Premier League: Jota makes Liverpool history, Arsenal draw another blank
Liverpool, Everton and West Ham were all victorious in Sunday's Premier League action, while Arsenal played out a draw with Leeds United.
Liverpool eased past Leicester City to draw level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, on a day that saw a couple of records broken at Anfield.
Inspired by another impressive Diogo Jota showing, the Reds cruised to a routine victory to keep their positive momentum going at a time when their squad is getting more depleted by the week.
Merseyside rivals Everton were also victorious in Sunday's top-flight action with a narrow win at Fulham, while West Ham saw off Sheffield United and 10-man Arsenal were held by toothless Leeds United.
Using Opta data, we take a look at the key facts from the day's four Premier League fixtures.
Fulham 2-3 Everton: Calvert-Lewin at the double as Toffees inflict more capital punishment
Dominic Calvert-Lewin maintained his impressive scoring run with a couple of goals as Everton returned to winning ways in the early kick-off at Craven Cottage.
The England international scored after just 42 seconds – the earliest league goal Everton have netted since April 2017 – before Bobby Decordova-Reid's temporary leveller.
That made it goals in back-to-back home league games for Decordova-Reid for the first time since April 2018 when he was playing in the Championship with Bristol City.
Calvert-Lewin restored Everton's lead for his 10th league goal in nine outings this term, Lucas Digne setting up both that goal and Abdoulaye Doucoure's six minutes later.
Since making his competition debut in August 2018, only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson (both 26) have more assists among defenders than Digne's 15.
A struggling Fulham side wasted a chance to get back into the game when Ivan Cavaleiro became the latest player for the south London side to miss from the penalty spot.
They have missed five of their past eight top-flight penalties, including the previous three, which have each taken by different players (Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ademola Lookman and Cavaleiro).
Ruben Loftus-Cheek did pull one back but Everton, who have conceded twice or more in six straight league games for the first time in 12 years, held on for a third straight league win in London – their best such run since April 1987.
Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham: Blunt Blades still seeking first victory
Sebastien Haller scored from outside the box for the first time in his top-flight career, on what was his 190th such appearance, to earn West Ham a slender victory at Sheffield United.
The striker, who has also previously played in the Eredivisie and Bundesliga, scored from range after 56 minutes for his sixth goal in all competitions this season – double the number of any other West Ham player.
United were unable to respond and are now without a win in 13 games in all competitions, making this their worst run since October 2013.
Chris Wilder's men have lost four top-flight matches in a row and are only the third side in Premier League history to pick up one point or fewer from their opening nine games, after Manchester City in 1995-96 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-2000.
West Ham are now unbeaten in their past 12 Premier League games against sides starting the day bottom, winning five in a row, and they are the first London club to win at Bramall Lane in the competition in 12 attempts since October 2006.
Leeds United 0-0 Arsenal: Hot-headed Gunners fire another blank
Arsenal failed to score for the fourth time in five Premier League outings as they played out a stalemate with Leeds at Elland Road.
Firing blanks has become the norm for Arsenal but there was nothing usual about the scoreline from Leeds' perspective – only their third goalless draw in 101 league games under Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds now have 41 clean sheets across those 101 matches, not including play-offs, which is more than any other side in the top four tiers of English football in that period.
The Gunners have scored just nine league goals in the same number of league games in 2020-21 – their lowest tally at this stage since 1986-87 when scoring six times.
Mikel Arteta's side had to play almost an entire half with 10 men after Nicolas Pépé was given the first red card of his career in Europe's top five leagues, this being his 146th such appearance.
That was the fifth red card Arsenal have received in the league since Arteta took over in December 2019 – at least two more than any other club.
A point can be considered a good result on the balance of things given Leeds had 25 shots – the third most a team has managed in the Premier League this term, behind only Manchester United v Newcastle United (28) and Leeds v Aston Villa (27).
Liverpool 3-0 Leicester City: Rampant Reds win again at fortress Anfield
A lot has been made of Liverpool's depleted backline but makeshift centre-back pairing Fabinho and Joel Matip withstood everything Leicester chucked at them, the Reds keeping a fourth clean sheet in seven games and conceding only three times in that run.
Jonny Evans' own goal after 21 minutes put Liverpool on their way – the sixth time the former Manchester United defender has put into his own net in the Premier League, which is behind only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel (both seven)
Jota doubled the hosts' advantage before half-time against his favourite opponents to become the first Liverpool player ever to score in his first four home top-flight league appearances.
It was a special goal in more ways than one, too, as it came after a sequence of 30 passes – the most in the build-up to any goal by the reigning champions since Opta started collecting data in 2006-07.
Jürgen Klopp's side added a deserved third goal to their tally late on through Roberto Firmino, who has now scored in two of Liverpool's five home league matches this term, compared to one in 19 such outings in 2019-20.
The routine home win makes it 64 home league matches without defeat for Liverpool – now officially the longest run in the club's history, with 53 of those games ending in victory.
It was another unhappy reunion with Liverpool for their former boss Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, as he has lost all three league encounters with the Reds since taking charge of Leicester, conceding nine goals in the process.
Te recomendamos en English
- Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Third stimulus check passed in Senate updates: who qualifies, how much, when will the payment arrive, Biden signs | Live
- AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN Why are unemployment benefits changing from $400 to $300?
- CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS Third stimulus check passed in the Senate: when is voting in the House of Representatives?
- US NEWS Child tax credit - $3000 or $3600: how much will it be per child?
- STIMULUS CHECKS Third stimulus check passed: when will it be sent out and how much?
- US NEWS Third stimulus check passed: when will Biden sign it?