The records go down
The Premier League returned after a break for the FA Cup and records came tumbling as both Liverpool and Manchester City won. The race for the Champions League and Europa League places is as interesting as ever, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Sheffield United all winning.
Meanwhile, there's a new look to the relegation zone as Watford's rise under Nigel Pearson continues. Here are the biggest talking points...
Liverpool make best start ever
Their 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur means Liverpool have now made the best start in English top flight history after 21 games. They have already accrued 61 points, which is also more than in any of Europe’s big five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) at this stage of the season.
Aguero breaks scoring record
Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City hit Aston Villa for six. Aguero’s three goals in the 6-1 win at Villa Park mean he is now the highest-scoring non-British player in Premier League history – with two more than Thierry Henry.
The Argentine also has the most Premier League hat-tricks ever with 12.
Watford’s great escape?
Watford won 3-0 at Bournemouth to take them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season. Nigel Pearson has now delivered 13 points from his six games in charge since being appointed as the Hornets’ third manager of 2019/20.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, are in trouble down in 19th, having taken just four points from their last 10 games.
Nine cheers for sweet revenge
Many thought Ralph Hasenhuttl would be sacked as Southampton manager when they lost 9-0 at home to Leicester in October. Seventy-eight days later, though, Hasenhuttl’s side sought revenge at the King Power Stadium and left with all three points after a 2-1 triumph. Only Liverpool and Manchester City have more points than the Saints over the last 10 games.
Rashford marks his 200th match
Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United beat Norwich 4-0, on what was the striker’s 200th appearance for the club. Rashford is the fourth-youngest player in United’s history to reach the landmark and has scored 64 goals during that time – including 19 this season.
Hero to zero for Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a half-time lead at Crystal Palace, but Jordan Ayew levelled up for the hosts. In a feisty affair at Selhurst Park, Aubameyang was then sent off for a lunging challenge on Max Meyer. Having initially been given a yellow by referee Paul Tierney, VAR upgraded it to a red.
More VAR controversy at Bramall Lane
West Ham thought they had rescued a point in injury time at Sheffield United when Robert Snodgrass scored a late equaliser. Yet their celebrations didn’t last long as VAR ruled Declan Rice had handballed in the build-up.
“Pretty much everyone doesn’t want VAR in the game,” Rice said afterwards.
Ancelotti's defensive masterclass
Everton bounced back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Brighton, in what was Carlo Ancelotti’s 40th Premier League home match as a manager. That result means Ancelotti has kept clean sheets in an impressive 60% of those games – a percentage that can’t be matched by any other Premier League managers to have been in charge for 40+ home games.
Spurs keep conceding
Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool means they have only kept two clean sheets this season – the joint-worst record in the division along with rock-bottom Norwich. Jose Mourinho, who is renowned for his defensive prowess, has now conceded 20 goals during his 13 games in charge.
Burnley continue to slide
Burnley lost 3-0 at Chelsea, meaning they have now suffered defeat in their last four Premier League matches. Jorginho, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the goals at Stamford Bridge to leave the Clarets three points outside the relegation zone. Chelsea maintained their five-point advantage over Manchester United in the Champions League places.
Danny Ings scored yet again as Southampton won 2-1 at Leicester. It was his 16th goal of the season, and 15th in his last 17 matches – meaning that 40% of all the striker’s Premier League goals have come this season. Only Jamie Vardy has scored more in the English top flight in 2019-20.
Nightmare debut for Drinkwater
After having his loan spell at Burnley cut short and signing for Aston Villa, Danny Drinkwater was put straight into the starting lineup against Manchester City. Villa manager Dean Smith might have wished he had given Drinkwater more time, with the Chelsea loanee arguably at fault for four of City’s six goals.
Almiron: goal-shy no more
Miguel Almiron was on target for injury-hit Newcastle United as they drew 1-1 with Wolves. Almiron has now scored in back-to-back matches – having managed just one goal in his first 30 appearances for the Magpies. His last two shots on target have gone in,, after failing to score with his first 15 attempts.
Top scoring teenager
Mason Greenwood was on target as Manchester United brushed aside Norwich 4-0. The 18-year-old is the highest-scoring teenager in the Premier League this season with four goals – twice as many as nearest rivals Aaron Connolly and Matthew Longstaff.
He's still a few short of Robbie Fowler’s record for a teenager in a season, though: the ex-Red scored 23 times in 1994-95.
Landmark for Zabaleta
West Ham may have lost 1-0 at Sheffield United on Friday night but their right-back, Pablo Zabaleta, reached a milestone in the Premier League. That appearance at Bramall Lane was his 300th in the competition. It makes him only the third South American to reach the landmark, alongside Nolberto Solano and Antonio Valencia.
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