Football Features

From goal fests to late points dropped: 11 Premier League stats + stories you may have missed

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:29, 3 February 2024

It’s already February but the Premier League has had its first full Saturday of action of 2024.

Due to the FA Cup third and fourth rounds, and the winter break, we hadn’t had a full Saturday of Premier League games this year. And boy did we miss it.

There are five games across the day’s three kick-off slots, starting with Tottenham’s trip to Everton and ending with Sheffield United hosting Aston Villa. Naturally, with half of the Premier League’s games on show, it’s hard to follow everything — especially if you use your Saturdays to do other things.

So we’re here to help. We’ve collated the best stats and stories that you may have missed from Saturday’s Premier League action.

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Tottenham suffer late on again

Richarlison made history in the early game at Goodison Park, becoming the first player to score home and away against Everton in a single Premier League season, having previously played for the Toffees in the competition. Getting two goals in total, Richarlison continued his fine run in the Premier League which has seen him score more goals than any other player since the start of December (nine).

The Brazilian also has knack of scoring big goals away from home. Thirteen of his last 14 away Premier League goals have either drawn his side level (four) or put them one goal ahead (nine) and he looked set to be steering them to victory on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Tottenham conceded in second half injury time, and fans may have seen it coming. Tottenham, have now conceded eight goals in the 90th minute this season, more than any other side in the Premier League this season and their most in a single campaign in the competition. They have also lost 18 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Brentford (23) and Nottingham Forest (19) losing more.

Branthwaite’s important scoring record

Jarrad Branthwaite was the man to get that last-gasp equaliser for Everton, opening his league account for the season. The young centre-back is the 15th different player to score for Everton in the Premier League this season, the joint-most in the competition.

It was just Branthwaite’s second Premier League goal, and his first for over two years. And his only previous goal was a pretty big one against a London club too. In December 2021, Brantwaite scored the equaliser for Everton in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, showing he really knows how to take points off London teams.

Adding to the first goal in the game, Everton have now scored 13 from set pieces in the Premier League this season.

Calvert-Lewin’s wait continues

When Everton went level against Tottenham in the first half, fans thought a long-wait had been ended. The goal was attributed to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who hadn’t scored since the end of October.

Following that goal, in a 1-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League, Calvert-Lewin had gone 16 appearances across all competitions — totalling 1,225 minutes — without finding the net. But finally, that wait was over, as he headed home from a yard out following a corner. Or so everyone thought.

Replays showed that before going into the back of the net, the ball took the slightest of nicks off Jack Harrison. While in the case of own goals, this would still be Calert-Lewin’s goal, that isn’t what happens when it deflects off a team-mate. The goal was eventually awarded to Jack Harrison, who seemed to know it would be his at the time, looking almost apologetic to Calvert-Lewin in their celebrations.

Calvert-Lewin’s goal drought now stands at 17 games and 1,310 minutes, with 30 shots in the Premier League since he last found the net.

Ruthless Brighton put dark January behind them

Brighton had a January to forget in the Premier League. The Seagulls failed to score in all three of their league games last month, with two goalless draws preceding that humbling 4-0 defeat to Luton.

During that time, Brighton had had 42 shots, a poor way to follow up their 4-2 win over Tottenham at the end of 2023. Against rivals Crystal Palace, they scored with their first shot. Lewis Dunk was the man to get that goal in the third minute, Brighton’s quickest Premier League strike this season.

And Brighton weren’t at the Amex to mess about. They ended the game 4-1 winners against Palace, thanks to further goals from Jack Hinshelwood, Facundo Buonanotte and Joao Pedro. In total, the Seagulls had 13 shots with six hitting the target, and they are now unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League home games.

Pascal Groß was heavily involved in the win, providing two assists to take his total tally for the season for eight. Since the start of 2017/18, only James Ward-Prowse (22) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (17) have recorded more assists from dead ball situations in the Premier League than Groß’s 14.

The pressure is piled on

On the other side of this fixture, a damning defeat for Roy Hodgson who has further enraged Crystal Palace fans. The problems at Palace go deeper than the manager, but things on the pitch aren’t helping.

As well as the nature of the defeat, perhaps the worst moment came in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Trailing 3-0 at the break, Hodgson looked to the bench and brought on Michael Olise, who hadn’t been fit enough to start due to fatigue — having only recently returned from injury.

Olise lasted just nine minutes before having to come off injured. His forced substitution brought chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” from the travelling Palace support, as Olise became the first Eagles player to be subbed on and off in a single Premier League game since Jason Puncheon vs Manchester City in December 2017.

