 2017, but it was only enough to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, as the Reds failed to win for the first time in 18 Premier League matches.

It means, with 17 straight victories, the top-flight leaders fall just short of the Premier League record set by City in 2017.

Jurgen Klopp was furious that Rashford's opener was allowed to stand, though the goal means the England forward has now scored 11 times against "big six" opposition.

It was backs-against-the-wall stuff for United for much of the match, with the Red Devils registering their second-lowest possession figure (32.1 per cent) in a Premier League home match since 2003-04.

Five of the last seven Premier League meetings between the north west rivals have ended level – just four of the previous 36 encounters had been drawn.

JESUS RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AS CITY BOUNCE BACK

City's slip-up before the international break allowed Liverpool to open up an eight-point gap, but Pep Guardiola's side responded in confident fashion on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus scored his 50th City goal to put the champions ahead at Selhurst Park, with the Brazil international becoming the seventh player to reach that milestone while being coached by Guardiola, joining Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Thomas Muller and Pedro on an illustrious list. 

David Silva added City's second, just 93 seconds after Jesus' opener as Palace succumbed to a 10th home league defeat since the start of last season.

City have now won 12 of their 14 away Premier League games in 2019, three more than any other club this calendar year, while in all competitions they have won 16 of their previous 19 meetings with Palace, scoring 47 goals.

Jesus has been directly involved in 58 goals in his 64 starts across all competitions for the club, including scoring 21 in his last 20 games when featuring in the starting XI.

ALLI SAVES A POINT BUT SPURS' SLUGGISH RUN ROLLS ON

A mix-up between Kiko Femenia and Ben Foster may have allowed Alli to salvage a point for Tottenham against Watford, but Spurs have now won just three of their last 12 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet across those games.

Lowly Watford thought Abdoulaye Doucoure's early goal was going to be enough, but the Hornets remain winless in the Premier League this season, failing to win their opening nine league games for the first time since 2006-07, when they went on to finish bottom.

Spurs made seven changes to their starting XI for this match, with Alli rewarding Pochettino for his faith as he scored his fifth league goal against Watford.

Watford lost Danny Welbeck to injury in the fourth minute – the earliest substitution of a starting player in a Premier League match since Daniel Sturridge for West Brom against Chelsea in February 2018.

IT'S...... JAMIE VARDY

After their late defeat at Anfield, Leicester returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Burnley, albeit it was a triumph not without some controversy as Sean Dyche's side had a late goal harshly disallowed by VAR.

Jamie Vardy cancelled out Chris Wood's opener, heading home a cross from Harvey Barnes, who later became the second youngest player to provide two assists in a Premier League game for the Foxes when he teed up Youri Tielemans' winner.

Since Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League game in charge of Leicester on March 3rd, Vardy has scored 15 top-flight goals – two more than any other player.

In-form Leicester have now won four consecutive home Premier League matches for the first time since winning five in a row in May 2017, while the Clarets have won just 16 times from Burnley's 100 away matches in the top tier.

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    Georginio Wijnaldum will travel with Liverpool to the Club World Cup despite appearing to injure his hamstring in Saturday's Premier League win over Watford.

    The midfielder's participation in Qatar became uncertain after he limped off in the 59th minute of the 2-0 victory at Anfield.

    Liverpool confirmed Wijnaldum had suffered a muscle problem but the 29-year-old will still fly out on Sunday as part of a 20-man selection.

    Jurgen Klopp will be without defender Dejan Lovren, who has been left behind as he recovers from a muscle issue sustained in the Champions League game against Salzburg.

    Young midfielder Harvey Elliott and striker Rhian Brewster have also been trimmed from the initial 23-man squad announced earlier this month.

    Liverpool begin the tournament with a semi-final against Mexican side Monterrey in Doha on Wednesday.

    Captain and midfielder Jordan Henderson said the European champions had every intention of returning with the silverware.

