20 Stats from Premier League Matchday 18 ft. Yaya Touré & Everton

2 – Christian Benteke became the first player to miss two penalties this season.

3 – All three of Paul Pogba’s Premier League assists have been for Zlatan Ibrahimović.

3 – Stoke City have scored more own goals than any other team so far this season.

9 – Tony Pulis has lost all nine of his visits to the Emirates Stadium.

14 – Everton have lost only two of their last 14 Premier League games against a reigning champion (W7, D5, L2).

15′ – Watford are the first team to make two substitutions inside the opening 15 minutes this season.  Both Daryl Janmaat and Valon Behrami suffered early injuries in the Hornets’ 1-1 draw versus Crystal Palace.

15 – Hull City have conceded the opening goal in 15 of their 18 Premier League games this season, including 15 of their last 16.

17 – Troy Deeney’s penalty versus Crystal Palace made the forward Watford’s all-time Premier League top goalscorer.

23 – Arsenal had 23 more shots than West Brom in their 1-0 victory at the Emirates (26-3).

29 – Swansea City conceded 29 goals in 11 Premier League matches under Bob Bradley.

36 – Mesut Özil made his 100th Premier League appearance during Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Brom and provided his 36th assist in the competition – only Eric Cantona had provided more after 100 games in the competition (39).

50 – Eden Hazard scored his 50th goal in his 155th Premier League appearance.

56 – Daniel Sturridge scored 56 seconds after coming on as a substitute versus Stoke City.

63% – Kelechi Iheanacho has scored with 12 of his 19 shots on target in his Premier League career.

75% – Hull City have lost 12 of their last 16 matches since winning their first two (W1, D3).

80% – Tottenham have won in four of their last five visit to St Mary’s (D1).

83% – Antonio Conte is the first manager to win 15 of his first 18 games in Premier League history.

86% – Leicester City have now lost six of their last seven Premier League games on Boxing Day (W0, D1).

100% – Yaya Touré has the best penalty conversion rate of any player in Premier League history to have taken at least 10 spot kicks (10/10).

500 – Jonathan Walters’ opener versus Liverpool was the 500th goal this season.

Yaya Touré is Best Penalty Taker in Premier League History

Yaya Touré gave Manchester City the lead on their way to a 3-0 win at Hull City on Boxing Day by way of a penalty.

The Ivorian coolly converted the spot kick following Andy Robertson’s foul on Raheem Sterling in the final 20 minutes at the KCOM Stadium on Boxing Day.

It was the 10th penalty kick that Touré has taken in his Premier League career and he has converted them all.

The 6’2″ midfielder is now the only player in Premier League history to have a 100% success rate from the penalty spot having taken a minimum of 10 penalties.

Player Penalties Taken/Scored Conversion Rate
Yaya Touré 10/10 100%
Matt Le Tissier 26/25 96%
Danny Murphy 19/18 95%
James Beattie 17/16 94%
Julian Dicks 16/15 94%
Thierry Henry 25/23 92%
Eden Hazard 12/11 92%
Gary Speed 11/10 91%
Franck Leboeuf 11/10 91%
James Milner 11/10 91%
Peter Beardsley 20/18 90%
Mikel Arteta 19/17 89%
Leighton Baines 19/17 89%

Matt Le Tissier famously missed only one penalty during his Premier League career with Southampton – denied only by Nottingham Forest’s Mark Crossley in his 26 attempts.

The list has a number of Englishmen with Danny Murphy, James Beattie and Julian Dicks completing the top five.

Of players currently plying their trade in the top flight, Eden Hazard and Leighton Baines both make the list.

20 Stats from Premier League Matchday 17 ft. Antonio Conte & Liverpool

3 – Arsenal have lost three matches from winning positions this season.

3 – Southampton scored as many goals at Bournemouth on Sunday as they had in their previous seven Premier League matches combined.

4 – Chelsea have gone on to win the Premier League title each season they have been top at Christmas.

4 – Liverpool have won four Merseyside derbies in the 90th minute or later during the Premier League era.

6 – David Moyes has won his past six Premier League home matches versus Italian managers (3 vs Roberto Mancini, 1 vs Carlo Ancelotti, 1 vs Claudio Ranieri, 1 vs Walter Mazzarri).

7 – Manchester City beat Arsenal for only the seventh time in the Premier League (D9, L23).

14 – West Brom have kept only one clean sheet in their last 14 Premier League games.

14 – Burnley have never won a Premier League game in London (D2, L12).

17 – Arsenal are the only team yet trail at half-time (W9, D8).

20 – Chelsea have used the fewest players in the Premier League so far this season.

20 – Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge has had more shots than any other striker that is yet to score in 2016-17.

25 – Liverpool have picked up the fewest yellow cards so far this season.

29 – Liverpool scored a stoppage time winner for the 29th time in Premier League history – more than any other club.

42 – Manchester United have picked up more yellow cards than any other club in 2016-17.

43% – Liverpool have now won 21 of the 49 Premier League Merseyside derbies (D21, L9).

82% – Antonio Conte is the first manager to win 14 of his opening 17 Premier League games.

86% – Six of the past seven teams to top the Premier League at Christmas have gone on to lift the trophy.  Chelsea head into Christmas six points clear at the top.

88% – Mark Noble has scored 15 of his 17 penalties in his Premier League career.

500 – Chelsea became the third team to win 500 Premier League games, behind Arsenal (512) and Manchester United (593).