“Very, very disappointing. With hindsight I know people will say at 3-0 down why bring him on, we brought him on because we had the green light from the medical people that he was able to play the second half,” Hodgson told Match of the Day about Olise.

“They told us to put him on the bench and not start him. When you have one of your best players on the bench, he is there and everyone thinks if he is ready to play half a game, you want to take advantage of that.

“It would have been tough to say ‘stay sitting there’. There’s no crystal ball. If someone had said ‘if you put him on, he will pull a muscle’ then we wouldn’t have done so.”

Chelsea loanee shines in Burnley vs Fulham

Armando Broja’s loan move to Fulham was one of the biggest of a fairly quiet transfer deadline day, and he went straight into the Cottagers squad for their trip to Burnley.

Broja came off the bench with just under 20 minutes to play, but he was outshone by other striker on loan from Chelsea. David Datro Fofana spent the first half of the season on loan at Union Berlin, scoring twice in 17 games across all competitions. But the loan move was cut short and just a few days later Fofana joined Burnley until the end of the season.

Fofana already made his Burnley debut, coming off the bench in midweek to provide an assist in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City. But this time, he was crucial. The Ivorian scored twice for Burnley, including on in injury-time, to help them secure a point with a 2-2 draw against Fulham.

The brace made Fofana just the fourth player to score two goals in a game as a substitute in the Premier League for Burnley, after David Nugent, Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. It also ended Fulham’s hopes of a rare victory at Turf Moor, with the Cottagers still winless away to Burnley since 1951.

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A pair of Newcastle firsts

The game of the day came at St James’ Park as Newcastle hosted Luton and given how these two scored in midweek, we should have expected goals.

Sean Longstaff was the first-half hero with two goals, his first ever Premier League brace. In fact, he scored as many goals against Luton as he had in his previous 44 matches in the Premier League. He hadn’t scored more than one goal in a single Premier League season before this one, and now he’s on four for the campaign.

But there was also a first for veteran Kieran Trippier. In what was his 240th top-flight appearance in Europe’s top five leagues, Trippier both scored and assisted in a single game for the first time.

Luton have remembered how to score

Just one week ago, Luton were among the lowest scorers in the Premier League, netting 24 goals in this first 20 games. Only Burnley, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace had scored fewer than the Hatters.

But in the past two games alone, Luton have increased their goal tally by 25%. Scoring eight goals in their past two games, this is the first time Luton have netted at least four in back-to-back league matches since October 2017 when they were in League Two.

The four goals also secured the second 4-4 draw of the season in the Premier League (after Chelsea 4-4 Man City), the first time that had happened since 2011/12.

Ollie Watkins’ double double

Ollie Watkins had a bit of a quiet patch in the Premier League, going four games without scoring. However, he is well and truly back.

Getting back amongst the goals in the 3-1 defeat to Newcastle in midweek, Watkins has now scored in two consecutive games, getting Aston Villa’s second in their 5-0 thrashing of Aston Villa. But, of course, Watkins isn’t just about the goals.

The Englishman also provided two assists, now being directly involved in 21 goals in the Premier League. In fact, Watkins is the first player in Europe’s top seven leagues to reach 10+ goals and 10+ assists this season.

It was also the fourth time Watkins has both scored and assisted in a Premier League game this season, with no player doing so on more occasions.

Goals, goals, goals

Aston Villa absolutely blew Sheffield United away, with their 5-0 victory at Bramall Lance.

Racing to 3-0 inside the opening 20 minutes, it was just the third time Aston Villa had had such a league in the Premier League, after August 2003 against Leicester and October 2022 vs Brentford. By the 30-minute mark it was 4-0, and Villa were the first team to score four or more goals in the opening 30 minutes of a Premier League away game since Chelsea did so against Bolton in October 2011.

For Villa, it was just the second time they had been four goals up at half time in the Premier League having also done so against Sunderland in March 2015. And, finally, it was the first time since November 2009 against Bolton that Villa had had five different scorers in a Premier League game.

Unwanted history for Sheffield United

It’s looking bleak for Sheffield United, isn’t it.

The Blades are rock bottom of the Premier League, now 10 points from safety with the two teams directly outside the relegation zone both having played a game fewer. Goals have been a problem, scoring just 19 times, but their defence has been even worse.

Sheffield United have conceded 59 goals after just 23 games, the most conceded at this stage of a Premier League season. Seven of those have been at their own doing too, with no making making more errors directly leading to goals than Sheffield United.