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Best Stats of Premier League Week 7

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Week seven of the Premier League season saw plenty of new milestones hit and droughts broken.

Harry Kane continued his torrid run for Tottenham and England while Romelu Lukaku set a new record for most goals in his first seven appearances with a new club as Manchester United continue to fly high.

Here’s a look, via our friends at Opta, at some of the most interesting stats of the weekend that you can use to impress your friends – and maybe even significant others.

[ MORE: PL Playback – Opening Power Rankings ] 


  • Since Mauricio Pochettino took charge in 2014-15, Spurs have won the most points vs newly-promoted teams in the Premier League – 55.
  • Harry Kane has now scored against 25 of the 26 teams he’s faced in the @PremierLeague, only failing to net against Cardiff.
  • Harry Kane now has 13 goals for club & country in September 2017; his best ever goal tally in a single month of his career. This equals the highest tallies in a single month by both Lionel Messi (13 in March 2012) & Cristiano Ronaldo (13 in Oct 2010).
  • Bournemouth are unbeaten in all four Premier League meetings with Leicester City (W1 D3 L0).
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored 19 goals in his last 21 PL apps – in comparison, Palace have scored 18 in their last 21 PL games.
  • Swansea have never kept an away clean sheet at West Ham, conceding 74 goals in 31 games in all comps (W2 D7 L22).
  • West Brom have won four of their last five top-flight contest against Watford at the Hawthorns, losing the other in April 2016.
  • Southampton have failed to score in 10 of their last 14 PL games & have scored just 8 goals from 180 shots in these games (4.4%).
  • Saido Berahino is now without a goal in 31 hours & 23 minutes of Premier League football (Stoke & WBA combined).
  • Marcus Rashford has now been involved in nine goals in his last 10 competitive games for Manchester United (five goals, four assists).
  • This is the first time that Marcus Rashford has assisted two goals in a single game for Man United.
  • No player has scored more goals in their first 7 Premier League apps for Man United than Romelu Lukaku (7, level with Andrew Cole).
  • Crystal Palace are only the second team to lose their opening seven games in a Premier League season, after Portsmouth in 2009-10.
  • Chelsea have dropped eight points in four Premier League home games so far in 2017-18; two more than in the whole of 2016-17 (6).
  • Kevin De Bruyne has scored nine of his last 11 Man City goals from outside the box, including each of the last four.
  • Nacho Monreal has scored his first Premier League goal since 16th March 2013 vs Swansea; 1660 days ago.
  • Since 2016-17, Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 35 PL goals (24 goals 11 assists), more than double any other Arsenal player.
  • Arsene Wenger has now beaten 45 different opponents in the Premier League, more than any other manager (Alex Ferguson, 44).
  • Everton have lost their last four Premier League games on a Sunday by an aggregate score of 1-12.
  • Burnley have already won more games (2) and points (8) in 4 PL away games this season than they did in the whole of 2016-17.
  • Coutinho has now scored 17 goals from outside the box since his PL debut, at least three more than any other player.

Premier League stats of the season — Opta

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With the 2016-17 Premier League season officially complete, a look at some of the compelling, shocking and record-breaking stats, from August to May — all stats courtesy of the good folks at Opta:

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

30 — Chelsea (30 wins) have broken the PL record for most wins in a season (previously 29, by Chelsea in 2004-05, and 2005-06)

457 — Only Chelsea (457 minutes) were in a losing position in PL matches for less time than Liverpool (471 mins) this season

114 — Chelsea used all three substitutes in every Premier League game this season (114 in total) – they are only the second team to do this in a 38-game Premier League season (Manchester City, in 2014-15)

230 — Michy Batshuayi’s title-winning goal for Chelsea at West Bromwich Albion was his first PL shot on target since Sept. 24th, 2016 (230 days), and only his third overall in the competition

3,420 — Cesar Azpilicueta became the fourth outfield player in PL history to play every minute of a title-winning season (after Gary Pallister, in 1992-93; John Terry, in 2014-15; and Wes Morgan, in 2015-16)

1 — Because of their opening day victory against Leicester City, Hull City spent one more day on top of the PL than Tottenham Hotspur did in 2016-17 (0)

86 — 11 previous PL champions have won the title with a point tally equal to or less than Tottenham’s 86-point tally in 2016-17

+60 — Tottenham Hotspur’s goal difference of +60 is the highest in PL history for a non-title winning side

3 — Tottenham were the only club in England’s top four tiers to see as many as three players score 20+ goals for them in all competitions this season (Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min)

6 — Harry Kane now has six PL hat-tricks for Spurs, twice as many as any other player for the club (Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe, both with 3)

0 — Liverpool were unbeaten in the PL against the top seven teams this season (12 played: 7 won, 5 drawn, 0 lost) but their record against the other 13 sides was (26 played: 15 won, 5 drawn, 6 lost)

