The day’s best from @OptaJoe; going behind today’s revealing Premier League numbers

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Opta Sports provides the numerical insight for today’s Premier League action, and we provide the context:

We start with Luis Suarez … here’s the Tweet from Opta (@OptaJoe), followed by a little more meat on the bone via ProSoccerTalk:

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We’ve already had our say on that one, regarding Luis Suarez and his propensity for getting tangled up conveniently with so many goalkeepers. Actually, it was Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert who had something to say about Saturday’s controversial sequence.

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Santi Cazorla stole the second half show with his pair of goals, but how about that Gunners back line? It wasn’t always a piece of cake, either; Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert, for instance, as Steve Sidwell absolutely hammered one on goal, flying towards the top corner before the Gunners keeper could knock it away.

Speaking of clean sheets and Arsenal …

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They absolutely adore Tony Pulis around Selhurst Park in gritty South London right now. They bring signs and sing song of his praise. I mean, it won’t last. It never does, does it? Still, it’s all quite nice while it lasts.

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Wilshere’s contributions on the attacking end are especially important as Arsene Wenger’s team deals with Aron Ramey’s injury. The influential Welshman was out of action once again, still recovering from a thigh strain. Ramsey’s last Gunners appearance came in the Boxing Day win over West Ham.

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Newcastle’s Frenchman of which Joe speaks are Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, both of whom scored Saturday in Newcastle’s 3-1 win over West Ham. In fact, Cabaye’s opener Saturday at Upton Park ended a 296-minute streak of scoreless soccer for Newcastle in league play.

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Yes, yes, a few attacks do die at his feet.  But the Bosnian striker scores goals. And isn’t that what the game is all about?

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.

Celtic secures trophy treble, ends Scottish season unbeaten

Jeff Holmes/PA via AP
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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.

Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.

No China for Costa: It’ll be Chelsea or Atletico Madrid

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Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.

Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.

[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]

The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.

Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following:

More Messi wizardry leads Barca to Copa del Rey title (video)

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
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Sometimes, a match recap needs just a couple keywords instead of paragraphs.

For example: Messi, Barcelona, Cup Final, the best.

The greatest player on Earth was at it again on Saturday, scoring a deft goal before assisting a Paco Alcacer offering as Barcelona won another Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win over Alaves on Saturday.

[ MORE: Pulisic, BVB win German Cup ]

It’s a third-straight Copa del Rey for the Blaugranas, their 29th crown in the tournament’s history. Barca has also lost 10 Copa finals, the last in 2014 against Real Madrid.

Here’s the goal:

And the pass: