EPL

Pep's 200 not out and lack of clean sheets in Newcastle-Wolves - the Premier League weekend's quirky facts

By Sports Desk March 01, 2021

Another one bites the dust, as Queen once sang, with the latest weekend of Premier League action coming and going in the seeming blink of an eye.

There was controversy involving Brighton and Hove Albion's goal that never was thanks to referee Lee Mason in West Brom's win against the Seagulls – the Baggies' past five home wins have now been overseen by five different managers (Sam Allardyce, Slaven Bilic, Darren Moore, Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis).

Liverpool finally returned to winning ways in the Premier League by triumphing 2-0 at Sheffield United, becoming just the second side to rack up 7,000 top-flight goals in English football along the way (Merseyside rivals Everton being the other team to reach such a landmark).

And there were convincing wins for Tottenham and Arsenal against Burnley and Leicester City respectively.

But here are a few of the quirkier bits you might not have spotted, with a little help from the folks at Opta.
 

Raise your bat, Pep – 200 not out for Guardiola

For those of you not paying attention at the back, Manchester City are looking pretty unstoppable right now.

Saturday's 2-1 triumph over a West Ham side in decent nick themselves means the runaway Premier League leaders have racked up a mind-boggling 20 straight wins in all competitions.

For boss Pep Guardiola, it represented a 200th victory across all comps in only his 273rd match in charge of the Citizens, comfortably the best record by a manager of an English top-flight side to reach that landmark.

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea - 309 games), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool - 333), Don Revie (Leeds United - 344), Bob Paisley (Liverpool - 351) make up the top five.

Fewer clean sheets than a one-star hotel in Newcastle-Wolves

Once upon a time, Newcastle United were the great entertainers of the Premier League – particularly in the revered 'Keegan years'. 

Nowadays, the goals don't flow quite as freely under Steve Bruce but their 1-1 draw against Wolves produced a fact more in keeping with the history of those Halcyon days. 

Both teams have scored in each of the 12 Premier League games they have played against each other - the most played fixture in the competition with neither side keeping a clean sheet.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo also oversaw his 102nd Premier League game at Wolves, overtaking Mick McCarthy (101) as the most matches in charge of the club in the competition.

Rare blanks in Chelsea-Man Utd but Red Devils' away-day joy continues

Chelsea' goalless draw at home to Manchester United on Sunday wasn't exactly one to remember.

The reverse clash also finished without a goal, marking only the second time this fixture had produced two 0-0 draws in a campaign – the other coming way back in 1921-22.

For the Red Devils, though, the draw means they are unbeaten in 20 away league matches (W13 D7), a run that coincidentally started in the corresponding fixture last term.

It is the joint-fifth longest run without an away defeat in top-flight history. Arsenal (27 and 23), Liverpool (21) and Nottingham Forest (21) have all boasted longer streaks.

Related items

  • European Super League: Al-Khelaifi vows PSG will remain under UEFA European Super League: Al-Khelaifi vows PSG will remain under UEFA

    Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has struck a huge blow to the founding clubs in the European Super League by vowing his team will remain playing in UEFA competitions.

    The French champions and Bayern Munich were two of the biggest teams not to commit to the breakaway continental tournament.

    Six teams from the Premier League along with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Milan were revealed on Sunday to be the 12 founding clubs of the new lucrative competition to which they would have guaranteed access every season.

    The proposals have attracted widespread condemnation, with even Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – whose sides are involved – making clear they disagreed with the concept.

    UEFA has unveiled its own new format for the Champions League, expanding the group stage and increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36 from 2024.

    It is this structure which Al-Khelaifi believes in and he insists PSG will continue to operate under, dashing hopes that the Ligue 1 heavyweights may ultimately join the ESL.

    Al-Khelaifi issued a statement on Tuesday after he was re-elected to the UEFA Executive Committee as a European Club Association (ECA) representative.

    "Paris Saint-Germain holds the fine belief that football is a game for everyone," he said.

    "I have been consistent on this since the very beginning.

    "As a football club, we are a family and a community, whose fabric is our fans - I believe we shouldn't forget this.

    "There is a clear need to advance the existing UEFA competition model, presented by UEFA yesterday and concluding 24 months' of extensive and collaborative consultation across the whole European football landscape.

    "We believe that any proposal without the support of UEFA - an organisation that has been working to progress the interests of European football for nearly 70 years - does not resolve the issues currently facing the football community, but is instead driven by self-interest.

    "Paris Saint-Germain will continue to work with UEFA, the European Club Association and all stakeholders of the football family based on the principles of good faith, dignity and respect for all."

