Football News

A clean sheet drought ends plus other stats & stories you might have missed in the Premier League on Saturday

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:30, 10 February 2024

It was business as usual in the Premier League with seven matches played this Saturday.

The day began at defending champion Manchester City, who hosted struggling Everton before five 3 pm games featuring Liverpool and Tottenham.

This was a precursor to a contest between Nottingham Forest and Newcastle in the late kick-off.

With the bulk of matchday 24’s fixtures being played, it’s only natural if you miss an important or memorable event. But don’t worry – Squawka is here with six things you might have missed from this latest round of games.


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Haaland hits a half-century

It was looking to be a rare outing that would see Manchester City blank in the Premier League, but Pep Guardiola’s men ultimately found a way from the likeliest of places. City’s breakthrough was also their first shot on target in this game: a 71st-minute effort from Erling Haaland, their longest wait for an attempt on target in a Premier League match since September 2021 and Southampton (90th minute).

Haaland’s opener also ended his run of 17 shots and 418 minutes without scoring a Premier League goal. He doubled their lead in the final stages – finishing off a threaded Kevin De Bruyne through-ball. It was the fifth time De Bruyne has assisted in four successive Premier League games.

Furthermore, the Belgian playmaker — who has been involved in 23 goals across his last 23 appearances for City in all competitions — provided 12 assists for Haaland in all competitions, the most of any Premier League player for a specific teammate since the start of last season.

Meanwhile, on his 50th start in the Premier League, the Norweigan marksman scored 51 goals across those outings, more than any other player’s first 50 starts in competition history. Everton must be sick and tired of the former Borussia Dortmund man who has now scored in each of his three Premier League appearances against them (four goals).

Home is where the heart is

A three-game Premier League winless run came to an end sensationally. One win in their last seven outings had left Fulham head coach Marco Silva feeling the pressure, but his side ran out 3-1 winners over Bournemouth, leaving him with some breathing room. Bobby De Cordova-Reid opened the scoring while Rodrigo Muniz netted a brace. There were just 111 seconds between Marcos Senesi’s strike for Bournemouth and Muniz’s second goal of the afternoon. Success one might have seen coming as the Cottagger’s last seven league wins have all come at home, just one fewer than they managed in 2022-23 (8).

As for Bournemouth, they’ve reverted to type; after going on a run that saw them win six of seven games (one draw) in November/December, the Cherries are now winless in each of their last five (two draws and three losses). Even so, Dominic Solanke — who assisted Sensei — continues to step up; he’s been directly involved in 48% of their Premier League goals this season (15/31), the highest player share for a side in 2023-24.

Air Jota

It took a while before Liverpool broke the deadlock against Burnley this afternoon. After being second-best in the opening half-hour at Anfield, the Reds sprung into action when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner found the head of Diogo Jota, who has developed into somewhat of an aerial assassin. Since joining in the summer of 2020, he’s registered 40 top-flight goals for Liverpool, with nine headers.

In fact, during this period in the Premier League, only Haaland (10) and Harry Kane (18) have been more prolific in the air. On a more contemporary look, the Portuguese forward has produced eight goal involvements across his last eight league appearances, scoring six and assisting two. Jota also maintained a nice streak of scoring or creating in his last five PL games at Anfield (four goals and one assist).

Dara O’Shea equalised on the stroke of half-time before Luis Díaz restored Liverpool’s lead after the break. The much-maligned Darwin Núñez sealed all three points in the final stages. Alexander-Arnold, who didn’t come out for the second half, finds himself as the Premier League’s all-time defensive ‘assist king’, leapfrogging teammate Andrew Robertson.


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A turn-up for the books

Meetings between Luton Town and Sheffield United have been few and far between in the last three decades. Even so, the Hatters came into this weekend’s contest unbeaten in their last four home league games against the Blades (one win and three draws) since a 6-3 loss in December 1994, and they certainly fancied their chances given how either side has been performing of late.

Defeat here would be a shock to the system. And that’s what we got as Chris Wilder’s men ended a seven-game Premier League winless run (five losses and two draws). A stunned Kenilworth Road saw Cameron Archer, James McAtee and Vinicius Souza get on the scoresheet while Carlton Morris netted the hosts’ consolation goal.  Still rooted at the bottom, Sheffield United is now only seven points adrift with 14 matches remaining this season.

The late show in North London

Having won their first two Premier League away games this season, Brighton have since won just one of their last ten on the road (three draws and six losses), conceding 23 goals across these nine matches. That most recent effort came in the dying seconds when Brennan Johnson converted a Son Heung-Min pass. Both came off the bench with the score level at 1-1. Pascal Groß had given the visitors the lead from the spot, but Pape Sarr equalised just after the hour mark. That effort was a landmark one.

Tottenham have scored in their last 36 Premier League games (75 goals total) since a 0-1 defeat to Wolves in March 2023. This is the joint-second longest scoring streak by a side in the competition’s history (level with Liverpool from Mar 2019-Feb 2020 and Man Utd from Dec 2007-Nov 2008), and would be behind only Arsenal’s run of 55 from May 2001 to November 2002.

Stopping the rot

Last season’s overachievement, finishing ninth, placed lofty expectations on Brentford, which they’ve been unable to keep. Thomas Frank’s men understandably missed leading marksman Ivan Toney in the first half of this campaign. Heading into this latest round of fixtures, the Bees lost nine of their last eleven Premier League games, winning the others against Luton Town and Nottingham Forest. To put this in perspective, since the start of this run, they’ve suffered more defeats than any other English top-division side.

Molineux was a daunting trip, given Wolves’ most recent outing saw them humble Chelsea, but their visitors found something from within, leaving with a much-needed 2-0 win. Toney and skipper Christian Nørgaard (from 12 yards) produced the goals. It’s their performance at the other end which leaves Frank most happy. Before today, no current Premier League team had gone on a longer run without a clean sheet than Brentford, who conceded in 12 straight games, shipping at least twice in each of their previous six.

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