Football Features

Aston Villa took Liverpool back to 1963: Premier League 2020/21 so far explained in 12 incredible stats

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:25, 5 October 2020

The international break has arrived and to be quite honest, it gives us all a chance to breathe and figure out what in the world is going on with the Premier League this season.

Whether it’s the early-season title race opening up between Everton and Aston Villa, the latter’s 7-2 (seven?!) thrashing of defending champions of Liverpool, or defenders and goalkeepers simply forgetting that thing that they’re paid to do (it’s keeping the ball out of your own net, guys), 2020/21 has given us plenty to digest.

Sure, we’d all probably dive straight back in with a Merseyside derby, but for a second, let’s take a step back and look at 12 of the quite frankly mind-blowing stats from the frantic, ridiculous and beautiful 2020/21 Premier League season so far.

1. Goals served with a side of more goals

Where else to start other than with the absolute feast of goals the Premier League has served up so far this season?

The English top-flight has served up no fewer than 144 goals across the 38 games played thus far, at an average of 3.79 per game. That’s the highest goals per game ratio we’ve seen at this level of English football since 1930/31 (3.95).

If you want to know how much has changed during that time, Arsenal won their first-ever title that year, Liverpool had been champions just five times and Manchester United had only the one solitary crown to their name. The most prolific league winners of the day? Aston Villa with six.

2. Champions humbled

That brings us nicely to the most recent and remarkable event: Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool. Watching Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins pull Jurgen Klopp‘s side apart was truly a sight to behold and there will be a lengthy postmortem over the next few days to figure out exactly what happened. Here, though, we’re just going to give you the black and white facts.

Liverpool are the first-ever reigning Premier League champions to concede seven goals in a league match and the first English top-flight champions to do so since Arsenal against Sunderland in September 1953.

Just to compound their misery, the Reds have conceded seven goals in a single game for the first time since April 1963, in a 7-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

3. Fallen giants

Tottenham Hotspur, you say? Well, as Aston Villa and Liverpool prepared themselves in the Midlands, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen, Jose Mourinho was busy dismantling his former club at Old Trafford in truly emphatic fashion, thrashing a lacklustre Man Utd 6-1.

Did you know that this is the first time both Liverpool and Manchester United have conceded six or more goals in a match on the same day? 39 titles between them, but neither were safe on this spectacular Sunday.

4. Where are the defenders?

We don’t want to focus too much on Man Utd and Liverpool but, well, they shouldn’t have shipped a combined 13 goals on the same day.

As of the current international break, only West Brom (13) have conceded more goals than Manchester United’s 11 in the Premier League so far — putting them level with Fulham. Brighton are third with 10 and then fourth? Liverpool (9).

5. A power shift?

With their destruction of Liverpool, Villa joined Everton as the only two remaining Premier League teams with a 100% record so far this season — we can’t wait to see how this title race unfolds.

Villa denying Liverpool the points also means it’s the first time Everton have entered a Merseyside derby as league leaders since September 1989.

The Toffees have suffered some terrible heartache in this fixture over the years and haven’t picked up a win of any kind against their neighbours since October 2010 — Tim Cahill and current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta grabbed the goals that day against a Liverpool side which contained Steven Gerrard, as well as the likes of David N’Gog and Milan Jovanovic.

But Evertonians are once again beating their chests, so, expect fireworks at Goodison on October 17th.

6. Rolling back the years 

Everton’s fine start to the season has encompassed so much more than just a run of four Premier League wins. The Toffees have also gone three for three in the EFL Cup so far, setting up a quarter-final tie with Manchester United in December.

This is only the second time in the club’s history that they’ve won their opening seven games of a season across all competitions. The first was way back in 1894/95. Safe to say, quite a lot of water has passed under the bridge both inside and outside of football since.

7. Revenge

They always say revenge is a dish best served cold, and Mourinho certainly offered up some freezing retribution for Manchester United at Old Trafford. In fact, Spurs’ 6-1 cakewalk equalled the biggest-ever margin of victory for a manager vs his old club in Premier League history, and the biggest since Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool cruised past Swansea 5-0 in February 2013.

8. Dominic Calvert-LewinDOWSKI

Much has been quite rightly made about the form of Robert Lewandowski over the past 18 months but even Bayern Munich’s Polish sensation can’t keep up with Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The former Sheffield United man has been central to Everton’s juggernaut of a start, scoring more goals across all competitions (9) than any other player for a top-five European league team so far in 2020/21.

Furthermore, the 23-year-old is the first English player to score in four consecutive Premier League games since Francis Jeffers did so back in September 2000.

That first senior England call-up is richly deserved.

9. Deadly duo

While not spectacular, Spurs have made a solid start to their season which has also involved Europa League and EFL Cup action, sitting on seven points from four Premier League games. Their +7 goal difference, however, is only bettered by Aston Villa (+9) and while that has been heavily boosted by that 6-1 win over United, it’s also important to note the form of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Son currently sits level with Calvert-Lewin as the Premier League’s top goalscorer with six and while Kane isn’t doing too bad himself with seven, it’s his league-high six assists which really catches the eye.

But most impressive of all is the fact that four of those assists have been for Son himself — the highest assist to goalscorer ratio of the 2020/21 Premier League season so far.

10. Soaring Eagles

While Crystal Palace have lost their last two Premier League games (2-1 Everton and 4-0 v Chelsea), fans can still look back on a solid start to the season which saw them win their opening two games for the first time in the top flight.

One of those victories came away at Manchester United (3-1), following up from their 2-1 win at Old Trafford last season. This makes Palace only the seventh team to beat the Red Devils at Old Trafford in consecutive seasons, alongside Manchester City (x2), Bolton, Liverpool, Southampton, Tottenham and West Brom.

11. Claret and blue

David Moyes | West Ham | Premier League

West Ham United manager David Moyes

Although they’ve been attacking juggernauts, Liverpool and Man City’s title-winning sides of recent years have also been lauded for their incredible defensive solidity.

Well, while those two have decided to throw the defensive playbook out of the window, it’s two teams in claret and blue keeping things tight at the back, and we’re not talking about Sean Dyche’s Burnley!

West Ham (4) and Aston Villa (2) are the only two teams to concede less than five goals in the Premier League so far this season, and yes, these are the sides which had the fifth and second-worst defensive records, respectively, during the 2019/20 season. Quite the turnaround!

12. Foxes pounce for Guardiola

As mentioned, City have effectively thrown defending out of the window this season — and across the last 12 months if we’re being honest.

Leicester City took advantage of that more than any other side with their remarkable 5-2 win at the Etihad late in September, with Jamie Vardy scoring a hat-trick and the Foxes bagging three penalties.

A big day for Rodgers — who has taken so much inspiration from Guardiola during his early managerial years — it made Leicester the first team to score five past a side managed by Guardiola. In any competition. Ever.

2020 just keeps on getting weirder!