    Of his re-election, the PSG chief added: "I am honoured by the trust placed in me by my colleagues of the ECA to represent them on the UEFA Executive Committee.

    "European football is at a pivotal moment, in which all stakeholders should work together; in good faith, with dignity, and to protect the game we all love."

    Earlier, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin thanked the club officials who have stood by Champions League reform proposals.

    He was speaking at the UEFA Congress the day after criticising those involved in the breakaway European Super League in emotional comments.

    Ceferin picked out Al-Khelaifi, who was present at the event in Switzerland, for praise, calling him "a great man" and adding that he had shown he "respects football and its values".

    After a 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday, PSG are at home to Angers in the Coupe de France quarter-final on Wednesday.

    Head coach Mauricio Pochettino said: "It is hard to express an opinion [on the Super League], we must take precautions because we do not know everything under the surface.

    "We will see what happens in the next few days to give an opinion.

    "We are currently still in three competitions [Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and Champions League], so we must focus on it and focus above all on the game.

    "The Coupe de France is a special competition for the Parisians, for the players and the club. We're really attached to this competition.

    "We hope Kylian [Mbappe] will be able to continue in the same way through to the end of the season. He's in great form, all the better for the team. 

    "The atmosphere has always been good since I arrived, but the win over Saint-Etienne gave the squad an extra boost of energy."

  • European Super League: Football is nothing without fans – Rashford quotes Busby in apparent protest European Super League: Football is nothing without fans – Rashford quotes Busby in apparent protest

    Marcus Rashford appeared to take a stance against the European Super League as he shared a famous Matt Busby quotation.

    Manchester United star Rashford posted an image on Twitter of a banner at Old Trafford adorned with words uttered by club legend Busby, who said: "Football is nothing without fans."

    The England international has been a vocal supporter of social causes, campaigning for free meals during school holidays for underprivileged children in the United Kingdom, and speaking out against racism.

    His post comes in the wake of Sunday's announcement of a breakaway league, with United among the six Premier League clubs involved, joined by three from Spain and another trio of Italian teams.

    The response has been one of widespread criticism from all quarters, with supporters from across the spectrum outraged at what would constitute a seismic and largely unwanted shift in the football landscape.

    Comments from current managers and players have been thin on the ground and generally guarded, but it has been reported that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is seeking to organise a meeting of Premier League skippers to agree on a course of action.

    Reds manager Jurgen Klopp had his say on Monday, while midfielder James Milner was direct in his criticism, declaring: "I don't like it and hopefully it doesn't happen."

    Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed reservations over any closed-shop competition that would remove the relationship "between effort and success", adding that "this is not sport".

    Governing bodies such as UEFA and the Premier League have warned that member clubs will face sanctions if they proceed with the plans.

  • European Super League: Premier League rivals vote 'unanimously and vigorously' against plans European Super League: Premier League rivals vote 'unanimously and vigorously' against plans

    The 14 Premier League clubs left out of plans for a European Super League have "unanimously and vigorously" voted against the proposals as England's top flight considers "all actions available" to halt the breakaway competition.

    Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have announced plans to join a lucrative new tournament.

    The 'big six' suggested this would run alongside the Premier League, in place of the Champions League.

    But their guaranteed involvement in the Super League has been widely criticised as anti-competitive, with Premier League performance having no impact on European fortunes.

    The Premier League and The Football Association (FA) each condemned the idea when it was first reported on Sunday.

    And the two bodies held a meeting for the 14 remaining Premier League clubs on Tuesday, at which the league added it would hold the 'big six' "to account under its rules".

    "The Premier League, alongside The FA, met with clubs today to discuss the immediate implications of the Super League proposal," a statement read.

    "The 14 clubs at the meeting unanimously and vigorously rejected the plans for the competition.

    "The Premier League is considering all actions available to prevent it from progressing, as well as holding those shareholders involved to account under its rules. 

    "The league will continue to work with key stakeholders including fan groups, government, UEFA, The FA, EFL, PFA and LMA to protect the best interests of the game and call on those clubs involved in the proposed competition to cease their involvement immediately.  

    "The Premier League would like to thank fans and all stakeholders for the support they have shown this week on this significant issue.

    "The reaction proves just how much our open pyramid and football community means to people."

    This meeting took place as City manager Pep Guardiola announced his opposition to the Super League in a pre-match news conference.

    Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp said on Monday he did not support the plans but added the club's Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group were "reasonable people" and "never have to explain these decisions to me or ask for permission".

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.