The Opta Facts Behind the 2020-21 Premier League Season
Soccer

The Opta Facts Behind the 2020-21 Premier League Season


And breathe. As a relentless 2020-21 Premier League campaign comes to a close, we chronicle the story of the season with some of the best Opta Facts, curated by our award-winning UK data insights team who run @OptaJoe.

September

Premier League Season Review - Sept- Leicester v Man City
  • Mohamed Salah’s hat trick against Leeds was the ninth scored on the opening weekend in Premier League history. It was also Liverpool’s first opening game hat trick since John Aldridge against Charlton in 1988-89.
  • All three promoted clubs (Leeds, West Brom and Fulham) lost their opening match of a Premier League campaign for the first time since 2013-14, when Crystal Palace, Hull and Cardiff did so.
  • Jamie Vardy’s goal at West Brom saw him equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of most away games vs. an opponent in the competition with a 100% scoring record. The Dutchman scored in five out of five away games against Newcastle.
  • Chelsea’s victory at Brighton saw the Blues become the third team to earn 2,000 points in Premier League history, after Manchester United and Arsenal.
  • Against West Brom, Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the youngest Englishman to score a top-flight hat trick for Everton (23y 187d) since Tony Cottee (23y 47d) vs. Newcastle in August 1988.
  • James Rodríguez created five chances on his Premier League debut for Everton against West Brom – he was the first Premier League debutant to create five chances since Alexis Sanchez in August 2014 for Arsenal.
  • Leeds’ opening two Premier League games saw 14 goals scored (F7 A7), the most in a top-flight side’s opening two matches since Wolves in 1962-63 (F12 A2).
  • Manchester United (3-1 vs. Crystal Palace) lost their opening home game in a Premier League campaign for just the third time, also losing to Everton in 1992-93 and Swansea in 2014-15. In the same match, Wilfried Zaha became the first player to have played for Man Utd in the Premier League to score twice in a match against them in the competition.
  • All four of Heung-Min Son’s goals for Spurs in their 5-2 win against Southampton were assisted by Harry Kane, the first time ever in the Premier League a player has assisted the same player that many times. Kane also became the first English player to record four assists in a single Premier League match.
  • Thiago completed 74 passes as a second-half substitute for Liverpool against Chelsea, the most passes completed in a Premier League match by a player to feature for a maximum of 45 minutes (since 2003-04).
  • Bruno Fernandes’ winner for Man Utd at Brighton was the latest winning goal on record in a Premier League match (99:45, since 2006-07 when exact times are available).
  • With his strike against Sheffield United, Patrick Bamford became the first player in Leeds United’s history to score in his first three top flight appearances for the club.
  • Man City’s 5-2 defeat against Leicester was the first time in 686 games that a Pep Guardiola side conceded five or more goals, while it was the first time the Citizens had conceded five at the Etihad in 438 games at the ground.
  • In their 5-2 win at Man City, Leicester became the first side in Premier League history to score as many as three penalties in a single game.
  • Leicester striker Jamie Vardy became the first player to score more than one Premier League hat trick against Man City, while he was the first player to score an away league hat trick against the Citizens since Michael Owen for Liverpool at Maine Road in September 2002.

October

Premier League Season Review - October - Aston Villa v Liverpool
  • Everton won their first four games to a top flight season for the first time since 1969-70, when they went on to lift the title.
  • Man Utd’s 6-1 home loss to Tottenham was their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat. It was also the third time the Red Devils had conceded six goals in a Premier League game, with all three coming in the month of October (also 1996 vs. Southampton and 2011 vs. Man City).
  • In their 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa, Liverpool shipped as many as seven goals in a game for the first time since April 1963 (2-7 vs. Spurs), while they became the first reigning top-flight champion to concede seven in a league match since Arsenal against Sunderland in September 1953.
  • Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins became the 10th player to score a Premier League hat trick against Liverpool and the first since Dimitar Berbatov in September 2010.
  • On Oct. 4, both Liverpool (7-2 vs. Aston Villa) and Manchester United (6-1 vs. Spurs) conceded six or more goals on the same day for the first time in the two clubs’ history.
  • Salah’s goal against Everton was his 100th for Liverpool in all competitions, in his 159th game for the club – only Roger Hunt (144) and Jack Parkinson (153) reached the milestone in fewer appearances for the Reds.
  • Against Liverpool, Calvert-Lewin became the first player to score in each of Everton’s first five league games in a season since Tommy Lawton in 1938-39.
  • Against Brighton, Crystal Palace became the first team ever to have just one shot in a match in the competition and that shot be a penalty since Opta began recording shot data in the Premier League in 2003-04.
  • Against Spurs, West Ham became the first team in Premier League history to avoid defeat in a game having trailed by three or more goals as late as the 81st minute.
  • Gareth Bale came off the bench against West Ham to appear in his first Spurs match in seven years and 152 days, since scoring the only goal of the game vs. Sunderland in May 2013. It is the longest gap between appearances by a Tottenham player in the Premier League.
  • The stalemate between West Brom and Burnley was the first 0-0 draw in this Premier League season, ending the longest wait for a goalless draw from the start of a campaign in the competition’s history (47th game).
  • Everton’s defeat to Southampton ensured this was the first English top-flight campaign since 1967-68 in which no sides remained unbeaten through the first six matches.
  • Leicester picked up their first away win at Arsenal since September 1973, ending a run of 27 games without an away victory against them in all competitions.
  • Wolves’ Rayan Aït-Nouri became the 15th Frenchman to score on his Premier League debut, and at 19 years and 146 days, the youngest Frenchman to do so.

