Soccer News: Penalties galore as Manchester City and Liverpool approach records: the weirdness of the Premier League weekend

    A title race came to a controversial end last weekend, but the Premier League charge to the top has just kicked into gear.

    Lewis Hamilton will not be the only one to feel severely penalized after the events of the past few days, after eight penalties were awarded during the final round of top flight matches.

    Chelsea have been a great benefactor, as victory over Leeds United saw them keep up with title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

    Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United also scored from the spot in victory over Norwich City, while Conor Gallagher inspired Crystal Palace to win Rafael Benitez’s Everton.

    Benitez’s former club Newcastle United, meanwhile, suffered another damaging defeat as they attempted to make it to the January transfer window with a chance to stay on their feet.

    With all this and more, here are some of the weekend’s bizarre stats from the Premier League …

    Penalties galore

    The donation season is approaching and it appears the Premier League referees were more than willing to hand out scoring gifts.

    Brentford beat Watford with a last-ditch penalty on Friday when the fun began. Bryan Mbeumo’s ensuing goal saw the Bees become the first team in Premier League history to have each of the top 10 home goals in the competition scored by different players.

    Champions City then needed a penalty kick to defeat the Wolves’ 10 men, with Raul Jimenez being given the marching order to prevent a free kick being taken, just 31 seconds after receiving his first. admonition. Raheem Sterling pushed him aside, scoring his 100th Premier League goal. He is the 32nd player to reach that milestone in the top flight.

    Chelsea’s clash with Leeds really upped the penalty numbers, with three being awarded to Stamford Bridge. Antonio Rudiger became only the second Chelsea player to win two penalties in a single Premier League match, following Yuri Zhirkov against Aston Villa in March 2010. Jorginho disallowed both penalties to secure a 3-2 win, with Raphinha who led Leeds in the lead from 12 yards.

    Cristiano Ronaldo made no mistakes at Carrow Road and Youri Tielemans also scored for Leicester City in the Newcastle scrapping. Mohamed Salah converted a penalty won to allow Liverpool to defeat Aston Villa and club legend Steven Gerrard at Anfield.

    Each penalty at Stamford Bridge resulted in a team taking the lead, before the Premier League, while Saturday was the first matchday to have three 1-0 wins all resolved by penalties.

    Seven penalties awarded on Saturday and Sunday are in second place in Premier League history in a single weekend, after 13-14 September 2003 (eight). Last season saw 125 penalty shots awarded, the highest number ever in the competition, at a rate of 0.33 per game. The tally for 2021-22 so far is 41.

    Records destined to go

    Sterling’s goal for City was the 499th in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola, in what was his 206th game in the top flight.

    Guardiola will be the Premier League manager to have seen his side score 500 goals in the fewest games, with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp holding the current record with 234.

    Staying with City, they have already won 32 league games in 2021, a stone’s throw from Liverpool’s top flight record for a calendar year, set in 1982. With four games remaining before the end of the year, this is definitely another. records for the champions are meant to take.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool now have 1,999 top flight wins and will become the first team to reach the 2,000 mark with their next success.

    Benitez on thin ice?

    It would always have been a difficult task for Benitez to win over the Everton faithful. Given the chants directed at him from the traveling stand at the Palace on Sunday, he is far from achieving this goal. A 3-1 defeat at Selhurst Park means Everton have a winning streak in 10 league games.

    The wonderful Gallagher was their undoing, scoring twice on both sides of James Tomkins who packed home from a corner. The loaner midfielder has now scored six goals and provided three assists, contributing to nine of the Palace’s 22 league goals this season (41 percent).

    This places him eighth in the league when it comes to scoring contributions for a team, and first among English players in the competition, and first for players aged 21 and under.

    Everton has come up with a comeback to clinch 10 points this season, which already marks their best total since 2017-18 (14) and is the most in the competition this season, but based on the frustration directed at Benitez, the former Liverpool manager may be in need of a Christmas miracle.

    How does that defense stand up?

    One place Benitez would definitely love is St James’ Park. Newcastle finally secured their first win of the season by beating Burnley, but it was at the end of a 4-0 draw in Leicester.

    Newcastle’s defense is the main cause for concern. They have already conceded 34 goals, the worst in the league. After 16 top-flight games, he has conceded as many goals on eight other occasions, the most recent in 1977-78.

    Newcastle went down that season, as they did in the 1960-61 campaign, but Eddie Howe could at least take comfort in the fact that the Magpies have survived on the other six occasions.

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