EPL

Guardiola's worst points haul, Rashford's home comforts – the Premier League Data Diary

By Sports Desk November 10, 2019

Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League season continued in some style as they turned on the style in a 3-1 win over Manchester City, who they have not lost to at Anfield in the top flight since May 2003.

Meanwhile, it was another tough weekend for Premier League fans across North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both dropping points as the dark clouds continue to gather around both clubs.

Arsenal's defeat at high-flying Leicester City left the Gunners winless in their last four top-flight outings, while Spurs are without a victory in five attempts after their 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United.

With Arsenal failing to win, Manchester United had the opportunity to narrow the gap between sixth and seventh to just one point and they did just that, bringing Brighton and Hove Albion's two-game winning streak to an end in a 3-1 victory.

All four games produced a feast of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are brought to light below.

DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST CITY POINTS HAUL

Trips to Liverpool have rarely been kind to Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City and Sunday's defeat was his fourth during his time in the Premier League.

City have amassed 25 points this season - Guardiola's lowest return after 12 games of a Premier League season - and he is more than three points behind the league leaders for the first time at this stage of a season.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City and only Manchester United in 1993-94 have been further ahead after 12 games in the Premier League era.

The Reds prospered courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the latter scoring at Anfield in the league for the 22nd time since August 2018.

No other top-flight player has scored more at a single venue in the same period.

RASHFORD REVELS IN UNITED'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Marcus Rashford gave the Old Trafford crowd a rare moment to savour in a difficult season when his shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar to put Manchester United 3-1 up against Brighton.

It was the 22-year-old's 30th goal on home turf for the Red Devils, six of which have come in 2019-20, and he needs three more to equal his best goal return in home matches (nine in 2017-18).

Rashford's form has been key to United's recent upturn in fortunes at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and their last seven across all competitions - their longest run under the same manager since March 2018 (eight unbeaten under Jose Mourinho).

Solskjaer named his youngest Premier League starting line-up of the season, averaging 23 years and 350 days, and his side extended Brighton's miserable run on the road against the top flight's "big six": the Seagulls are winless in 15 such games.

ARSENAL IN WORST START FOR 37 YEARS

Unai Emery might be running out of chances after a 2-0 loss to Leicester City condemned Arsenal to their worst record at this stage of a top-flight season since 1982-83.

The Gunners accumulated 17 points from 12 games in 2014-15, as many as they have now, but could at least lay claim to a positive goal difference of +5 at that time, unlike the -1 that resides next to their disappointing points tally this term.

Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium marked Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge and his 13th defeat.

He has overseen 25 victories and led the club to 87 points, two fewer than Arsene Wenger accrued over his final 50 matches as manager.

The contrast could not be greater to electrifying Leicester, who have now won five successive Premier League home games and boast one more point (26 in total) than they did at this point of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

SON SHINING BUT SPURS STILL STUCK IN DARKNESS

If there is some comfort to be found for Arsenal, it is in the malaise affecting north London rivals Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could only draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, who became the third promoted side – after Blackburn Rovers (1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (1994-95) – to go unbeaten through their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

George Baldock's goal earned a share of the spoils and means Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.

Worse still, the Champions League finalists have banked only 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games since 2008-09, a season that cost Juande Ramos his job.

Son Heung-min, scorer of the opener, is one player pulling his weight. The South Korea star has netted five times in his past five appearances in all competitions.

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    Saka capped a fine individual display with the equaliser for Arsenal as they drew 2-2 with Standard in their final Europa League group game on Thursday.

    The teenage winger had also provided the cross for Alexandre Lacazette's close-range headed goal as Ljungberg's side battled back from 2-0 down to earn a point.

    It helped the Gunners secure top spot in Group F, ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt, and means they will be one of the seeded teams in the draw for the last 32 on Monday.

    "He was amazing," Ljungberg said of Saka in his post-match news conference. "His final ball, and last bit, is always effective.

    "He was a bit upset with me before the game that he had to play wing-back and full-back. He's a tremendous talent.

    "I feel sorry for our young players. A lot of them haven't been on loan, they've not had that exposure to men’s football.

    "Some of them made mistakes but they'll learn from those mistakes and won't do them again. But Bukayo had a tremendous night."

    Arsenal's display was characterised by defensive uncertainty as Ljungberg put his faith in youth against Standard.

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    He added: "I'm really proud of them. They showed belief in how they can play football. It's good for us in the future. The energy, they go and go. They don't stop.

    "We played really well in our game-plan in the first half. They didn't have any shots on target. We should have maybe been one or two up at half-time.

    "We got sucker-punched a bit, they scored two deflected goals. You can't really slam the players for that.

    "We could have folded but we didn't. At 2-2, we could have got a 3-2 but I had the information about the other score so we didn't go too hard.

    "Of course, it was a small gamble but I believe in those young players and they pulled through and we're top of the group."

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    However, those hopes were dashed when Lacazette and Saka scored in quick succession to settle Arsenal's nerves.

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    The 21-year-old centre-back has started 11 Premier League games and made his England debut in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo last month.

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