Andrew Surman

Bournemouth 1-2 Liverpool: Reds make road history for entire Premier League

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Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge scored to give Liverpool a Premier League first and a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Joshua King scored a nice late goal from Andrew Surman, but it was too little, too late for the Cherries.

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Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp opted for a lot of youth, but it was a pair of stars who made sure the second half would be comfortable.

Firmino’s tap-in came off a sequence that included Sheyi Ojo, Jordon Ibe and a powerful backheel pass from Sturridge. That made it 1-0, and Sturridge added his goal just before half to put the hosts in a two-goal hole.

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Watford 0-0 Bournemouth: Cherries seize vital point, could’ve had more

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Bournemouth couldn’t find its finish in a dangerous second half, but the Cherries improved their standing to five points clear of the drop in a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Odion Ighalo was a constant threat for the hosting Hornets, but was just off in his finishing.

Watford drops to 10th, a point ahead of Chelsea and six behind fifth place West Ham United.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There wasn’t much offensive electricity in a scrappy first half, though Ighalo did his best to provide what few chances did arrive at Vicarage Road.

Bournemouth lost valuable attacker Junior Stanislas to an injury in the 23rd minute.

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Max Gradel and Andrew Surman teamed up for good-looking series of passes inside the 18, but the ball was cleared just as Gradel brought his leg back to strike at goal.

The Cherries kept pushing, and Harry Arter swirled a gorgeous shot that Heurelho Gomes saved before thanking a higher power for his reach.

Then Nordin Amrabat carried around the right to cut back a hard, high pass for Ighalo, but the Watford attacker couldn’t control his header and it went over the bar.

At the other end Dan Gosling missed a prime chance, and then Gradel’s grounded header lost its momentum on the way to Gomes.

It finished level which, given Ighalo’s misses and Bournemouth’s momentum, was probably fair.

Seven unheralded stars of this Premier League season

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Look, it’s been a crazy year in the Premier League. Leicester City is top by five points, Chelsea is a bottom-half side, and not one of the league’s top three scorers hails from a team in last season’s Top Four.

So it follows that among the league’s other statistical leaders — advanced and traditional — are some surprisingly shining stars.

[ MORE: West Ham 3-2 Liverpool | Coutinho’s slick free kick ]

Or at least they aren’t mentioned a ton. We plan to rectify that here. By no means do we claim these statistical leaders without fault this season, but hats off to the good they’ve done (or, in some cases, the pain they’ve felt).

Most saves in a starring role

You wouldn’t know it from the goal totals these past few weeks, but Stoke City’s Jack Butland has been playing otherworldly between the sticks. His 87 saves lead the Premier League, and the Potters would be in the thick of a relegation battle if he hadn’t shone as brightly.

Ironman

Eleven players have played every minute of their side’s Premier League campaign this season (a 12th, Gareth Barry, has played all but one). Four of those 11 are goalkeepers, and six more are defenders. The only midfielder? Bournemouth’s South African standout Andrew Surman (above).

Top thief, too

Surman is also the league leader in interceptions with 92. The next seven players on the list, headed by Chris Smalling, are all defenders.

The most under-appreciated of the underdogs

Kante (Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

Leicester City has been fantastic, and people are quick to name Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy as big parts of the table-topping effort at King Power Stadium. Then, perhaps they’ll say something about goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel or defender Wes Morgan.

But how about the Premier League’s leader in tackles. Midfielder N'Golo Kante (right) has 115 tackles, 12 more than second-best Yohan Cabaye of Crystal Palace.

An all-expense paid journey to the massage parlor for…

Five players have been fouled more than 50 times this year, and you need to be around the ball a lot for that to happen. The four also-rans are Southampton’s Sadio Mane, Swansea City’s Andre Ayew, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Mahrez, but the man who deserved to skip to the head of the ice bath line is from Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha has been fouled 59 times. And that’s the amount of times the foulers were caught in the act.

Let Newcastle United’s captain climb in second, though; Fabricio Coloccini‘s 47 blocked shots are eight more than runners-up Neil Taylor (Swans) and Christian Fuchs (Leicester).

A man possessed

He hasn’t been heralded like a year ago, and most witnesses would tell you the midfielder’s been playing much worse. No, touches don’t equal success, but Cesc Fabregas‘ 2,027 credited touches are 74 more than the next player despite the fact that he’s the only player in the top four to have started less than 25 matches. He’s also completed 83 more passes than the closest competitor (Surman).

All-around stars

Advanced stats site Squawka uses an algorithm to generate statistics on who just might be the most complete player in the Premier League.

It’s certainly not foolproof, but the best player per-90 minutes would likely surprise you: Mousa Dembele of Spurs (Minimum 15 matches).

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As for who’s produced the most when numbers are averaged out over the entire game, one man rises to the top: Ross Barkley.

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