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Man City break seven records but are standards slipping elsewhere? Stats of the season

How Manchester City broke a “magnificent” seven records, why Newcastle’s points haul might be a sign of declining standards and farewell to Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge of Arsenal.

BBC Sport looks at some of the most intriguing stats from the 2017-18 Premier League season.

Manchester City’s magnificent seven

Pep Guardiola had one word for his Manchester City side after they capped a title-winning season with a dramatic late victory over Southampton: magnificent.

The champions ran their rivals out of town and rode away with the league this year, becoming the first team in Premier League history to reach 100 points.

But that was not the only record they were chasing. Here are the seven records City have broken this season…

RecordMan City 2017-18Previous mark
Most points10095 – Chelsea 2004-05
Most wins3230 – Chelsea 2016-17
Most goals106103 – Chelsea 2009-10
Most away wins1615 – Chelsea 2004-05
Biggest positive goal difference7971 – Chelsea 2009-10
Biggest title-winning margin19 points18 points – Man Utd 2009-10
Least time trailing153 minutes170 minutes – Arsenal 1998-99

And on an individual note, Phil Foden became the youngest player to receive a Premier League winner’s medal at 17 years 350 days, beating the record of Gael Clichy, who was 18 years 294 days when Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ secured the 2003-04 title.

Pass masters

In thrashing Swansea 5-0 last month, Manchester City became the first team to attempt over 1,000 passes in a game since Opta started recording that data in 2003-04.

That’s perhaps no surprise given Guardiola’s high-intensity, possession-based style, but it was not a City player who topped the individual charts this season.

Instead, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka set a new Premier League record with 3,117 attempted passes.

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In fairness, two City players were next – centre-back Nicolas Otamendi becoming the only other player to attempt more than 3,000 passes in a campaign, with defensive midfielder Fernandinho also beating the previous record held by Cesc Fabregas.

City’s passing preference could be catching too. Of the 10 highest number of passes attempted by a player in a Premier League campaign, six occurred this season, with Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta (2,760), Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne (2,694) and Nemanja Matic of Manchester United (2,601) joining Otamendi, Fernandinho and Xhaka.

Accuracy matters too, though. In terms of passes completed, Otamendi (2,825) finished above Xhaka (2,709), with Fernandinho third (2,679).

Signs of decline?

Newcastle’s tally of 44 points is the lowest by a side finishing 10th in the Premier League, breaking the previous record of 45 set just last year by West Brom.

Is this indicative of a recent decline in the standard of teams in mid-table and below while the gap to the top six grows?

Since the Premier League was reduced to 20 teams in 1995-96, the average number of points won by the team finishing 10th is 49.

In the past eight campaigns, only two sides – Chelsea in 2015-16 (50 points) and Newcastle in 2013-14 (49 points) – have equalled or surpassed that average, compared with 10 sides in the 15 seasons between 1995-96 and 2009-10.

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Or is the diminishing points total needed to finish 10th demonstrating that there is less to separate sides from mid-table down as they take more points off each other?

The 13-point gap between Newcastle (44 points) and West Brom (31 points) is the second-lowest difference from 10th to bottom in Premier League history after the 12 points that separated Tottenham (46 points) and Nottingham Forest (34 points) in 1996-97.

Spurring each other on

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah broke the record for the most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season with his 32nd strike against Brighton on Sunday.

The Golden Boot winner surpassed the previous mark of 31, which was shared by Alan Shearer (Blackburn 1995-96), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United 2007-08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool 2013-14).

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Egypt international Salah was chased all the way by Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who scored twice in a remarkable 5-4 thriller against Leicester, to bring his tally for the season to 30.

After the kerfuffle over the England striker being awarded that goal against Stoke and the resulting social media mockery, it all means Salah and Kane also end up setting a record together, with this the only 38-game season in which two players have scored 30 or more goals.

The only previous time this has happened was a 42-game season in 1993-94 when Andy Cole scored 34 goals for Newcastle and Shearer struck 31 times for Blackburn.

Indeed, that pair also still hold the overall record of 34 – Shearer equalled Cole’s mark for Blackburn in 1994-95 – which was too much for even Salah to catch.

Staying power

For just the third time in Premier League history, all three promoted teams avoided relegation, with Newcastle finishing 10th, Brighton 15th and Huddersfield 16th.

This last happened in 2011-12 – when Norwich, QPR and Swansea all stayed up – while Blackburn, Bolton and Fulham were the first trio to achieve the feat in 2001-02.

In terms of individual displays of staying power, 10 men played every minute this season, including five outfield players – Jack Cork (Burnley), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Harry Maguire (Leicester) and Alfie Mawson (Swansea).

The other five to rack up 3,420 minutes are all goalkeepers – Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Jordan Pickford (Everton) and Mat Ryan (Brighton).

Wenger bows out

It started with a 2-0 win at Blackburn in 1996 and ended with a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield on Sunday.

In those 22 years, Wenger led Arsenal in 1,235 games in all competitions, winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including two Doubles, with his most memorable achievement that stunning unbeaten season in 2003-04.

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Early glory faded, with 11 of the 17 trophies the Gunners won under Wenger coming in his first 10 years in charge and the Frenchman leaves them in sixth, their lowest position since he arrived.

In Europe there was the pain of losing the 2000 Uefa Cup final to Galatasary on penalties and defeat by Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final, while Wenger’s Arsenal increasingly struggled against the other ‘big six’ English sides in later years.

Wenger’s record against the ‘big six’ in all competitions
ClubPlayedWonDrawnLostWin %
Man City402081250%
Man Utd6018152730%
Tottenham522320944.2%
Liverpool5319171735.8%
Chelsea6223182137.1%

But Wenger undoubtedly changed English football and his longevity will perhaps never be matched – Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is the second-longest serving Premier League manager at the moment, over 16 years behind Wenger.

And will anyone surpass Wenger’s record of 828 Premier League games in charge?

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