Aguero's matchball & the tortoise and the hare – the best of the weekend's PL stats


Guardiola hails ‘amazing’ four-goal hero Aguero

Sergio Aguero deserved the match ball after Manchester City’s 5-1 victory at home to Leicester, right?

Kevin de Bruyne had other ideas. He made a bold grab for it instead – after all, he had made three assists.

But it wasn’t too long before the Belgian gave in to his team-mate, who had taken his tally for the league season to 21 with four goals on the night.

It was the third time Aguero had scored four times in a single Premier League match – that is a record.

Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, Dimitar Berbatov, Yakubu, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andy Cole. They’ve all done it twice, but Aguero is out in front on his own.

Aguero’s Saturday night exploits also saw him become only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in four consecutive campaigns – after Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Harry Kane.

Here’s how the Argentina striker’s stats stack up:

Season Goals
2014-15 26
2015-16 24
2016-17 20
2017-18 21
Total: 87

Compared to Harry Kane…

Season Goals
2014-15 21
2015-16 25
2016-17 29
2017-18 23
Total: 98

Alan Shearer

Season Goals
1993-94* 31
1994-95* 34
1995-96 31
1996-97 25
Total: 121
*seasons with 22 teams in division

… and the one man who trumps them all. For now. Thierry Henry. He scored 20 or more goals in FIVE consecutive seasons.

Henry scored a total of 175 Premier League goals in 258 games for Arsenal
Season Goals
2001-02 24
2002-03 24
2003-04 30
2004-05 25
2005-06 27
Total: 130

Vardy takes on the ‘big six’

Vardy took his tally to 13 goals for the league season so far on Saturday

We’re sticking with the City v Leicester match, because there was a bit of a landmark moment for Jamie Vardy, too.

He became the first player to score against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the same Premier League season.

Vardy has scored more goals against those teams than any other player since his top-flight debut in August 2014.

So we thought we’d take a look at how his record compares to other strikers in the league – including those playing for the so-called ‘big six’.

Perhaps surprising that Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez don’t figure higher up…

Goals v ‘big six’ since 2014-15
Games Goals
Jamie Vardy 43 23
Sergio Aguero 31 21
Harry Kane 33 18
Sadio Mane 37 15
Gylfi Sigurdsson 43 12
Eden Hazard 34 12
Olivier Giroud 30 10
Christian Benteke 33 9
Philippe Coutinho 28 9
Alexis Sanchez 35 9

Vardy’s goal on Saturday was only a consolation in a crushing defeat, but it meant he’s now scored in each of his past four league games, too.

That’s his best streak since the record 11-game run he set in Leicester’s title winning season. Just eight to go to beat it…

SHOOOOT!

Ayew has scored 13 Premier League goals for Swansea – almost half from outside the box

Do you shout for your team to try from long range? If you’re a Swansea fan, you’ve got reason to.

That’s because you could call 26-year-old Ghana striker Jordan Ayew the league’s most dangerous from outside the box.

Looking at data on goals scored from outside the area since the start of the 2006-07 season – when statisticians Opta began collecting data on this – Ayew comes out on top with a conversion rate of 11.5%.

Special mention goes to former Bolton striker Kevin Davies – and there is Aguero again…

Shots outside box Goals outside box Conversion
Jordan Ayew 52 6 11.5%
Sergio Aguero 172 17 9.9%
Mauro Zarate 52 5 9.6%
Pedro 75 7 9.3%
Xherdan Shaqiri 87 8 9.2%
Shaun Maloney 79 7 8.9%
Juan Mata 127 11 8.7%
Kevin Davies 52 4 7.7%
Christian Benteke 66 5 7.6%
Sebastian Larsson 200 15 7.5%
Carlos Tevez 228 17 7.5%

The tortoise and the hare?

Mourinho’s Manchester United side slipped further behind Guardiola’s City this weekend

In Aesop’s Fables, it is the pacey hare who boasts before losing a race through overconfidence.

Certain of beating the slow tortoise, the hare decides to have a sleep in the sun and wakes up to see the tortoise crossing the finish line first.

So which is Pep Guardiola and which is Jose Mourinho?

Well, contrary to appearances this season, Guardiola could be the tortoise. And here’s why:

Mourinho took the Premier League by storm after his arrival at Chelsea in 2004. It took him only 58 games to reach the landmark total of 150 points in the competition.

Fewest games to reach 150 points as a Premier League manager
Jose Mourinho 58
Pep Guardiola 65
Sir Alex Ferguson 70
Carlo Ancelotti, Manuel Pellegrini 71
Roberto Mancini 75

On Saturday Guardiola reached the same total in his 65th league match with City – slower by a huge seven games.

The tricky thing in this highly tenuous analogy is – where do you put the finishing line?

Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of 810 Premier League games, earning an average 2.16 points per match.

Mourinho took charge of his 276th English top flight match on Sunday – a 1-0 defeat by Newcastle. His average now stands at 2.13 points per match.

Guardiola’s average is a soaring 2.31 points per match. But how will he fare across another 200 games? Or more?

50 up for Klopp

Klopp’s next task comes in the Champions League last 16 against FC Porto on Wednesday

Liverpool’s 2-0 victory at Southampton on Sunday was manager Jurgen Klopp’s 50th win in the Premier League since taking over at Anfield – in his 95th match.

There are eight managers who have reached the total faster. As you can see below, it’s Mourinho who comes out on top.

And interestingly, it took former boss Brendan Rodgers – who had managed Swansea in the competition before taking over at Anfield and doesn’t make this table overall – the exact same number of games to record 50 league wins with the Reds.

Games required to reach 50 wins
Jose Mourinho 63
Manuel Pellegrini 75
Sir Alex Ferguson 82
Roberto Mancini 83
Kenny Dalglish 91
Kevin Keegan 92
Rafael Benitez 93
Arsene Wenger 94
Jurgen Klopp 95
David O’Leary 99

If we’re splitting hairs, you could make the case that Klopp just edges it over Rodgers – on fewer defeats.

The German has won 50, drawn 28 and lost 17 of his 95 games in charge. Rodgers’ first 95 matches ended in 50 wins, 23 draws and 22 defeats.

Two tales from 12 yards

There’s no doubt about who is taking Palace’s penalties…

Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic scored his fifth penalty of the season on Saturday, but his side still lost 3-1 at Everton.

No team have won more than Palace’s seven spot-kicks this term, and you won’t be surprised to learn that Serbia midfielder Milivojevic has scored more penalties than any other player, too.

The view from 12 yards out is not quite as pleasant for Stoke.

They have missed their past three penalties in the Premier League – each taken by a different player.

Charlie Adam, Saido Berahino and Marko Arnautovic have all stepped up and failed to find the net.

Adam’s latest attempt was saved by Brighton keeper Mat Ryan in the dying moments of Saturday’s 1-1 draw – after team-mate Jese had complained about not being allowed to take it.

Nonetheless, manager Paul Lambert was looking on the bright side. He said he “would be more concerned if everybody shied away from a penalty and didn’t want to take it”.



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