Stats: Interesting facts from weekend fixtures in the Premier League and La Liga
The new year brought in another round of fixtures in the Barclays Premier League and the La Liga. With clubs going into the fixtures with hopes that the new year would bring anything but good luck, there were contrasting fortunes for the big clubs across the two footballing nations of the United Kingdom and Spain.
While Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid found the perfect results to kick start their campaigns, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid would be kicking themselves for their less than ideal start to 2016.
Below we take a look at some of the interesting facts the weekend’s fixtures threw up.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney climbed to second on the list of all-time leading goalscorers in Premier League history. His well-taken winner against Swansea City on Saturday was his 188th goal in the league and he overtook former Red Devils star striker Andrew Cole who has 187 goals to his name.
Former England and Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer leads the list with 260 goals spread across spells at Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers.
|2||Wayne Rooney||Everton/Manchester United||188|
|3||Andrew Cole||Newcastle/Man United/Man City/Fulham/Blackburn/Portsmouth||187|
|4||Frank Lampard||West Ham/Chelsea/Manchester City||175|
Rooney’s goal at the weekend also saw him go past the iconic Denis Law as Manchester United’s second highest all-time goalscorer. He now has 238 goals for United and is only behind the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton who has 249 goals for the Red Devils.
Additionally, Rooney’s goal against Swansea last weekend saw him end a barren spell of 553 minutes without a goal in all competitions for his club. The last time he scored was in October of last year and helped end his side’s eight-match winless streak in all competitions.
Liverpool began the new year on a sour note as they were beaten comprehensively by West Ham United. The Anfield side have struggled for goals this season and have achieved an unwanted milestone owing to their indifferent season. Their 22 league goals scored in 20 league games so far is the lowest tally ever in the club’s long and illustrious history.
After a run of scoring in 18 successive Premier League matches between May and December 2015, Leicester City have now failed to score in each of their last three league matches. However, the Foxes have kept back-to-back Premier League clean sheets for the first time this season.
Last season’s PFA Player of the Season, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has now gone 2289 minutes without a goal for Chelsea in all competitions. The Belgian who was substituted after just 15 minutes in Chelsea’s 3-0 away win over Crystal Palace due to an injury on Sunday, is going through a damaging goal drought.
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale who scored for Los Blancos in their 2-2 draw at the Mestalla last night, has become the player with the most number of goals scored with headers in the Spanish league this season. He has so far headed in four goals which is more than any other player in the Spanish top flight in the 2015/16 season.
Also, Bale has been the most effective and dangerous player for Real Madrid ahead of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo as he has been directly involved in 16 goals in 13 Liga games this season which includes 9 goals and 7 assists.
Gary Neville, who took over as the caretaker manager of Valencia in December last year is yet to win a league game with the club. The former Manchester United defender has overseen 4 league games having drawn 3 and lost 1 under his charge. His side’s 2-2 draw against giants Real Madrid at the Mestalla was his fourth game in charge in the league without a win.
Gary Neville's record at Valencia in La Liga only: 4 games 3 draws 1 loss 0 wins 0 clean sheets Management's tough pic.twitter.com/4GfjtNCZpO— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 3, 2016
Sevilla and Valencia are the only two sides in La Liga who have not lost to either of the two traditional powerhouses of Spanish football, Real Madrid and Barcelona this season.
Barcelona dropped points in their first league game of 2016 as they were held to a goalless draw by Espanyol in the Catalan derby. This was the first time since August 29, 2015, that either of the prolific trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez had failed to score in a league game for Barcelona.
The last time either of Messi, Suarez or Neymar failed to score in La Liga before the Espanyol match was back in 29th August, 2015!— Saransh Gehlot (@BhenDeTeke) January 4, 2016