Football News

Chris Wood scripts milestone plus other stats & stories you might have missed in a reduced Premier League Saturday

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:20, 16 March 2024

It wasn’t exactly business as usual in the Premier League, with FA Cup action taking centre stage.

In a reduced fixture list, no fewer than four games are taking place this weekend, three of which happened today.

Relegation-threatened Burnley hosted Brentford, while fellow strugglers Luton and Nottingham Forest faced each other. In the late kick-off, Fulham welcomed Tottenham.

Even with a handful of matches, missing a meaningful or memorable event is still possible. But don’t worry – Squawka is here with things you might have missed from today’s handful of games.

A tale of two B’s (Burnley 2-1 Brentford)

Burnley entered this contest winless in their last 10 Premier League games (three draws and seven losses) since a 2-0 win at Fulham in December. Before today’s game, their eight games without a win in 2024 was the club’s longest run without a league victory to start a calendar year since 2007 (12). Vincent Kompany’s men, second from bottom and ten points adrift of safety with the same number of matches remaining, were desperate for all three points and received an early breakthrough.

Sergio Reguilón, on loan from Tottenham and having already played for Manchester United this season, was shown a straight red following a VAR review for his last-man foul on Vitinho. This resulted in a tenth-minute spot-kick, which Jacob Bruun Larsen duly converted.

With momentum and man advantage on their side, they doubled their lead through David Datro Fofana, who has now been involved in five of the seven Premier League goals Burnley have scored since his debut for the club in January, scoring four and assisting another. Indeed, only Lyle Foster (7) has contributed to more league goals for the Clarets across the 2023/24 season than Chelsea’s loanee.

Kristoffer Ajer pulled one back for the visitors in the 83rd minute, but it was too little too late. Burnley’s joy contrasts with Brentford’s worrying decline. Having won three consecutive Premier League games in October/November, they’ve since won just three of their last 17 (one draw and 13 losses). Since the weekend of the first game in that run, the Bees have lost more Premier League games than any other side (14).

Wood hits a special milestone (Luton 1-1 Nottingham Forest)

Chris Wood scored both Nottingham Forest’s goals in their 2-2 draw with Luton in the reverse fixture. The marksman from Auckland knew his next strike would be a noteworthy milestone. And the Forest striker didn’t waste any strike. His deadlock-breaker in the 34th minute at Kenilworth Road was goal number 150 in English league football, while Forest is the fifth team he’s scored 10+ goals within the top four tiers (Burnley 49, Leeds 41, Leicester 14, Millwall 11).

After squandering a three-goal half-time lead against Bournemouth, the hosts were still going through the motions before Luke Berry came off the bench to equalise in the 89th minute. Rob Edwards’ side has somewhat mastered the art of late finishing. Luton scored 16 goals in the last 15 minutes of the second half; only Liverpool (24) has scored more in the Premier League this season.

Berry’s goal was equally significant. It came via a corner situation; only Arsenal (13) scored more using this method this season. Luton have now scored in 14 of their 15 home games this season, failing only in a 1-0 loss against Tottenham in October. Only Man City, Newcastle, and Tottenham (100%) have scored in a higher share of their home games this term than the Hatters (93%).

Mighty Muniz (Fulham 3-0 Tottenham)

Among this season’s revelations is Rodrigo Muniz. The Fulham marksman initially joined from boyhood club Flamengo in August 2021 before enjoying a stint at Middlesbrough. Since returning last summer, he’s bided his time before establishing himself in Marco Silva’s first team. His patience has paid off tremendously.

Today’s brace against Tottenham meant the Brazilian has scored seven Premier League goals since the beginning of February, the most of any player in the competition. Furthermore, he’s been involved in eight goals in his last seven Premier League games (seven goals and one assist), having not scored or assisted in any of his first 10.

Even more impressive, from a historical standpoint, Muniz is the youngest Fulham player to score a brace in a Premier League London derby (22y 317d), with the previous youngest to do so, Louis Saha, in March 2002 against Chelsea (23y 210d)

Antonee Robinson provided his opener, meaning he’s made the joint-most assists from open play by a defender in the Premier League this season (six), equalling Kieran Trippier and Vladimir Coufal.

This outing also happened to be the 12th time Spurs failed to score in the first half of a Premier League game this season; as soon as the next 45 minutes commenced, Sasa Lukic doubled the host’s lead, which proved to be his first league goal since netting for Torino against Bologna in November 2022.

João Palhinha, who picked up his 26th yellow card since the beginning of last season (the most of any Premier League player), had a fourth goal ruled out for offside. Palhinha’s marshalling of Fulham’s midfield laid the foundation of this win and forced Spurs’ first blank of the season. Spurs came into this Premier League match having scored in their previous 39 straight.