Man City march relentlessly, Villa fight back against Man Utd


Kevin De Bruyne returned to haunt his former club as his fine strike helped Premier League leaders Manchester City to a 1-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.

Against any team, De Bruyne has scored more Premier League goals than against the Blues (five), with that tally the most against Chelsea by any player who has ever played for them in the competition.

Elsewhere, Manchester United blew a two-goal lead at Aston Villa to draw 2-2, with Philippe Coutinho sealing a point on his debut from loan from Barcelona.

Wolves beat Southampton 3-1 and Norwich City put pressure on Rafael Benitez with a 2-1 victory over Everton, while strugglers Newcastle United and Watford played out a 1-1 draw.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks Opta’s pick of data from another eventful day in the Premier League.

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea: De Bruyne brings Guardiola’s men closer to title

City’s seemingly unstoppable march to the Premier League title continued with a top-flight 12th straight win.

It was the ninth run of 12 or more wins in the competition’s history, with Pep Guardiola’s side now responsible for four of them.

The decisive goal came from Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgium international striking superbly into the bottom right corner from distance with 20 minutes to go.

De Bruyne has scored 21 Premier League goals from outside the penalty area – the most of any player since his first season with City (2015-16) and the most of any Citizens player in history of the competition (tied with Sergio Aguero) .

Chelsea barely dealt a blow to their hosts, failing to register a single shot in the first half. Indeed, they’ve had just seven touches in City’s penalty area – their fewest in a single Premier League game since January 2015 (also seven against Man City).

Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United: Red Devils squander two-goal lead

An emotional late fight from Villa prevented United from winning a Premier League away game in which they led by more than 2 goals for the first time since January 2016 against Newcastle (3-3).

Bruno Fernandes’ opener was the first Premier League goal United have scored from a free-kick this season (excluding penalties), before the Portugal international doubled their advantage in the second half.

Since his United debut in February 2020, only Mohamed Salah (45) and Harry Kane (34) have scored more Premier League goals than Fernandes (33), while only James Ward-Prowse (seven) has scored more goals off the surface. in the competition during this period than the Portuguese (six).

Jacob Ramsey did, however, inspire a memorable comeback, with the 20-year-old becoming the first Villa player to score and assist against United in a single Premier League game since John Carew in April 2009, and the third-youngest player to do so. against the Red Devils in the overall Premier League standings after Kelechi Iheanacho in September 2016 and Harry Kewell in November 1998.

Coutinho ensured the points were shared in his first Premier League appearance in 1,477 days (for Liverpool against Leicester City in December 2017).

Norwich City 2-1 Everton: Idah comes out on top to put Benitez on the brink

The Canaries kicked off their bid for survival with a second victory in six Premier League home games under Dean Smith – as many as they have managed in their last 21 home games in the competition under former manager Daniel Farke.

There were just 92 seconds between Michael Keane’s own goal and Adam Idah’s first Premier League goal, with the hosts scoring as many times in the first 18 minutes as they had in their previous eight previous top-flight matches combined (one).

Idah’s goal was his first in 27 Premier League appearances, while it was his first league goal since May 2021, when he scored in Norwich’s final game of the league season.

The result meant Everton, who pulled one back through Richarlison, won just 19 points from their 19 league games this season. Only twice before have they had fewer at this stage of a Premier League campaign (17 in 1997-98 and 2005-06) and it looks like Benitez’s time may be up.

Wolves 3-1 Southampton: Traore out of place as hosts’ fine season continues

Wolves completed a top-flight double over Southampton for the first time since 1971-72, as well as three straight wins against Saints at the top level for the first time since October 1970.

Raul Jimenez and Conor Coady led them 2-0 before the hour mark, with the latter’s three Premier League goals coming from just four shots on target in 134 appearances.

Saints captain James Ward-Prowse scored his 12th Premier League direct free-kick goal to cut the deficit – a shot beaten only by David Beckham (18).

However, Adama Traore’s first goal in 22 top-flight appearances took Wolves to 31 points in their first 20 games of the season – their best return at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1979-80 (also 31 points) when they finished in sixth place.


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