    "Well, we want to go there and win," Henderson told his club's website after the victory over the Hornets. 

    "Big games coming up, so we've got to recover well. There's a big game Wednesday and hopefully we can do a job to get into the final on the weekend."

    Liverpool's Club World Cup squad:

    Alisson, Andy Lonergan, Adrian; Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Neco Williams; Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri; Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi.

  • Ljungberg prepared for sour Emirates Stadium atmosphere as Arsenal host Man City Ljungberg prepared for sour Emirates Stadium atmosphere as Arsenal host Man City

    Freddie Ljungberg admitted Arsenal must be ready for a backlash from their own fans in Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester City.

    The Gunners were booed off after a dispiriting 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion in their last Emirates Stadium appearance.

    Hector Bellerin insisted the team had given "100 per cent" but another poor result against champions City will only add to the sense of discontent in north London.

    "It's the right of the fans to be this way," said interim boss Ljungberg.

    "Of course I want them to be with us and I know how much it means to the players, and I can see sometimes when it happens they can go a little bit down.

    "But that's something I will talk to them about. They already know about it but I will try to prepare them for if and when it happens.

    "But I think when we play City at home, the fans know it will be a very tough game and will be with us regardless.

    "I want to make sure I respect the decisions and voice of the fans. In my opinion they are the club and we try to do the best we can for them. We try to respect them and make them know we are doing this.

    "I hope they have seen that in the last fortnight."

    Arsenal triumphed 3-1 at West Ham on Monday but have not won a Premier League home game since the narrow 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in early October.

    Unai Emery lost his job on November 29 and club chiefs are still considering potential successors, with Ljungberg now set to oversee his fifth match.

    The Swede warned there was no quick fix to the malaise.

    "I am a fan, too, and I want Arsenal back winning trophies, but as I say this won't happen overnight," he said.

    "Of course, there are things to fix now and that we can do better. I have a list of about 10 to 15 things we need to urgently get right, but you can't do all those things at once."

  • Rumour Has It: Haaland chooses Manchester United Rumour Has It: Haaland chooses Manchester United

    Manchester United could be set to land the most sought-after striker in Europe.

    According to a new report, Erling Haaland has identified the Red Devils as his preferred choice from a long list of suitors containing Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

    The teenager met with the two Bundesliga clubs in midweek, but United appear to have moved to the front of the queue.

     

    TOP STORY – HAALAND SENDS MESSAGE TO SOLSKJAER

    Salzburg star Haaland has told compatriot Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he wants to move to Old Trafford, according to the Mirror.

    United have been linked with the 19-year-old for several months and the Norwegian connection could lead him to the Premier League.

    However, Haaland's high-profile agent Mino Raiola reportedly wants to keep all options on the table as the January transfer window moves nearer.

    The striker's father, Alf-Inge, was said to have visited United's training ground in November, while Haaland held talks with Bundesliga teams Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig this week.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Inter's firm interest in Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa could lead to a transfer tug-of-war with Serie A title rivals Juventus, according to CalcioMercato.

    - The Nerazzurri have been linked Alessandro Florenzi, but Atalanta are now in pole position to sign the Italy international if he leaves Roma in January, says Gazzetta dello Sport.

    - Rest time might be at a minimum for Kylian Mbappe when the club season winds down. According to Le Parisien, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet will give the Paris Saint-Germain star the chance to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin less than two weeks after the Euro 2020 final.

    - Chelsea are considering launching a January bid for Leeds United loanee Ben White, claims the Daily Mail. Brighton and Hove Albion, White's parent club, are reportedly willing to accept offers of £25million.

    - Mundo Deportivo suggests LaLiga heavyweights Barcelona are monitoring Thiago Alcantara's situation amid rumours the midfielder has become unhappy at Bayern Munich. Thiago swapped Barca for Bayern in 2013.

    - West Ham's victory over Southampton will not be enough to save Manuel Pellegrini from the sack, says the Daily Star. Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes are among the possible replacements.

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