Premier League data dive: Newcastle move into Champions League contention as Arsenal slip up –

Jamaica Premier League
Jamaica Premier League
Jamaica Premier League
Champions League
Champions League
Champions League
North London giants Tottenham and Arsenal endured frustrating outings as the Premier League saw more twists and turns on an action-packed Sunday.
Spurs’ Champions League hopes suffered a blow as they were edged out by Newcastle United in the day’s headline clash, with goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron helping the visitors to a 2-1 win.
That result saw Eddie Howe’s side climb into the top four, and there was another surprise at the summit as leaders Arsenal were pegged back by Southampton in a 1-1 draw.
At the bottom of the table, meanwhile, Fulham increased the pressure on Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch and Leicester City leapfrogged Wolves by trouncing them 4-0 at Molineux.
Here, Stats Perform picks through the most interesting facts to emerge from Sunday’s action.  
Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United: Magnificent Magpies go fourth
Tottenham approached Sunday’s match having won eight consecutive league games on home soil, but Newcastle seized the initiative with an outstanding first-half display to end that run and move within two points of Antonio Conte’s team.
Hugo Lloris’ bizarre error allowed Wilson to put Newcastle ahead, with the France captain hitting the deck as the striker lobbed into an unguarded net from range.
Wilson’s goal was his first in the Premier League from outside the penalty area since January 2019 (for Bournemouth v West Ham), and just the second of his 65 goals in the competition to come from more than 18 yards out.
Newcastle were two goals ahead within 10 minutes of that strike, with Almiron scoring his fifth goal in his last five Premier League outings – as many as he had netted in his previous 61. 
While Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Newcastle held on to ensure they went fourth after 12 games of the season – this is the latest point at which they have occupied such a lofty position since April 2012, when they sat fourth after 35 matches of the campaign.

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Armstrong denies Gunners four-point lead
Arsenal went to St Mary’s looking to re-establish a four-point lead over Manchester City at the summit, but saw their run of 27 Premier League games without a draw halted as they slipped up.
Granit Xhaka converted Ben White’s cross to put Arsenal ahead – with four goals this season in all competitions, Xhaka is enjoying his joint-best goalscoring campaign with the Gunners, and he has scored in back-to-back games for the club for just the second time (also in September 2016).
However, Stuart Armstrong replied with his first goal in 21 league games as the Saints fought back – each of his last seven Premier League goals have now come at St Mary’s.
Arsenal were unable to find a late winner, meaning they dropped points after opening the scoring in a Premier League game for the first time since New Year’s Day (1-2 v City), ending their run of 18 straight wins when scoring first.
Wolves 0-4 Leicester City: Lethal Foxes leapfrog sorry hosts
At Molineux, Wolves’ nightmare campaign continued as a clinical Leicester side ran out 4-0 winners despite recording just five shots to their hosts’ 21.
Wolves have now lost five of their last six Premier League games, failing to score four times during that run, and are enduring their worst ever goalscoring start to a season in the competition with just five goals in 12 games. 
Leicester took the lead through an incredible effort from Youri Tielemans, who picked out the top-left corner to score the Foxes’ seventh goal from outside the penalty area this season – the most of any side in the Premier League.
Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison then added some gloss to the scoreline, with the latter doing his hopes of an England call-up no harm with another fine display.
Maddison has amassed 28 goal contributions in the Premier League since the start of last season, a tally only bettered by Kane (37) among English players.
Leeds United 2-3 Fulham: Pressure builds on Marsch as Willian shines
Leeds joined Wolves in the bottom three after Fulham dealt them a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat at Elland Road, piling more pressure on beleaguered boss Marsch. 
Leeds have collected nine points from their 11 games this season, their fewest at this stage of a campaign since 2003-04 (eight), when they went on to be relegated from the Premier League. 
Meanwhile, Fulham have posted back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2019 under Scott Parker (a run of three), having failed to win consecutive matches at any point in their last top-flight season (in 2020-21).
Willian’s 84th-minute strike ultimately proved decisive for Marco Silva’s men, on the day the former Chelsea and Arsenal winger made his 264th Premier League appearance.
Among Brazilian players, only Manchester City great Fernandinho has appeared as often in the competition. 
Cristiano Ronaldo remains in limbo at Manchester United after being exiled after exiting their 2-0 win over Tottenham prematurely last week.
Ronaldo and United manager Erik ten Hag were set for talks before a decision was made on letting him return to first-team training and be considered to play.
The 37-year-old Portuguese apologised for the incident on social media, but the situation appears delicate after an off-season where Ronaldo chased a move away from United.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is willing to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave in January, reports The Mirror.
The Dutchman has publicly said Ronaldo is wanted at Old Trafford, but is ready to allow him to move on should an appropriate suitor be found, amid fresh links with Chelsea via Sunday World.
Ronaldo had pushed for an off-season move to a Champions League club but was unable to find a home, while he rejected a lucrative offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club.
– Le10Sport claims that Paris Saint-Germain are open to renewal talks with veteran Spanish defender Sergio Ramos ,   who is out of contract at the end of this season.
Chelsea are eager to sign Inter right-back Denzel Dumfries amid interest from Juventus , claims Calciomercato.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are both weighing up making an offer to sign Juve midfielder Adrien Rabiot , Calciomercato also reports.
Arsenal ‘s interest in Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka has cooled, according to the Express. West Ham are also interested in the Frenchman.
Newcastle United have been attempting to reel in expectations since their controversial owners arrived in the Premier League last October promising glory at home and in Europe within five to 10 years.
Head coach Eddie Howe has repeatedly refused to reveal a target for this season, while he spent the past week attempting to clarify comments on Newcastle’s ambitions.
“Long term, the club have huge plans and huge ambitions,” Howe said after Jurgen Klopp congratulated Newcastle for having “no ceiling”. “But at the moment, the reality of what we’re working towards and working with, there is a ceiling.”
Antonio Conte seemingly disagreed with Howe’s assessment ahead of the Magpies’ visit to Tottenham on Sunday, however.
“You have to consider Newcastle for the present and for the future as a danger, as a dangerous team for the first position, for the Champions League positions, for the fight to win trophies,” he said.
Unfortunately for Spurs, their coach was proven right. A 2-1 win for Newcastle took them above Manchester United and Chelsea into fourth.

