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Aguero's matchball & the tortoise and the hare – the best of the weekend's PL stats

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Sergio Aguero deserved the match ball after Manchester City’s 5-1 victory at home to Leicester, right?

Kevin de Bruyne had other ideas. He made a bold grab for it instead – after all, he had made three assists.

But it wasn’t too long before the Belgian gave in to his team-mate, who had taken his tally for the league season to 21 with four goals on the night.

It was the third time Aguero had scored four times in a single Premier League match – that is a record.

Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, Dimitar Berbatov, Yakubu, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andy Cole. They’ve all done it twice, but Aguero is out in front on his own.

Aguero’s Saturday night exploits also saw him become only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in four consecutive campaigns – after Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Harry Kane.

Here’s how the Argentina striker’s stats stack up:

SeasonGoals
2014-1526
2015-1624
2016-1720
2017-1821
Total: 87

Compared to Harry Kane…

SeasonGoals
2014-1521
2015-1625
2016-1729
2017-1823
Total: 98

Alan Shearer

SeasonGoals
1993-94*31
1994-95*34
1995-9631
1996-9725
Total: 121
*seasons with 22 teams in division

… and the one man who trumps them all. For now. Thierry Henry. He scored 20 or more goals in FIVE consecutive seasons.

Thierry Henry<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>
SeasonGoals
2001-0224
2002-0324
2003-0430
2004-0525
2005-0627
Total:130

Vardy takes on the ‘big six’

Jamie Vardy<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

We’re sticking with the City v Leicester match, because there was a bit of a landmark moment for Jamie Vardy, too.

He became the first player to score against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, City, Manchester United and Tottenham in the same Premier League season.

Vardy has scored more goals against those teams than any other player since his top-flight debut in August 2014.

So we thought we’d take a look at how his record compares to other strikers in the league – including those playing for the so-called ‘big six’.

Perhaps surprising that Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez don’t figure higher up…

Goals v ‘big six’ since 2014-15
GamesGoals
Jamie Vardy4323
Sergio Aguero3121
Harry Kane3318
Sadio Mane3715
Gylfi Sigurdsson4312
Eden Hazard3412
Olivier Giroud3010
Christian Benteke339
Philippe Coutinho289
Alexis Sanchez359

Vardy’s goal on Saturday was only a consolation in a crushing defeat, but it meant he’s now scored in each of his past four league games, too.

That’s his best streak since the record 11-game run he set in Leicester’s title winning season. Just eight to go to beat it…

SHOOOOT!

Jordan Ayew<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Do you shout for your team to try from long range? If you’re a Swansea fan, you’ve got reason to.

That’s because you could call 26-year-old Ghana striker Jordan Ayew the league’s most dangerous from outside the box.

Looking at data on goals scored from outside the area since the start of the 2006-07 season – when statisticians Opta began collecting data on this – Ayew comes out on top with a conversion rate of 11.5%.

Special mention goes to former Bolton striker Kevin Davies – and there is Aguero again…

Shots outside boxGoals outside boxConversion
Jordan Ayew52611.5%
Sergio Aguero172179.9%
Mauro Zarate5259.6%
Pedro7579.3%
Xherdan Shaqiri8789.2%
Shaun Maloney7978.9%
Juan Mata127118.7%
Kevin Davies5247.7%
Christian Benteke6657.6%
Sebastian Larsson200157.5%
Carlos Tevez228177.5%

The tortoise and the hare?

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

In Aesop’s Fables, it is the pacey hare who boasts before losing a race through overconfidence.

Certain of beating the slow tortoise, the hare decides to have a sleep in the sun and wakes up to see the tortoise crossing the finish line first.

So which is Pep Guardiola and which is Jose Mourinho?

Well, contrary to appearances this season, Guardiola could be the tortoise. And here’s why:

Mourinho took the Premier League by storm after his arrival at Chelsea in 2004. It took him only 58 games to reach the landmark total of 150 points in the competition.

Fewest games to reach 150 points as a Premier League manager
Jose Mourinho58
Pep Guardiola65
Sir Alex Ferguson70
Carlo Ancelotti, Manuel Pellegrini71
Roberto Mancini75

On Saturday Guardiola reached the same total in his 65th league match with City – slower by a huge seven games.

The tricky thing in this highly tenuous analogy is – where do you put the finishing line?

Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of 810 Premier League games, earning an average 2.16 points per match.

Mourinho took charge of his 276th English top flight match on Sunday – a 1-0 defeat by Newcastle. His average now stands at 2.13 points per match.

Guardiola’s average is a soaring 2.31 points per match. But how will he fare across another 200 games? Or more?

50 up for Klopp

Jurgen Klopp<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Liverpool’s 2-0 victory at Southampton on Sunday was manager Jurgen Klopp’s 50th win in the Premier League since taking over at Anfield – in his 95th match.

There are eight managers who have reached the total faster. As you can see below, it’s Mourinho who comes out on top.

And interestingly, it took former boss Brendan Rodgers – who had managed Swansea in the competition before taking over at Anfield and doesn’t make this table overall – the exact same number of games to record 50 league wins with the Reds.

Games required to reach 50 wins
Jose Mourinho63
Manuel Pellegrini75
Sir Alex Ferguson82
Roberto Mancini83
Kenny Dalglish91
Kevin Keegan92
Rafael Benitez93
Arsene Wenger94
Jurgen Klopp95
David O’Leary99

If we’re splitting hairs, you could make the case that Klopp just edges it over Rodgers – on fewer defeats.

The German has won 50, drawn 28 and lost 17 of his 95 games in charge. Rodgers’ first 95 matches ended in 50 wins, 23 draws and 22 defeats.

Two tales from 12 yards

Charlie Adam and Luka Milivojevic prepare to take penalties<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic scored his fifth penalty of the season on Saturday, but his side still lost 3-1 at Everton.

No team have won more than Palace’s seven spot-kicks this term, and you won’t be surprised to learn that Serbia midfielder Milivojevic has scored more penalties than any other player, too.

The view from 12 yards out is not quite as pleasant for Stoke.

They have missed their past three penalties in the Premier League – each taken by a different player.

Charlie Adam, Saido Berahino and Marko Arnautovic have all stepped up and failed to find the net.

Adam’s latest attempt was saved by Brighton keeper Mat Ryan in the dying moments of Saturday’s 1-1 draw – after team-mate Jese had complained about not being allowed to take it.

Nonetheless, manager Paul Lambert was looking on the bright side. He said he “would be more concerned if everybody shied away from a penalty and didn’t want to take it”.

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