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Sport Liverpool on track for worst defence ever as Grealish follows in foul footsteps – the Premier League weekend's quirky facts

18:31  19 october  2020
18:31  19 october  2020 Source:   goal.com

Gareth Southgate is lucky to have keen talent in his England squad

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Follow CNN. The English Premier League has been particularly volatile this season and continued to offer up surprises by the bucket load. Everton leads the Premier League after its draw with Liverpool . La Liga. It' s a similar story in Spain, where scalps were on the menu this weekend .

In attack, the Premier League champions were as incisive as ever . A home game against Watford would have been seen as an ideal opportunity to get back on track for Mauricio Pochettino and his players. 10 talking points from the Premier League this weekend .

Another spectacular weekend in the Premier League always looked likely after Liverpool's thriller at Everton, and we weren't disappointed.

Liverpool were frustrated against Everton © Getty Images Liverpool were frustrated against Everton

The champions lost Virgil van Dijk to injury and a winning goal to a Sadio Mane offside so marginal it seems VAR has now started dealing with measurements on the Planck scale.

Gareth Bale's return to action for Tottenham was warmly welcomed (mostly by jubilant West Ham fans) as a Jose Mourinho team once more produced a goal-fest, a sure sign that 2020 is truly losing its marbles.

Thankfully, we were also given a healthy dose of normality. Arsenal lost to Manchester City for the seventh time in a row, Jack Grealish was fouled so much you have to wonder if his tiny shin pads are shouting insults at every opponent, and Crystal Palace did their utmost to get a result against Brighton and Hove Albion without actually shooting.

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The worst fears of Liverpool fans appear to have been confirmed after it was reported that star defender Virgil van Dijk is set to miss the remainder of He was ever -present in the last two Premier League campaigns for Liverpool and placed second in the 2019 Ballon d'Or, but now the champions

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Here are some of the more unusual takeaways from the past few days...

WHERE EAGLES (DON'T) DARE

Brighton out-shot Palace by 19 in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, but it wasn't until the 90th minute through Alexis Mac Allister that they finally scored.

Palace had been leading 1-0 since the 19th minute, when Wilfried Zaha converted a penalty won by Michy Batshuayi. Remarkably, that was their only shot in the entire match; since Opta began collecting such data back in 2003-04, no other team has gone through a whole Premier League game in which their solitary attempt was from the spot.

Swansea City hold the Premier League record (at least since 2003-04) when it comes to the lowest number of shots for an entire season: they managed 339 in 2017-18. Palace, who have had 32 in their five games this term, might just have something to aim for – if aiming were their strong suit, anyway.

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Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign against Arsenal next week . The past five weeks have been eventful and here Sportsmail assesses what shape Liverpool are in ahead of the new Jack Grealish brought life to England' s monotone football as he helped restore the feel good factor to

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IT'S GUNNER CHANGE ONE DAY


Gallery: The 100 greatest Premier League players ever (FourFourTwo)

a group of football players jumping up in the air:                      There's no division in football quite like the Premier League, where the geniuses and madmen of the game flock to write their name in history. For 28 years, we've witnessed incredible sights - and some of the greatest players to ever live.                                                                              Here at FourFourTwo, we've decided to rank the top 100 footballers to appear in the Premier League - that's England's top tier since 1992 - based on their impact. That's a combination of their ability, status and the moments they gave us over the years. 

Some degree of normality was restored at the Etihad Stadium, where Arsenal, who seem to love losing to Manchester City, lost to Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling's goal gave the hosts a seventh win in a row in the league over the Gunners, who last lost as many in succession against the same opponent at the hands of Ipswich Town between 1974 and 1977. If they lose the return fixture, they'll equal a club record of eight consecutive top-flight defeats to the same team, having last done so to Leeds United from 1972 to 1976.

The worst such run in England's top tier belongs to West Brom: they were beaten 15 times in a row by Chelsea from 1984 to 2011 before Gareth McAuley gave them a 1-0 win in March 2012.

