A weekend that straddled the end of 2022 and start of 2023 produced some great football. Arsenal closed out the previous year in fine form to open up a seven-point gap up top, while neighbours Tottenham Hotspur started the new year in quite the opposite fashion. Manchester United and Liverpool squeezed out easy wins, while Manchester City Chelsea and Newcastle United dropped points. In Spain, Barcelona maintained their lead atop LaLiga despite a heated draw in the derby against Espanyol. They lead Real Madrid (who won) by goal difference. PSG were handed their first loss of the season in Ligue 1, a 1-3 defeat away to title-rivals Lens, which saw their lead at the top cut to four points.
By The Numbers has the best stats from the weekend's action:
Chelsea's struggles have followed them into the new year. After winning their first three Premier League games under Graham Potter, Chelsea have now only won one of their last seven (D3 L3).
1 and 99
This is an astounding stat that perfectly captures the brilliant chaos of Darwin Nunez. Among players in Europe's top 10 leagues with 500+ minutes played this season, Darwin Núñez ranks first for shots per 90 (6), and 99th for goals per 90 (0.57).
Unai Emery has won three of his first four PL matches as Aston Villa manager. He has become the first Villa boss to win his first two away games in the Prem since John Gregory in March 1998.
Wout Faes is the fourth player with two own goals in a single Premier League game, after Jamie Carragher (1999, Liverpool vs Man Utd), Michael Proctor (2003, Sunderland vs Charlton) and Jonathan Walters (2013, Stoke vs Chelsea). His two OGs meant Liverpool have broken a tie with Manchester United for the most own-goals awarded at home in the Premier League era. Liverpool now have 43, Manchester United have 41.
Arsenal are just the fifth side in English top-flight history to pick up as many as 43 points from the first 16 games in a season (3 pts for a win) after Tottenham (1960-61), Chelsea (2005-06), Man City (2017-18) and Liverpool (2019-20). The other four all won the league.
Marcus Rashford has scored five match winning goals as a substitute, the joint most in Prem history. He now has 12 league goals as a sub - for Manchester United only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (17) and Javier Hernandez (14) have scored more from the bench.
Manchester United have lost just once in their last 15 games under Erik ten Hag.
The process has begun 🧠 pic.twitter.com/nrazk24Dcf
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 31, 2022
Of course he scored. Erling Haaland now has 21 goals this season. This is the most scored by a player before the turn of the year in a single Prem season... and this in a year where the league took a month's break for the World Cup.
To put it in further context, he has scored 8 more than Saturday's opponents Everton have netted overall this term
Edinson Cavani is still at it. He is now the first player to score five goals in his first eight games for Valencia in LaLiga since Fernando Morientes in 2006.
Mateu Lahoz gave out 14 bookings, three red cards and overturned one of those sendings off during Barcelona vs. Espanyol. You might remember the last game he officiated too:
Mateu Lahoz's last two games 😮 pic.twitter.com/fHEuHN6rfy
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 1, 2023
There were 870 goals scored in LaLiga in 2022 (2,5 goals per game), this is the second lowest total in the competition in a calendar year in the 21st century (845 goals in 2020, 2.38 on average).
PSG suffered their first defeat of the season in all competitions and saw an unbeaten streak of 32 matches dating back to last season come to an end. 32 matches was PSG's longest unbeaten streak in all competitions since March-December 2013 (36).
RONALDO MESSI WATCH
Lionel Messi is still on his extended break post that remarkable World Cup win.Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has found new employment.
Cristiano Ronaldo's reported contract at Al-Nassr will see him earn $548k a day 😳💰 pic.twitter.com/AFBVFP7Uel
- ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 31, 2022
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)