ESPN FC - Arsenal fly high once againMar 20
Premier League stats review: Kane & Son’s telepathy, Fernandes can never rest and Werner’s miss of the season
FootballCritic.com take a look back at another busy weekend of top flight action, where Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son were the deadly duo once again.
It was another action-packed weekend of Premier League football despite the postponement of Aston Villa v Newcastle.
Here are the pick of the statistics from the remaining games from Matchday 11, with Tottenham continuing their impressive start to the campaign.
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Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal
Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son’s incredible telepathy continued in superb style in the north London derby, as Spurs ran out clear 2-0 winners to remain top of the Premier League table.
Their record as a partnership, creating 30 goals for one another, is only surpassed in the Premier League era by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard (36), and both collectively and individually other records are almost certain to fall. The most goals scored by a combination in a single season - ie one player assisting the other - is 12; Son and Kane are currently on 11 after only 10 matches.
Likewise, the record for most assists to a single team-mate in a season is nine - Kane, to Son, is currently on eight. Kane now has 10 assists for the season in 11 games and bearing in mind the league record for most assists in a single campaign is shared by Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry, both on 20, Kane is halfway there after 29% of the season. It’s unbelievable going.
It was also another example of not how much of the ball you have, but what you do with it that counts. Arsenal had 69% possession, and made 614 passes to the home side’s 288, but Tottenham still managed more shots on target (3) to Arsenal’s two. Arteta’s team are now closer in points to the relegation zone than the top four. Crisis?
West Ham 1-3 Man Utd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to rest Bruno Fernandes again anytime soon. United were abysmal in the first half against the Hammers and could easily have been three down, but the Portuguese’s introduction at half-time completely changed the contest.
Fernandes created eight chances in just 45 minutes of play, including an assist to Paul Pogba, as United turned a 1-0 deficit into a comfortable 3-1 win. His through ball that sent Marcus Rashford clear, too, deserved an assist but the striker contrived to strike the post.
And Pogba enjoyed arguably his best performance for United in 2020. Most touches of the ball by a distance (114), most passes, five duels won and 10 recoveries. It was an infinitely more all-action performance from the Frenchman than we’ve seen of late, topped by a sublime curling shot that found the corner of the net - his first league goal in six months.
While United remain brutally inconsistent and regularly struggle at Old Trafford, that’s now nine consecutive Premier League away wins in a row - a club record.
Chelsea 3-1 Leeds
Chelsea’s xG of 4.0 is the highest recorded by any team in the Premier League this season, though there was arguably the miss of not only this season, but any season, from Timo Werner in the first half that made a fair contribution to that number.
Olivier Giroud’s flicked header at the near post appeared to be heading into the far corner of the goal, only for Werner to control it on the line. As his touch was taking the ball away from the target there was no xG attached, but his next effort saved on the line by Ilhan Meslier earned an xG of 0.9. Nine times out of 10, statistically, the ball would find the net - but in this case it’s probably 999 times out of 1000.
In the end it didn’t matter as Chelsea created enough chances to win the match a few times over with Leeds’ open and attacking way of playing proving too tantalising for the home side's attacking talent. The Blues are now 16 games unbeaten in all competitions, last losing to Liverpool in September, and this team looks to be finding a rhythm at just the right time.
West Brom 1-5 Crystal Palace
Well done to Roy Hodgson’s Palace, who scored five goals away from home in the top flight for the first time in their history. They were aided by their generous opponents, who played naively and offered up far too much room after Matheus Pereira’s red card left them a man short.
Wilfried Zaha ran the show, scoring twice, completing four dribbles and generally tormenting poor WBA on the break, but credit must also go to Christian Benteke. The former Liverpool man scored twice in the second half to match his total for the entirety of last season, and considering he has just four goals for his club since August 2019, he took his second finish in particular rather well.
Benteke has always seemed a likeable character and few would begrudge him a decent run in front of goal - he has just nine Premier League strikes in total since August 2017.