Newcastle had not breached the top four after 12 or more matches of a Premier League season since April 2012, when they ultimately finished fifth and were in a relegation battle the following season.
This time, the “danger” they pose to Klopp, Conte and the rest appears more sustainable.
Challenging the elite
Newcastle were themselves the team under threat at the turn of the year, entering 2022 at risk of relegation. However, between January and May, Howe’s side collected the fourth-most points in the division to finish comfortable in 11th.
The Magpies are fourth again this season, yet Howe has not settled for repeating the performances of the first half of the year.
Although Newcastle won 12 of their 19 games over that period, they ranked joint-11th for goals (25), 12th for shots (236) and 14th for expected goals (25.5). They were at least a little better defensively, conceding the joint-fifth-fewest goals (20), facing the sixth-fewest shots (231) and allowing the sixth-lowest xG (23.9).
In 2022-23, Newcastle have improved further on that defensive effort while also striking a balance with their attack.
Their 20 goals rank seventh, their 181 shots third and their 19.7 xG also third. Going the other way, Newcastle have the meanest defence (10 goals conceded), allowing the fifth-lowest xG (12.1) despite giving up 143 shots, the ninth-fewest.
Boosting their starting XI with the signings of Nick Pope and Sven Botman, Newcastle have a better team now than last season, but their improvement is just as much the result of a concerted coaching effort.
Following a dramatic April defeat of Leicester City, Howe said Newcastle needed to “change” the way they played, moving away from the “compact” approach that delivered that result. He and they have done exactly that.
Newcastle are now controlling more of the possession (50.8 per cent versus 41.6 per cent), starting their attacks further upfield (42.6 metres versus 41.3m) and allowing fewer opposition passes per defensive action (10.8 versus 13.7).
That aggressive press is seeing Newcastle register 10.6 high turnovers per game, up from 7.1.

