Premier League stats: Mohamed Salah closing in on Lionel Messi’s goal tally

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February 3, 2020
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    Mohamed Salah

    Salah has scored 18 goals this season

    Mohamed Salah is closing in on Lionel Messi, while it was Groundhog Day for Manchester City.

    Meanwhile, there was a Premier League first in Bournemouth’s game against Aston Villa while one player made history by scoring in three different decades for his club.

    Check out the best of the stats from this weekend’s Premier League action.

    Salah’s home comforts

    There’s nothing like home comforts, especially if you are in any way connected to Liverpool FC and even more so if your name is Mohamed Salah.

    The Egypt international scored a brace on Saturday as Liverpool racked up yet another win on their relentless march towards the Premier League title, beating Southampton 4-0.

    Salah’s two goals means he has now scored more goals on home soil in the Premier League this season than any other player with 12 goals.

    Click to see content: home_goals

    It takes his total for goals scored at Anfield to 44, making him one of the most prolific goalscorers on home soil in Europe’s top five leagues.

    Since Salah joined Liverpool in August 2017 he has scored as many goals at home as Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and only seven fewer than Barcelona great Lionel Messi.

    Click to see content: european_home_goals

    Could Salah catch Messi before the season is out? Possibly, but it will likely take an incredible scoring run from Salah or an unlikely lean period for Messi for it to happen.

    Messi has a similar record to Salah at home this season with 11 goals scored but those have come in just 11 games, whereas Salah has scored 12 in 13 games.

    That gives Messi a goals-per-game ratio of 1.0 compared to 0.9 for Salah.

    Defeat – what does it feel like?


    Liverpool have not lost a home game in the Premier League in almost three years

    Another incredible statistic involving Salah is that he has never been on the losing side at Anfield in the three years he has been at the club.

    The Reds last lost at home in the Premier League in April 2017 – suffering a 2-1 defeat by Crystal Palace.

    Since then, 12 players have arrived who have not lost at Anfield as Liverpool players.

    Think you can name them? Try your luck in the quiz below, we’ve already given you one of them…

    Can you name the 12 players never to have lost at Anfield since joining Liverpool?

    How to play

    Score: 0 / 1203:00 Disable TimerStart quizYou scored 0/12Share your score with your friends! Copy and share link

    Rank Hint Player

    Give up!

    Premier League = Nations League

    Mbwana Samatta

    Mbwana Samatta marked his Aston Villa league debut with a goal against Bournemouth on Saturday

    It was a history-making league debut for Aston Villa’s Mbwana Samatta on Saturday.

    By playing against Bournemouth, Samatta became the first footballer from Tanzania to play in the Premier League.

    It is the 117th different country to be represented in the English top flight since its inception.

    Including Tanzania there are 25 different countries that have a sole representative in this season’s Premier League.

    They include Gabon and Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Finland and Norwich striker Teemu Pukki and Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh of Brighton.

    But which country – outside the home nations – is the most represented in the Premier League this season?

    It is, perhaps of little surprise, Spain with 30 players from the country having featured in the English top flight this season.

    Next is France (28), then Republic of Ireland (20), Brazil (19) and Portugal (16) rounds out the top fight.

    Click to see content: most_nations_pl

    Incidentally, eight of the 16 Portuguese players to play in the Premier League this season all made an appearance in Manchester United’s goalless draw with Wolves on Saturday evening.

    That makes Portugal just the third nation outside the UK to have eight or more players appear in a Premier League match, after France and Spain.

    Groundhog Day strikes again for Manchester City

    Manchester City

    Manchester City had 18 shots on goal at Tottenham compared to just three for the home side

    Manchester City will no doubt be glad to see the back of Tottenham for a while.

    Not only did they end their Champions League hopes last season but they have also played a significant role in preventing them from being a little closer to Liverpool in the title race.

    Manchester City have now dropped five points against Spurs, despite having considerably more shots than their opponents.

    The two sides drew 2-2 back in August with Tottenham scoring with their only two shots on target.

    Manchester City’s expected goals (xG) total that day (3.0) was 2.78 more than Tottenham Hotspur’s (0.22) – the biggest positive xG differential by a Premier League team without winning since Crystal Palace when drawing with Bournemouth (+3.44) in December 2017.

    And, somewhat apt given it was Groundhog Day, it was deja vu for Pep Guardiola on Sunday as he watched his side pepper the Tottenham goal with shots only for Spurs to score with two of their three shots on target.

    Just how costly Manchester City’s failure to convert their chances this season is clear to see when you look at the below table.

    In a list of the five games featuring the biggest positive xG differential by a Premier League team without winning, City are involved in four of them.

    Glenn’s goal-den contribution

    Glenn Murray

    Glenn Murray’s goal was his first of the year

    Every team needs a Glenn Murray.

    Not only does the veteran Brighton striker seem like a thoroughly decent bloke but the striker is also pretty good at finding the back of the net.

    He may not be starting as regularly as he used to for the Seagulls but he is still popping up with the good when required as he scored the decisive equaliser as Brighton fought back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with West Ham.

    Murray has accounted for 26.3% of Brighton’s Premier League goals – more than any other player for the Seagulls and the second highest percentage of a single team’s goals in the competition’s history.

    Murray’s goal against West Ham was also his first of the 2020s and means he has now scored in three different decades for the Seagulls.

    His first goal for Brighton was in 2008, while he scored regularly in his first and second spells with the club during the 2010s.


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