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Salah beats Rooney; sloppy van Dijk; not-so-special Mourinho

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Nicol: Salah could absolutely finish Prem top scorer (0:38)

Steve Nicol says he couldn't keep his eyes off Mohamed Salah in Liverpool's exciting 4-3 win vs. Leeds United. (0:38)

Welcome to the first edition of By the numbers for the 2020-21 season! If this opening weekend of Premier League football is any indication, it's going to be an absolute cracker, isn't it? There were goals, records, and eye-popping numbers all around, so here are the very best stats from this weekend's football.


Premier League

Liverpool began their title defence in the most entertaining manner possible, narrowly edging out newly-promoted champions of the second division, Leeds United 4-3. Arsenal and Leicester City dismantled the other new boys Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and a new-look Everton convincingly beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0. All or Nothing, eh?

0-3

All three promoted clubs have lost their opening match of a PL campaign for the first time since 2013-14, when Crystal Palace, Hull City and Cardiff City did so.

1

A not-so-special one for Jose Mourinho. He has been defeated on the opening matchday of a league campaign for the first time in his managerial career, in his 19th such match. His record now? W 11, D7, L1. In just the Premier League, he had won nine, and drawn one before Sunday.

1

Alexandre Lacazette scored the first goal of the PL season for the second time, having also done so in 2017-18 vs Leicester City. He is the first player to score the opening goal of a PL season on multiple occasions.

3

Welcome to the Premier League, Marcelo Bielsa. El Loco's Leeds are the first promoted side to score 3+ goals away at the reigning champions in the Premier League since Hull lost 3-4 vs Manchester United in November 2008.

Leeds are also just the third promoted team to score three goals at Anfield in the PL era and the first since Blackburn on May 8, 2002 (4-3 Liverpool win). The other was Charlton in 1998 (3-3 D).

3

This will come as quite the surprise to many. Since the start of the 2018-19 season, no outfield player has made more errors leading to goals in the Premier League than Virgil van Dijk (3).

4

Mohamed Salah is the first ever Liverpool player to score on the opening day of four consecutive league seasons. He is also only the second to do so in the PL era for any club, after Teddy Sheringham (1992-93 to 1995-96).

5

James Rodriguez is the first Premier League debutant to create at least five chances since Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal in August 2014. He was irrepressibly smooth on debut.

5/5

He is 33 now, but there still ain't no party like a Jamie Vardy party. Vardy's brace at the Hawthorns means he has now scored in all five PL away appearances against West Brom. The only player in PL history to play in as many away matches against an opponent while scoring in each game is Ruud van Nistelrooy, against Newcastle United (also five).

11

Fulham may have won a London derby to get back into the PL, but their derby jinx in the top division continues unabated. Their 11-game losing streak in PL London derbies is the longest such run by a club in top-flight history.

11

This is the 11th time Spurs and Everton have met on the first matchday of a top-flight season - three times more than any other fixture in top-flight history.

15

This is the first time in their last 15 meetings overall dating back to 2013 that Everton have beaten Tottenham (eight losses and seven draws).

35

Liverpool have now won each of the last 35 PL games in which Mohamed Salah has scored. With this, he has now overtaken Wayne Rooney's competition record of 34 consecutive wins when scoring, from September 2008 to February 2011.

40

Salah's hat-trick on Saturday was the 40th scored by a Liverpool player in the PL era, more than any other side in the competition. Just behind them, Arsenal players have scored 39 and Manchester United players have 33.

45

Another one of those stats that may catch you by surprise -- since they were promoted back to the Premier League for the 2014-15 campaign, Leicester have won 45 penalties. Only Manchester City (48) have been awarded more in that time.

50

Salah has now scored 50 goals in 63 home games in the Premier League. Only Alan Shearer reached 50 home goals in fewer appearances (47) in the competition's history.

60

Liverpool look in no mood to surrender their title. This win now extends their home league unbeaten streak to 60 games. This is the third-longest in English top-flight history, behind Chelsea's 86 from 2004-08, and Liverpool themselves, when they went 63 unbeaten from 1978-80.

Ligue 1

The French league kicked off well before the others (it was also the only one among Europe's top 5 leagues which called off the 2019-20 season prematurely), and it already looks to be exciting. With teams having played unequal games, reading anything into the table at this time is foolish, but this still does stand out: PSG -- played 2, lost 2. The second of those losses came in Le Classique, as they lost an ill-tempered match that saw FIVE red cards 1-0 to Marseille.

0

PSG have gone back-to-back league games without scoring for the first time since losing 0-2 to Rennes and drawing 0-0 with Caen in May 2018.

10

This is Marseille's first win against PSG away at the Parc de Princes since February 2010, more than a decade ago. In fact, this is their first win over PSG in any competition, anywhere in almost nine years, having last beaten them at home in November 2011.

Messi-Ronaldo watch

No, no, they didn't play in competitive matches, but Ronaldo and Messi did make their first appearances of the season in friendlies against Novara and Gimnastic respectively. Messi played the first half, his first bit of action since the drama of the transfer-that-wasn't-to-be. Ronaldo too played the first half, and scored the first goal - the first of Andrea Pirlo's management career.