Newcastle were already beating teams in the bottom half; now, they are a major threat against the elite. After defeating Tottenham, the Magpies have five points from four meetings with ‘big six’ opposition this season. They only collected four points from 12 such matches last season.
Toon staying power
This is not the first time one of the ‘other 14’ have attempted to upset the apple cart. Leicester City even remarkably won the title in 2015-16.
The Foxes were able to use that against-the-odds success as a platform to challenge the Premier League’s leading lights over a prolonged period, yet the best they could subsequently manage was a pair of fifth-placed finishes.
Their spending in pursuit of Champions League football caught up with them, leading to the slow start to this season. Newcastle, with their huge financial power, are unlikely to have the same problem.
The Magpies should also avoid the fate that befell West Ham, who similarly chased a top-four place and came up short, seemingly due to a lack of squad depth.
It is Newcastle’s surprising squad depth that has lifted them to this level. Since Alexander Isak’s club-record signing in August, Howe has not been able to play his best XI. Allan Saint-Maximin is yet to play a single minute alongside Isak, with both men injured for Sunday’s match.
Newcastle’s sole loss at Liverpool came with first-choice centre-backs Fabian Schar and Sven Botman rested and Bruno Guimaraes, Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson all out.
Schar, Botman and Guimaraes are the only three players in the Premier League to have played more than 700 minutes this season without tasting defeat.
Miguel Almiron has been the latest secondary star to step up, scoring six goals this season, including five in his past five. Before that run, it was widely expected he would be the man to make way when Isak and Wilson were paired.

Given Kieran Trippier, Guimaraes, Saint-Maximin and Wilson only started together once in 2021-22, Howe might wonder if he will ever see this Newcastle squad at full strength.
On the evidence of this season so far – and Sunday’s superb performance – it might not matter.
Both Wilson and Howe smiled when asked by Sky Sports after the Spurs win what they might do this season. “Keep our feet on the ground,” answered the striker, as his coach replied: “Try to win next week.”
Newcastle’s players and coaches may well now be the only group of people not openly discussing a European charge on Tyneside.
Stephen Curry led the way as the Golden State Warriors scored a franchise-record 50 second-quarter points in Sunday’s 130-125 win over the Sacramento Kings at Chase Center.
The reigning NBA champions were dominant offensively, with their third most points in any half in franchise history as they opened up an 89-71 half-time lead, with Curry scoring 28 in the first half.
The Warriors fell just short of their franchise record of 92 for any half, from 2018 against the Chicago Bulls. It was Golden State’s second most points in a first half.
The second quarter was their seventh ever with 50-or-more points, equaling their third most of any period.
Curry finished the game with 33 points, recording his third straight 30-point performance, marking the second time in his career he has done that to start a season. The reigning NBA Finals MVP made seven-of-12 from three-point range, with five of those coming in the second quarter.
The Kings never gave up and cut the margin to four points with 1:04 remaining but Golden State closed it with Andrew Wiggins capping it off with 24 points.
The Warriors shot at 51.7 per cent from the field, along with 42.4 per cent from beyond the arc, making 14-of-33 attempts.
Late Lakers woes prove costly
The Los Angeles Lakers slumped to an 0-3 record after poor late execution saw them lose 106-104 to the Portland Trail Blazers, with four-time MVP LeBron James missing a two-point shot on the buzzer.
The Lakers missed four of their final five shots of the game, after Damian Lillard’s triple put the Blazers ahead after trailing by seven points with 1:56 remaining. Lillard finished with a game-high 41 points.
James finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Anthony Davis added 22 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, but the Lakers’ late execution and three-point shooting cost them, going at 18.2 per cent from beyond the arc as a team.
Russell Westbrook contributed 10 points on four-of-15 shooting with six rebounds and six assists but was benched with 12 seconds remaining with the game up for grabs.
CP3 joins elite assists club
Chris Paul became the third player in NBA history to reach 11,000 assists, providing 11 in the Phoenix Suns’ 112-95 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Devin Booker top scored with 35 points with 13-of-21 shooting from the field and five-of-nine from beyond the arc as the Suns led from wire to wire.
Paul brought up his 11,000th assist with his second of the game, an alley-oop pass for Deandre Ayton, joining John Stockton and Jason Kidd in the elite club.
Kawhi Leonard started on the bench again for the Clippers, playing 21 minutes for 11 points with six rebounds and two assists.
Oct 21, 2022 EPL
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