EPL

Premier League data dive: Arsenal end 14-year wait for Old Trafford win, Bale off the mark

By Sports Desk November 01, 2020

Arsenal have endured a frustrating run at Old Trafford in recent times, but they ended a 13-game winless streak in Premier League visits to the stadium on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a penalty to secure a 1-0 win over Manchester United.

Gareth Bale got off the mark in his second spell at Tottenham to earn the points against Brighton and Hove Albion, and there were also wins for Southampton and Newcastle United.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key facts from Sunday's four Premier League fixtures.

 

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal: Aubameyang ends Gunners' Old Trafford hoodoo

Aubameyang's second-half penalty was enough to clinch the points for Arsenal against United, as the Gunners clinched their first Premier League victory at Old Trafford since September 2006.

It was also the first time Arsenal have won away at a 'big six' Premier League side since January 2015, when they beat Manchester City 2-0 – a run of 29 games.

Only Chelsea (18) have won more Premier League games against United than Arsenal, with Sunday's win being their 16th victory in meetings with their old rivals.

Though United thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford in midweek, there has not been much in the way of home comfort for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in the Premier League as of late, and they have failed to win any of their opening four top-flight games at the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since 1972-73.

They finished 18th in a 22-team First Division in that campaign, while their haul of seven points from six Premier League games so far this term is their lowest tally at this stage since 2013-14, when David Moyes was in charge.

Arsenal's spot-kick – conceded by Paul Pogba – was the fifth United have given away in their last seven home league matches; the previous five penalties they had conceded at Old Trafford in the competition came over a period of 101 games.

Pogba has now conceded three penalties in the Premier League under Solskjaer – no other United player has committed more than one foul leading to a spot-kick.

Tottenham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Bale is back

Seven years and 166 days after scoring on his farewell appearance for Tottenham against Sunderland, Bale struck his first Spurs goal since embarking on his second spell at the club.

The 31-year-old scored with his second touch, just 200 seconds after coming on against Brighton, to secure a 2-1 win which sent Jose Mourinho's side into second place.

Bale's winner came after a contentious equaliser from Tariq Lamptey, whose goal was allowed to stand after a long VAR check for a possible foul from Solly March.

Pascal Gross played a neat pass into young full-back Lamptey, and the German has now assisted 16 Premier League goals for Brighton, double that of any other player at the club.

Spurs, who have now won four of their six Premier League games since their opening-day defeat to Everton – their joint-longest unbeaten run under Mourinho – hit the front through Harry Kane's early penalty.

Their second-place finish to the day is the highest spot they have achieved since February 2019, under Mauricio Pochettino.

At the other end of the table, only the current bottom three sides have lost more games in the Premier League this season than Brighton, while only league leaders Liverpool (15) have conceded more goals than Graham Potter's side.

Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton: Ward-Prowse into Saints' record books

Southampton were 4-0 up heading into the final half-hour at Villa Park, though Dean Smith's side rallied to give the visitors a late scare.

Jannik Vestergaard put Southampton in front after 20 minutes, heading his second goal in as many league away games as he connected with James Ward-Prowse's cross.

Ward-Prowse had Southampton three goals to the good by half-time, scoring two superb free-kicks. The midfielder, who also netted in the win over Everton last time out, is the ninth player in Premier League history to score directly from two free-kicks in a game, and the first since Christian Eriksen for Tottenham in 2015.

Birthday boy Ward-Prowse, who turned 26 on Sunday, has also now overtaken Matt Le Tissier as the player with the most free-kick goals for Southampton in the Premier League, with eight.

Danny Ings made it 4-0 in the 58th minute, and the former Liverpool striker has now netted 27 Premier League goals since the start of 2019-20, with only Jamie Vardy (29) having scored more, while no player has netted more from outside the box in the same period.

Tyrone Mings pulled one back from Jack Grealish's cross, with Ollie Watkins netting his fourth Premier League goal with a penalty before Grealish, Villa's captain, made it 4-3 in the final minute.

Southampton have picked up 13 points from their opening seven Premier League games – that is the Saints' most at this stage of a campaign since 2014-15 - while Villa have lost consecutive Premier League games for the first time since July.

Newcastle United 2-1 Everton: Wilson double inflicts Ancelotti's second straight defeat

Without key men James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Lucas Digne, Carlo Ancelotti named a makeshift team against Newcastle, and his Everton side were not up to the task.

