Football Features

Foden equals greats: Stats and stories you might have missed from the midweek Premier League action

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:30, 3 April 2024

We only returned from the international break at the weekend, but Premier League games are coming thick and fast.

It’s a full midweek gameweek with all 20 teams involved, and 10 games spread across three days. On Tuesday there were five games including a London derby between West Ham and Tottenham, while Fulham travelled to Nottingham Forest.

On Wednesday two of the three title contenders were in action as Arsenal hosts Luton Town and Manchester City took on Aston Villa. Naturally, with games on at the same time, it’s hard to catch all the action.

Here’s what you might have missed from the matches.

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Calvert-Lewin ends streak

For fans of WWE this is a big week as it’s WrestleMania on Saturday and Sunday. One of the biggest stories of WrestleMania history (10 years ago now…) was the Undertaker’s unbeaten streak ending. So what better time for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to end a streak of his own.

The Everton man was on the scoresheet in their draw against Newcastle, netting the equaliser from the penalty spot. It wasn’t the best penalty, but there was just enough on it to beat Martin Dubravka who had connected with it.

And so ended a run of 18 matches and 41 shots for Calvert-Lewin in the Premier League without scoring. It was bound to happen against Newcastle too, with Calvert-Lewin scoring six times vs the Magpies — his best record in the competition.

Alexander Isak closes in on greats

Calvert-Lewin had to equalise because Alexander Isak continued his fine goalscoring form for Newcastle. The Swedish striker has now scored in each of his last five Premier League home games, with only three Newcastle players managing a longer such streak.

There is still some way to go for Isak to break the Newcastle record — held by Alan Shearer with 15 consecutive home games — but he could still overtake Andrew Cole (eight) and Les Ferdinand (six) before the season is up.

Isak is also just one goal away from equalling Sebastian Larsson as the second-highest scoring Swede in the Premier League, currently on 25. He’ll then have his sights set on top spot, held by Freddie Ljungberg and his 48 Premier League goals.

Marco Silva’s early treble

It’s fair to say Fulham had a terrible start at the City Ground. Nottingham Forest came flying out of the traps and led 2-0 inside 20 minutes thanks to goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Chris Wood.

Sure, there was still 70 minutes left for Fulham to get back into the match, but would they be able to do it with their 11 starters? Marco Silva didn’t think so as after 33 minutes he switched things up. But it wasn’t just one change. Or two. Silva went for a triple change.

It was the second-earliest a side had made three substitutions in a Premier League game, after Stoke had used all three against Sunderland in the 30th minute in February 2009. All three of those subs were made after injuries and at three different points. So this was the earliest triple change in Premier League history.

Bournemouth’s crucial goalscorer

Bournemouth are almost mathematically safe, but they can realistically already start planning for next season. Now 11th, the Cherries moved 19 points clear of the relegation zone thanks to their 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. And they had their crucial goalscorer to thank.

No, not Dominic Solanke. Justin Kluivert has scored five Premier League goals for Bournemouth, four of which have been winners. He scored the second in a 3-1 win over Sheffield United, the opening goal in a 4-0 win over Fulham and another opener in a 2-0 win against Burnley — before the only goal vs Crystal Palace.

The only goal Kluivert has scored that wasn’t a winner was the opener in a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest. But he is now just one goal behind father Patrick Kluivert for Premier League goals, with the Dutch legend netting six in 25 matches for Newcastle.

Ea-goalless

At the other end of the pitch, Crystal Palace had just three shots with two on target and, most importantly, failed to find the net.

Since they returned to the Premier League in 2013/14, it was the 146th time Palace have failed to score in a game — 27 more than any other club.

Since returning to the Premier League in 2013-14, Crystal Palace have failed to score in 146 games in the competition, 27 more than any other side. Seven of those have come this season, but this was the game in which they had the fewest shots.

Kai Havertz’s best-ever Premier League campaign

Kai Havertz’s fine run of form continues. The German had a rough start to life at Arsenal but he’s very much a key part of their side now.

Havertz set up Martin Odegaard’s opener with a neat passing move, the fifth game in six in which the German has been directly involved in a goal. Overall, Havertz has now been directly involved in 12 goals in the Premier League this season — eight goals, four assists — his best record in the competition.

A touch of good fortune

Arsenal’s second goal came through an own goal by Daiki Hashioka, making just his second start in the Premier League since his winter move to Luton.

It was the fourth own goal Arsenal have benefited from in the Premier League this season, with no team benefitting from more. Liverpool, Brighton and Tottenham have also had four own goals scored for them.

Stingless Bees

While the two title contenders dominated Wednesday night, there was another game in west London as Brentford hosted Brighton. But if you picked to watch Arsenal or Man City, you didn’t miss anything.

It was a goalless draw at the Gtech Community Stadium with Brighton struggling to make the most of their possession. They had 24 shots in total but only hit the target six times, compared to Brentford’s two shots on target from five efforts overall.

The draw continued Brentford’s torrid run of form, now winless in their last eight Premier League games, their joint-longest winless streak in the competition. They last went on a longer streak without a win in a single league season in February-April 2007, a run of 11 in League One.

Foden equals greats

Pep Guardiola made a couple of big calls in his starting XI to face Aston Villa, with both Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland on the bench. But it turns out, they didn’t really need them.

Because Phil Foden turned up. The Englishman scored a hat-trick in Man City’s 4-1 win at the Etihad, the third time he has netted three in a Premier League game. It’s drawn him level on Premier League hat-tricks with the likes of Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba.

Foden opened the scoring with a free-kick, his first such goal for Man City, with what was his 81st strike for the club overall.

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