38 — Both Arsenal and Manchester United have finished outside of the top four of the top-flight for the first time since 1978-79 (38 years)

600 — Manchester United became the first team to win 600 PL matches (962 played: 604 won, 209 drawn, 149 lost)

2,000 — Manchester United also became the first team to win 2000 points in the PL, with victory over Watford in February

11 — 11 different English players made 20+ PL appearances for Bournemouth this season. The last PL team to do this was Aston Villa, in 2000-01 (also 11 players)

48.8% — West Bromwich Albion scored a league-high proportion of their goals from set-piece situations this season (48.8%). They also conceded the lowest proportion from set-pieces (21.6%)

70 — Swansea City conceded 70 goals in the PL this season. Only two teams have conceded more in a 38-game PL season and survived relegation (Wigan, in 2009-10 — 79, and West Bromwich Albion in 2010-11 — 71)

13 — Hull City gave away 13 penalties this season, the most of any side in a single PL campaign

Beware, Swiss: Comprehensive statistics say Lionel Messi is super good

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“Lionel Messi is impossible” reads the headline from advanced statistics site Fivethirtyeight.com, and it’s immediately impossible not to dive into the piece.

What will the numbers tell us that we don’t already know? Messi is a wizard who is erasing the doubts of a nation — his own — with four goals in three games heading into their role as heavy favorites against Switzerland today in the World Cup’s Round of 16.

Well, let’s put it this way: there’s been a lot of talk about the identity of the best player in the world given Messi’s relative struggles this season at Barcelona and strong campaigns from presumed Nos. 2 and 3 Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.

And there just may not be a comparison, even conceding that Messi has not been as prolific for his nation as his club. As the study says, “if Barca-Messi and Argentina-Messi were two different people, even based solely on the stats recorded since 2010, there’s a good chance they’d be the two best players in the world.”

From Fivethirtyeight.com:

It’s not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it. It’s not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals. It’s not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones. It’s not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others. And it’s certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.

But Messi does all of this and more.

Check out the absurd charts for proof: Messi is as close to unstoppable as it gets in this day and age. He’s one of the best shooters, passers, creators, runners and even, relatively speaking, defending forwards in the world. But we knew that.

Here’s my favorite chart, calculating value added on shots and passes:

source:

Yeah… he’s good.

One World Cup stat regarding Michael Bradley to blow some US minds

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Michael Bradley has been a bit of a whipping boy the past week, an unexpected development for a midfielder considered to be among, if not the most complete player on the United States roster.

It started with some sloppy touches in the opener, continued with a poor trap and failure to take a card on Portugal’s equalizer and kept going through the final group game against Germany.

Is it fair? Is it simply more backlash from the Toronto FC transfer?

Well, what if I told you that Bradley is topping a positive statistical ranking of every single player at World Cup going into the afternoon games? And that among the Top Five players on that list are German defender Philipp Lahm and Australian bulldog Mile Jedinak?

 From Opta’s Devin Pleuler:

What does it mean? Well, the cynic would say it means that Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t sub Bradley and that he was constantly chasing after the other team and errors (After all, there are two eliminated players on the list as well).

But perhaps it just means that we’ve become accustomed to watching Bradley be far-and-away the States’ best player, and that his subpar performances are vexing us more than usual. What would you rate Michael Bradley after three matches?

Lamar Neagle provides best value in MLS… as effectiveness and cost measured

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This is pretty interesting stuff.

Over at Business of Soccer, the guys have been busy finding out exactly which MLS player has provided the best value for money over the 2013 regular season.

And the winner is… Seattle Sounders attacker Lamar Neagle. Are we surprised?

What these clever clogs did was take the Castrol Index used by Major League Soccer to measure a players meaningful movements and contributions in every game and put it up against their salary released by the MLS Players Union.

(PART I – How Opta altered the Premier League, and soccer, forever)

That then comes out with which players scored the most points per dollar that he is paid, and Neagle came out on top with every point he tallied on the Castrol Index costing $71.

“But Joe, what about the big name players?” I hear you cry…

Well, according to this ranking the league’s Designated Players are way down the list in value for money, for example every point Thierry Henry has on the Castrol Index costs $6,388.

(PART II – Opta and MLS – a beautiful game they play)

Some of the other players with the best value in MLS are New York Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles and New England duo of Jose Goncalves and Diego Fagundez.

No matter how big an emphasis you put on numbers in sport, you have to admit this kind of research and analysis is making waves in the soccer world. The guys over at Business of Soccer could be on to something here.

I spent plenty of time with Sports data company Opta last month and they are the people behind the Castrol Index, along with MLS, to try and get the most accurate readings of the most efficient players across the league.

So many numbers, but so worthwhile if you can use them correctly.