Gunners' sluggish starts and Moyes hex breaking - the Premier League weekend's quirky facts

By Dom Farrell 22 February 2021 18
Gunners' sluggish starts and Moyes hex breaking - the Premier League weekend's quirky facts

Manchester City kept up their 18-match winning run with a 1-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday that maintained their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners have lost each of their most recent eight league games against City and saw the repeat of a familiar problem at Emirates Stadium.

Mason Mount tapped into an established Chelsea tradition in their 1-1 draw at Southampton – a sixth match unbeaten for Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

However, David Moyes showed imposing records do not last forever as fourth-place West Ham beat Tottenham 2-1.

Here, we take a look at some of the quirks that revealed themselves over the course of the latest Premier League weekend.

City slickers catch sleepy Gunners napping

The scoring at Emirates Stadium started and finished after 75 seconds when Raheem Sterling headed home Riyad Mahrez's cross after 77 seconds.

It was the first time City had scored inside the opening two minutes of a Premier League game since Kevin De Bruyne did so in December 2019 – also at Arsenal.

Indeed, this has become something of a troublesome habit in these meetings for the north London club. When the sides met at the Etihad Stadium in February 2019, Sergio Aguero was on target after 46 seconds.

Sterling's goal is not even the earliest Arsenal have conceded this month, with Ollie Watkins netting for Aston Villa after 75 seconds at Villa Park. Similarly, that was the only goal of the contest.

Dominic Calvert-Lewis broke through 50 seconds in at Arsenal last season, although the hosts came back to beat Everton 3-2 on that occasion.

The quickest time recorded for a goal against Arsenal in the Premier League came when Peter Crouch gave Stoke City a 19th-second lead in December 2014 and set a 3-2 win in motion.

Mount adds to Chelsea penalty count

Mount cancelled out Takumi Minamino's opener – a goal that ended 572 minutes without conceding during Tuchel's fledgling reign – as the spoils were shared at St Mary's.

The England midfielder became the 25th different player to score a Premier League penalty for Chelsea, which gives them more spot-kick scorers than any other team in the competition's history.

Unsurprisingly, Mount's former boss Frank Lampard leads the way with 41 conversions – a sizable distance ahead of Eden Hazard (17) next up on the list.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (12) and Frank Leboeuf (10) each boast double figures, although Chelsea's regular taker Jorginho is seemingly set to join their number as the Italy midfielder has nine penalty goals in the Premier League to date.

The list of players Mount is now alongside perhaps shows how hard it has been to get a go from 12 yards for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Diego Costa, Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli are among 11 players to have scored one Premier League penalty for Chelsea.

Moyes bests Mourinho at last

West Ham's hard-earned win at London Stadium was Moyes' first success over Jose Mourinho in 16 encounters between the two former Manchester United bosses across all competitions.

Within that was a 13-match winless run in the Premier League, although there have been worse stretches for managers against fellow tacticians they must have come to dread.

The joint-record stands at 17 games thanks to a surprisingly one-sided streak for Martin O'Neill at the hands of Harry Redknapp, with Steve Bruce's failure to beat Alex Ferguson over the same span of matches perhaps more expected.

Ex-Spurs manager Redknapp certainly knows what such a slump feels like, having gone 15 matches apiece without tasting victory over Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

Ferguson unsurprisingly dominates the list, with Sam Allardyce (15), Alan Curbishley and David O'Leary (14) facing up to grim, fruitless runs when pitted against the all-time great.

Allardyce will hope to emulate Moyes soon enough by getting one over on Mourinho, having chalked up his 13th outing without success against the Portuguese earlier this month. Alan Pardew went the same number of games without beating the now retired Wenger.

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Dom Farrell

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