Having gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions at the start of the season, the Toffees have now lost their last two after Callum Wilson's double secured the points for the hosts at St James' Park.

Wilson scored from the penalty spot before tucking in his second from close range – the ex-Bournemouth forward has now scored six goals in his first seven Premier League appearances for Newcastle, with only Les Ferdinand having reached that tally in fewer games (six) for the Magpies in the competition.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for Everton late on and, though it could not inspire a comeback, the 23-year-old has scored more top-flight goals against Newcastle (five) than he has against any other opponent.

Newcastle have won two of their last three league matches at home, as many as Steve Bruce's side had managed in their previous 11 such matches (D4, L5).

Ancelotti, meanwhile, has lost successive league games for the first time since September 2014, when his Real Madrid side went down 4-2 and 2-1 to Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Jordan Pickford was also dropped to Everton's bench for the first time in the Premier League, after the England goalkeeper had started 120 successive games.

Related items

  • Milan sign Chelsea youngster Tomori on loan with an option to buy Milan sign Chelsea youngster Tomori on loan with an option to buy

    Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has completed his loan move to Milan, the Premier League club have confirmed.

    Tomori will spend the rest of this season with the Serie A leaders after finding first-team opportunities limited under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

    Milan have an option to make the deal permanent, with the transfer fee in question - although not disclosed by either club - reported to be in the region of £25million.

    The 23-year-old made his first-team breakthrough at Chelsea last season, having impressed on loan at Derby County throughout 2018-19, when Lampard was in charge of the Championship club.

    An England debut against Kosovo in November 2019 followed and, although his rapid rise has since been checked, the Chelsea head coach believes Tomori still has a very bright future.

    "Fikayo is a developing player, a very good player," Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup fourth-round match against Luton Town.

    "I have seen him rise from his time at Derby as a good talent to one of the best defenders in the Championship and then an England international and a Chelsea regular. 

    "His journey has been great. He is going to be a top player, but he is a developing player, too."

    Milan are three points ahead of Inter at the Serie A summit as the season approaches the halfway point and host Atalanta on Saturday.

    Tomori is their third signing of this window after the captures of midfielder Soualiho Meite on loan from Torino and experienced forward Mario Mandzukic on a free transfer.

    He is also Chelsea's second loan departure following Danny Drinkwater's move to Kasimpasa of the Turkish Super Lig.

  • Atletico champions, Sevilla join big three in top four – Stats Perform AI completes LaLiga season Atletico champions, Sevilla join big three in top four – Stats Perform AI completes LaLiga season

    Even in these extraordinary times, Barcelona letting Luis Suarez go to Atletico Madrid is starting to look like the oddest decision of the season.

    Suarez's double over Eibar on Thursday secured a 2-1 victory for the league leaders, who are seven points clear at the top with a game in hand over champions Real Madrid in second.

    The Uruguay star, who has netted six in his past six league games for Atleti, is joint-top of the division's scoring charts alongside former team-mate Lionel Messi.

    It seems increasingly likely that Suarez, and certainly Atletico, will be at the top of the tree come the end of 2020-21.

    With the majority of sides having now played half of their matches, the Stats Perform AI team have run the numbers to simulate how the rest of the LaLiga campaign will play out – and it's good news for Diego Simeone.

     

    The data model estimates the probability of each match outcome – either a win, draw or loss – based on each team's attacking and defensive quality.

    Those ratings are allocated based on four years' worth of comprehensive historic data points and results, with more weighting given to recent matches to account for improvements or declines in form and performance trends.

    The AI simulation takes into account the quality of the opposition that a team scores or concedes goals against and rewards them accordingly.

    All that data is used to simulate upcoming matches using goal predictions from the Poisson distribution – a detailed mathematical model – with the two teams' attacking and defending ratings used as inputs.

    The outcome of the season is then simulated on 10,000 different occasions in order to generate the most accurate possible percentage chance of each team finishing in their ultimate league position.

     

    ATLETICO WIN AT A CANTER

    Atletico have been given a 75.1 per cent chance of winning LaLiga, according to the model.

    Simeone's men are predicted to finish on 86 points, nine clear of the rest of the field. They are given just a 17.8 per cent chance of coming second and dropping outside the top four is considered practically impossible.

    Barcelona and reigning champions Real Madrid are predicted to end with 77 points apiece, with just a 12.4 per cent chance each of pipping Atleti to the title. Madrid have a 41 per cent chance of finishing second, slightly above Barca's 39.4, having beaten Ronald Koeman's side 3-1 in the first Clasico of the season at Camp Nou last October.