JACK'S HACKS

Grealish might be struggling to win over England boss Gareth Southgate, but his opponents certainly seem to view him as a force to be reckoned with.

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Grealish wasted two chances on the break after Leicester had introduced first James Maddison and then Dean Smith' s side win Premier League games in a row for the first time since 2009. Is it time for Villa fans to get The Saint-Etienne recruit is thrown straight in following an injury to Caglar Soyuncu.

Thrilling Merseyside derby ended in 2-2 draw with Liverpool left aggrieved over controversial late decision. Allan is booked for a foul . In fact he is trudging off the pitch to be replaced by new arrival Ben Godfrey making his debut having signed from Norwich City.

In Aston Villa's 1-0 win at Leicester City, Grealish won five fouls – nobody was fouled more often – to take his tally to 182 since the start of last season. Unsurprisingly, that's the highest number in the division.

According to Opta data, the most-fouled player in the Premier League since 2003-04 is former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies, who won 727 free-kicks. Grealish has some way to go before he can reckon with that figure, but at least he has double the number of England caps as Davies, who got one back in October 2010.

RED-FACED REDS

Conceding twice to Everton did more than sting Liverpool's local pride – it also took them to 13 goals conceded in five league games this season, the same number they let in after 15 matches in 2019-20. In fact, it's the most they have ever conceded in the first five league games of a season since shipping 13 back in 1953, when Winston Churchill was still prime minister of the United Kingdom.

If their average of 2.6 goals against per game continues, they will end the season having conceded at least 98 times. That would set a new club record in terms of their worst defensive displays across a campaign, surpassing the 97 goals they let in back in, you guessed it, 1953-54. How they would have hoped for better news on Virgil van Dijk's injury.

10 reasons to be excited for the Premier League's return this weekend

  10 reasons to be excited for the Premier League's return this weekend With a number of mouth-watering clashes between big-hitters, all eyes will be glued to the Premier League action once again this weekend. Sportsmail picks out 10 reasons to be excited for its return ... © Provided by Daily Mail The Premier League will be back in full swing this weekend after the international break, and the last time we saw action Tottenham embarrassed Manchester United with a 6-1 win The return of BaleTottenham fans will be drooling at the prospect of getting a glimpse at their prodigal son this Sunday.

The Premier League has seen its fair share of great goalscorers and duds. Has there ever been a less likely matchwinner of a major international tournament? Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool : Ollie Watkins bags first-half hat-trick and Jack Grealish scores twice on incredible night for Dean Smith' s side.

Dan Thomas sits down with Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Don Hutchison to talk about Liverpool ' s dominance so far this season in the Premier League .

It could be worse, though: Manchester United conceded a quite spectacular 26 goals in the first five games of 1930-31, which remains a record in England's top flight. Churchill wasn't even in the government at the time.

UNBELIEVABALE

Spurs were cruising to a 3-0 victory when Bale came on against West Ham for his first appearance for the club in 2,707 days. What a moment for the fans watching at home.

Of course, it was the West Ham faithful who will have been jumping for joy in their living rooms by the end of the game, with Fabian Balbuena, a Davinson Sanchez own goal and an utterly magical hit from Manuel Lanzini snatching the most dramatic of 3-3 draws. Bale had earlier missed a great chance to make it 4-2, for good measure.

Still, welcoming back Bale after more than seven years will have been a special moment, although it doesn't quite match Wayne Rooney's Premier League record. His first appearance after rejoining Everton in 2017 came 4,837 days after his first in 2002, and he marked it by scoring the winner against Stoke City.

Where it's gone so right for Aston Villa after four straight wins .
It's fair to say there aren't too many similarities between Aston Villa and AC Milan, but this week they are both sitting pretty, the only teams in Europe to have won every league match so far this season.Dean Smith's side and the Italian giants are the only two teams in Europe to have won every league match so far this season, and the Villains have well and truly taken the Premier League by storm.

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