506′ – Hull City have gone 506 minutes since their last Premier League goal away from home.  It came in their 6-1 thrashing at Bournemouth back in October.

Which Premier League teams fare best when top at Christmas?

Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday means that Antonio Conte’s side are on an 11-game winning streak and have a six-point lead over Liverpool at Christmas.

In Premier League history the leader at Christmas has gone on to win 12 of the 24 seasons, but omens are much better for Chelsea this season – six of the last seven top at Christmas have gone on to win the Premier League title.  Liverpool in 2013-14 being the anomaly.

History is certainly on Chelsea’s side – the four times they have won the Premier League title they were top at Christmas.  They are also the only four previous times they have been top on 25 December prior to this season.

There are still 21 games left for each team to change that but many pundits feel Chelsea have an advantage over both Manchester City and Arsenal who will be competing in European competition again from February.  Chelsea’s rest between their three festive fixtures is also significantly greater than their title rivals – in fact they have the greatest rest of all 20 teams, nearly a full day more than the next favoured team and nearly twice as much time as Southampton who have been dealt the harshest fixture list over the festive season.

Four teams have won the league every time they have topped it at Christmas.  Chelsea are the only team to have accomplished this having topped the table more than once.  Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Leicester City have each been top at Christmas and gone on to win the league that season.

Manchester United have been top of the Premier League on Christmas Day seven times and gone on to win the league on five of those occasions.

Here is a full list of teams who were top of the Premier League on Christmas Day and their finishing positions:

Season Team Final Position
1992-93 Norwich City 3
1993-94 Manchester United 1
1994-95 Blackburn Rovers 1
1995-96 Newcastle United 2
1996-97 Liverpool 4
1997-98 Manchester United 2
1998-99 Aston Villa 6
1999-00 Leeds United 3
2000-01 Manchester United 1
2001-02 Newcastle United 4
2002-03 Arsenal 2
2003-04 Manchester United 3
2004-05 Chelsea 1
2005-06 Chelsea 1
2006-07 Manchester United 1
2007-08 Arsenal 3
2008-09 Liverpool 2
2009-10 Chelsea 1
2010-11 Manchester United 1
2011-12 Manchester City 1
2012-13 Manchester United 1
2013-14 Liverpool 2
2014-15 Chelsea 1
2015-16 Leicester City 1

[Stats] The Remarkable Turnaround in Diego Costa’s Behaviour

Diego Costa quickly earned a reputation in England for being a fiery and unpredictable player shortly after joining Chelsea in 2014.  Or ‘a cheat’ as many non-Chelsea supporters referred to him as.

The Brazilian-born Spanish international arrived in the Premier League off the back of his first break out season in professional football, scoring 27 goals in 35 La Liga appearances to help Atlético Madrid cause a huge shock in winning the Spanish title.  He’d also helped them reach the UEFA Champions League final that season too but was substituted after only nine minutes due to a hamstring injury picked up a week early.

That same hamstring injury appeared to slow Costa down at the 2014 World Cup too where defending champions Spain were eliminated after their first two group games.

Diego Costa hit the ground running in his debut Premier League season, scoring a remarkable nine goals in his first seven matches with only Manchester City shutting him out during that run.

In all, he ended the season with 20 goals in 26 league appearances.  But he’d missed 12 games of the season.  Four of those came through suspension and the remaining eight were two different injury spells – one his hamstring and the other his thigh.  Chelsea were Premier League champions.

Move forward to last season and nothing worked for Chelsea.  José Mourinho couldn’t get anything right, the defence that had been so solid the season before had fallen apart and Eden Hazard had been a shadow of the PFA Player of the Season.

Diego Costa scored 12 goals in his 28 Premier League appearances as Chelsea’s sole striker and picked up eight yellow cards in the process.  A red card in the FA Cup loss to Everton also meant he served a three-man ban in the league.  Of the 10 league matches he missed last season, six were through suspension.

Chelsea’s failure to qualify for Europe led to Costa being linked strongly with a return to Atlético Madrid over the summer but incoming manager Antonio Conte refused to sell.

Atléti are currently down in sixth place in La Liga, some 12 points off rivals Real Madrid, whilst Chelsea head into today’s match at Crystal Palace six points clear of the back.  Perhaps Costa is relieved Conte didn’t want to sell him.

What’s more, the 28-year-old looks like a changed man ever since Antonio Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation.  The striker had opened the season with four yellow cards in Chelsea’s opening six league games – one short of a suspension.  During that run the Blues had taken only 10 points.

Then came the switch in tactics.  In those following 10 games Chelsea have taken maximum points, Diego Costa has been involved in 11 goals (7 goals, 4 assists) and he hasn’t picked up a single yellow card.  If he avoids a booking in Chelsea’s next three games his four previous will be wiped for the second half of the season and he doesn’t have to fear about a suspension looming over his head.

The stats below make compelling reading:

Season Games Played Goals Assists Shots per Game Chances Created Per Game Fouls per Game Yellow Cards Fouled per Game
2016-17 16 12 5 2.9 1.8 0.9 4 2.8
2015-16 28 12 6 2.4 1.1 1.5 8 1.8
2014-15 26 20 3 2.9 1.6 1.3 8 1

Diego Costa is on course to score more goals than he has in either of his previous two seasons, one assist shy of his personal best already and is committing fewer fouls per game than in his previous two seasons.  What’s more interesting is that he is controlling his temper because he’s actually being fouled a lot more than he is used to.