After a weekend where none of the so-called Big Six won for the first time since 2008, here are the standout statistics from gameweek 12 of the Premier League.
Arsenal now part of The Other 14?
The main reason we now refer to it as the ‘Big Six’ and not the ‘Top Six’ is because of Arsenal, who last season failed to finish sixth or higher for the first time since 1995. They will almost certainly finish outside that group again this year, slipping further away from the big boys of the Premier League.
A 1-0 defeat to Burnley was just further confirmation of their slow descent into mediocrity. At this point, it might even be worse than that.
This was the first time that Arsenal have lost four consecutive home games since 1959, scoring just once in each of those matches. Looking at the opposition – Leicester, Aston Villa, Wolves and Burnley – you would expect the Gunners to be getting at least something out of those fixtures.
The north London outfit are not just bad to watch, but are poor in the underlying numbers as well. In 12 games they have scored just 10 goals (17th in the league), taken 124 shots (16th) with 40 on target (16th), created 19 big chances (14th), and have just 13.62 expected goals (15th).
Last week Mikel Arteta defended the volume of crossing his team did against Tottenham, saying it was “pure maths” that they will eventually score from them. But the maths are not working in their favour.
Arsenal didn’t score from any of the 51 crosses they sent in during the last two matches. Against the Clarets they delivered 18 crosses of the ball. Only three met their target, while just two resulted in the creation of a chance. It’s simply not working.
The worrying thing for Arsenal is that they are not in a false position – this is their new reality.
Chelsea’s top half woes
Chelsea have been talked up as Premier League contenders in recent weeks thanks to a string of good results, but they have struggled against teams in the top half of the table, something they need to cut out if they want to be in that title conversation.
In seven games against teams in the lower half, the Blues have won six and drawn one while scoring 22 goals and conceding just six. It’s a much different story against the higher-placed teams, however; five games, three draws, two defeats, three goals scored, five conceded.
In four of those contests they failed to find the net at all, with all three goals coming in the 3-3 against Southampton. They have not found that extra gear they need to go to if they want to challenge the bigger teams and, ultimately, win trophies.
Random Opta stats
– Manchester United are unbeaten against Manchester City in three games in all competitions (W2 D1), their best run without defeat against their derby rivals since March 2016. But United have failed to score in three home league games this season – one more than in the whole of last season.
– Spurs duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have now combined for 12 goals in the Premier League this season – only Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton in 1994-95 have linked up for more in a single season in the competition (13).
– Having only earned four points from their opening nine league games this season (W1 D1 L7), Fulham have since picked up four from their last three such matches against Leicester, Man City and Liverpool (W1 D1 L1).
11 – Liverpool have now dropped 11 points after 12 @premierleague games this season (W7 D4 L1) – the Reds only dropped 15 in the whole of their title winning campaign last year, with it taking until their 35th match in 2019-20 to lose as many as 11 points. Adjustment. #FULLIV pic.twitter.com/xRmPXDNqIx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 13, 2020
– Since the start of the 2015-16 season, only Harry Kane (128) has scored more Premier League goals than Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (108).
– Sheffield United are only the fourth side in the top four tiers of English football to have no more than one point from their opening 12 league games of a season, after Man United in 1930-31(zero in the top flight), New Brighton in 1931-32 (one in the Third Division North) and Newport County in 1970-71 (one in the fourth tier).
– Phil Jagielka became the oldest English outfield player to start a Premier League match since Paul Scholes for Manchester United against Swansea in May 2013 (38 years 177 days) after playing against Southampton on Sunday.