Another trip to Anfield – and another journey home without victory.
Are Arsenal improving under Emery?
Defeat by Sheffield United, evading a humiliating Europa League defeat by Vitoria Guimaraes courtesy of two excellent Nicolas Pepe free-kicks, and then throwing away a two-goal lead to draw with Crystal Palace.
It has been far from the most satisfying week for Arsenal and manager Unai Emery.
The bigger picture shows that after 10 matches in 2019-20 – Emery’s second season in charge – Arsenal have earned six points fewer than they had accumulated by this stage last season.
Although the Gunners have conceded just one more (14) than last term (13), they have scored nine fewer goals (15) than the 24 that helped them to seven wins from their opening 10 fixtures in Emery’s debut season at Emirates Stadium.
Their expected goals (xG) value of 14.02, however, is rather similar to that of last season (14.24) – suggesting the Gunners’ front players overperformed in front of goal at the beginning of last term.
Their tally of 16 points, which leaves them fifth in the early standings, is their lowest return from 10 games since they recorded 15 at the beginning of the 2012-13 campaign.
They have also scored the fewest goals at this stage since that same season seven years ago – despite registering more shots (132) than at this point last season (123).
Man Utd hit 2,000
Scott McTominay’s opener in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Norwich on Sunday saw the club to become the first to reach 2,000 goals in the competition, 10 games into its 28th season.
But how did they get there?
Lots of right-footed goals, a few left-footed efforts, a smattering of headers and some unspecified “others”, apparently.
United have scored a whopping 85% of their 2,002 goals from inside the penalty area, including 108 from the penalty spot, and 284 from outside the box.
They have converted 1,112 at Old Trafford, while Newcastle’s St James’ Park (45) and Everton’s Goodison Park (45) are their joint highest free-scoring away days.
Unsurprisingly, then, they have scored the most against Everton (100) and Newcastle (97) – while West Ham (94) and Tottenham (91) have also conceded a fair few.
United’s top five contributors – Wayne Rooney (183), Ryan Giggs (109), Paul Scholes (107), Ruud van Nistelrooy (95) and Andrew Cole (93) – represent 29% of the club’s overall haul.
There also appears to be some weight behind the fabled ‘Fergie time’ factor, inspired by the perceived ability of Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams to force a result in the dying moments.
The 13-time Premier League winners convert the majority of their goals in the second half of games (1,114), but they have actually scored almost a quarter (22.45%) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches – including stoppage time.
A weekend for hat-trick heroes
The Premier League had three hat-trick heroes this weekend. Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez contributed six of Leicester’s record-equalling nine goals against Southampton, while Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic announced his arrival in England with the first treble of his career.
Vardy and Perez are the first pair to score hat-tricks for one side in the same Premier League match since Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires did so for Arsenal in 2003 – and that also came at the expense of poor Southampton.
Having scored three times for Newcastle against Southampton in April, Perez also became the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks against the same team since Luis Suarez for Liverpool against Norwich City in 2012.
And Pulisic’s showing against Burnley means Chelsea now boast Premier League goalscorers from 36 different countries.
To wrap up, we’re going to give you six minutes to name them all.