    Those two are, at least, very likely to end up in a Champions League place. They are expected to be joined there by Sevilla, who have a 47.8 per cent chance of finishing fourth on 65 points, just three above Villarreal and six clear of Real Sociedad. The remaining European spot is predicted to be a close battle between Granada, Getafe and Real Betis, with Diego Martinez's men odds on to snatch it.

    Valencia fans might be enduring a difficult time (again), and our sim has Los Che missing out on European football once more, if only by four points. That said, they still have a 3.6 per cent chance of a Europa League spot, which is better odds than those given to Supercopa de Espana winners Athletic Bilbao.

     

    WOE FOR HUESCA

    At the other end of a relatively tight table, in which just 11 points will separate seventh from 16th, it looks like Huesca are in for a tough run-in. They are given a 59.7 per cent chance of finishing bottom of the pile and just a 5.1 per cent shot at avoiding relegation, having won only once so far this term.

    Osasuna are predicted to end up just four points above them, with the bottom three likely to be completed by Deportivo Alaves, although Elche will also be right in the mix. In fact, with those two tipped to finish level on 39 points, survival could come down to their head-to-head record, making their showdown on May 11 potentially decisive. Elche have the advantage there, having won the reverse game 2-0 away from home.

    Real Valladolid are expected to have just enough to stay out of trouble, although they have scant room for manoeuvre, with our predictor giving them an equal 15.1 per cent chance of finishing 17th and 18th.

    Eibar and Cadiz are looking likely to stay safe; indeed, Jose Luis Mendilibar's men, along with Celta Vigo and Athletic, are given a 0.1 per cent chance of gatecrashing the top four. They might well have boosted those odds this week were it not for that pesky Suarez.

  • Odegaard to Arsenal? Madrid leave midfielder out of LaLiga squad amid speculation Odegaard to Arsenal? Madrid leave midfielder out of LaLiga squad amid speculation

    Martin Odegaard will not be involved for Real Madrid against Deportivo Alaves amid speculation he could be set to join Arsenal. 

    Odegaard excelled out on loan at Real Sociedad in the 2019-20 season but has found first-team opportunities limited under Zinedine Zidane upon his return to the Spanish capital.  

    The Norway international has failed to score or assist in his nine appearances this season in all competitions and, having made just five starts, seems keen to seal a move away in January.  

    A return to the Basque club – where he managed seven goals and nine assists in 36 appearances – appeared to be on the cards, but Arsenal have now emerged as the clear favourites to sign the midfielder on loan.  

    Madrid assistant coach David Bettoni, who is to take charge of Madrid while Zidane isolates after testing positive for coronavirus, was asked about Odegaard's future during his media duties on Friday - and hinted there could be developments in the player's situation soon.

    "What happened with Martin is something that I don't know too well," Bettoni said.  

    "I'm the assistant coach and there are some things that I don't follow too closely, so I can't give the exact context.  

    "He is an important member of the squad and we'll see what happens with him in the coming days."  

    Odegaard is not part of Madrid's squad for Saturday's LaLiga trip to Alaves amid speculation he could be confirmed at Arsenal imminently. 

    The 22-year-old created 62 chances in LaLiga last term - a tally only beaten by four other players, one of which was predictably Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi.  

    His contributions in terms of goals and assists helped La Real finish in sixth place. They also reached the Copa del Rey final, though that fixture against rivals Athletic Bilbao is yet to take place due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

     

    The addition of Odegaard would add some welcome creativity to Mikel Arteta's squad, the Gunners having managed just 23 goals in 19 league games so far in what has been a topsy-turvy 2020-21 season.  

    Arsenal have created 158 scoring opportunities, of which 33 are considered big chances by Opta, well adrift of the league-high 53 recorded by Manchester City this term. The Gunners have managed 20 goals from 221 attempts (excluding penalties), slightly below their xG figure of 23. 

    Emile Smith Rowe has been a revelation of late, contributing three assists in open play, but no individual has created more chances for the Premier League club than full-back Kieran Tierney, his total of 22 putting him one above Bukayo Saka. 

    Having been busy so far in January trimming the squad, including the impending departure of Mesut Ozil, Arteta has admitted he hopes to make additions before the transfer window closes. 

    "We are in that process right now, we have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase," he told the media on Thursday. 

    "Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.