Club football made a smashing return after the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Arsenal remained top of the Premier League with a comeback win over West Ham, but Manchester City ensured they remained in the hunt with a dominant win away to Leeds. The chasing pack of Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea all picked up wins, with Tottenham Hotspur remaining in the top four despite dropping points at Brentford.
Over in Ligue 1, PSG extended their lead at the top to eight points with a 2-1 win over Strasbourg, although Neymar was sent off for simulation.
By The Numbers has the best stats from the week's action:
...and we're back with Erling Haaland rewriting the record books once more. The Norwegian striker's brace against Leeds meant that he's been involved in 100 goals in 81 appearances across the Bundesliga and the Premier League. (82 goals, 18 assists). With 20 Premier League goals this season, Haaland also has scored more goals than Chelsea have managed in the league (19). He's also outscored his father, Alfie Haaland's tally of 18 PL goals... in 167 fewer appearances.
Erling Haaland is the first player in Premier League history to score 20 goals before January.
He's also the fastest player (by appearances) to score 20 career PL goals, doing so in 14 games. pic.twitter.com/Ch0Z7bxGg8
- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 28, 2022
Curiously enough, Erling Haaland's tally of 20 PL goals this season would have been enough to win the Golden Boot in 2008/09, when Nicolas Anelka topped the charts with 19 goals, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo on 18 goals. We're in December.
Erling Haaland is the first Man City player with 20 PL goals in a season since Raheem Sterling scored 20 in 2019-20. Overall, he's the 5th Man City player with 20 PL goals in a single season (Sergio Agüero 6x, Carlos Tevez 2x, Yaya Touré, Sterling).
Marcus Rashford scored his 64th Premier League goal against Nottingham Forest, tying Eric Cantona for 8th-most in Manchester United's history. He also went past Gabriel Jesus (63) for the third-most Premier League goals by players 25 years or younger since the start of 2016. In that span, only Harry Kane (90) and Raheem Sterling (66) have more.
Rashford scored in five straight games at Old Trafford for the first time in his career. His tally of five Premier League goals this season is more than what he managed in the entirety of 2021-22 in the league. This was his 10th goal scored in all competitions this year (21 appearances), double the five goals in 32 appearances he managed last season.
Fred's goal against Forest, assisted by Casemiro was the first time two Brazilian players have ever combined to score a goal for Manchester United.
Mohamed Salah is the first Liverpool player to record 50+ goals and 50+ assists in Premier League history after Steven Gerrard ��
Liverpool legends �� pic.twitter.com/FzIQm6qIRo
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 26, 2022
Mohammed Salah scored his 125th Premier League goal, now just three shy of tying Robbie Fowler for the most PL goals in Liverpool's history. It was also the Egyptian's 55th away goal for Liverpool, tying Michael Owen for the most such goals in club history. Salah went level with another Liverpool legend, Kenny Dalglish, with 172 goals for the club in all competitions - although in 238 fewer appearances than the Scotsman.
Virgil Van Dijk scored his 15th Premier League goal in Liverpool's win over Villa. His 15 goals over the last five PL seasons are three more than any other defender (Marcos Alonso, 12) in that span.
Stefan Bajcetic is the youngest Spanish goalscorer in the Premier League since Cesc Fàbregas. They're the only Spaniards with PL goals before turning 19.
Andy Robertson now has the most assists of any defender in Premier League history ��
He only cost them £8 million �� pic.twitter.com/07GsNDN9c2
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 26, 2022
Eddie Nketiah has scored 11 goals in his last 11 starts for Arsenal in all competitions at the Emirates, notching his 11 goals from just 16 shots on target.
Bukayo Saka's 22nd Premier League goal puts him 1 shy of tying Nicolas Anelka for the most PL goals for Arsenal before turning 22 years old.
Harry Kane's 10 Premier League goals on Boxing Day are the most by any player in the the competition's history. He has scored in all seven of his appearances on this day.
Miguel Almirón took 110 games in his first 4 Premier League seasons to score 9 goals... and just 16 games in this PL season to score... 9 goals.
Neymar was sent off for the 10th time in his career (all competitions). The Brazilian has received five red cards since his Ligue 1 debut with PSG in 2017-18, the joint-highest tally in this period.
Kylian Mbappé's 90'+6 game-winning goal was his latest goal in his career in the league. His 6 game-winning goals this season are tied for the most in Europe's top 5 leagues with Erling Haaland
Wissam Ben Yedder's goal for Monaco, his 84th for the club, took him past Radamel Falcao for 4th-most in club history.
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)