November

octobPremier League Season Review - November - Southampton go toper
  • Arsenal picked up their first Premier League away win against Man Utd since September 2006, while their 1-0 victory at Old Trafford was their first away league win against a ‘big six’ side since January 2015, ending a 29-game winless run.
  • Southampton’s 2-0 win over Newcastle took them to the top of the top flight table at the end of a day for the first time since September 16th 1988.
  • Following their 2-0 win over Man City, Tottenham Hotspur finished a day top of the Premier League table for the first time since August 2014 (24th to the 29th), while it was the first time they ended a day top of the top flight at least nine games into a season since 11th January 1985.
  • 12 points from eight games was Manchester City’s lowest points total at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 2008-09 (10), while their 10 goals scored was their lowest after eight games since 2006-07 (six).
  • Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Leicester saw them set a new club record for the longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight (64 games).
  • Diogo Jota became the first player in Liverpool’s history to score in each of his first four home top flight league appearances for the club.
  • Against Liverpool, Brighton’s Neal Maupay became the first player to start a Premier League game, miss a penalty, and be subbed off before half-time since Dennis Bergkamp against Derby in April 1998.
  • With their 5-0 win against Burnley, Manchester City became only the second side in Football League history to win four successive home games by five goals or more against a single opponent in all competitions, after Notts County vs. Port Vale between October 1893 and February 1907.
  • Against Man City, Burnley’s Bailey Peacock-Farrell became just the third goalkeeper to concede five or more goals on their Premier League debut, after John Sheffield in 1994 (five, Swindon v Aston Villa) and Matt Murray in 2003 (five, Wolves v Blackburn).
  • Against Southampton, Manchester United became the first side in Premier League history to win four consecutive away games despite trailing in each. The Red Devils extended this record to six games following comeback wins at West Ham and Sheffield United in December.

December

Premier League Season Review - December - Scott McTominay v Leeds
  • Crystal Palace scored five goals in a top-flight away game for the first time in their history, in their 5-1 victory at West Brom.
  • Kane became the all-time highest goalscorer in north London derby history, with the Spurs striker netting his 11th goal against Arsenal in all competitions in their 2-0 win.
  • Arsenal lost a home league against Burnley for the first time since September 1974. It was the Gunners’ fourth consecutive home league defeat, their longest such run since 1959.
  • Victory at Sheffield United saw Manchester United win 10 consecutive top-flight away games for the first time in their history.
  • At Crystal Palace, Liverpool registered a top-flight away win by a margin of seven goals for the first time in their history, while it was their first seven-goal league victory since a 9-0 win over Crystal Palace in September 1989.
  • All seven of Liverpool’s goals at Crystal Palace were assisted by different players (Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Salah, Joël Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain), the first time in Premier League history seven different players have assisted a goal for a team in a match.
  • Against Leeds, Manchester United scored six goals in a single Premier League game for the first time since their 8-2 win over Arsenal in August 2011. In this match, Scott McTominay became the first player to score twice in the opening three minutes of a Premier League match.
  • In West Brom’s match against Aston Villa, Sam Allardyce became the first manager to take charge of eight different sides in the Premier League.
  • Against Burnley, Fábio Silva became the youngest player to score a Premier League goal for Wolves (18y 155d), while he also became the second-youngest player to score a penalty in the competition, after Owen in August 1997 (17y 238d vs. Wimbledon).
  • Marcus Rashford scored his 50th Premier League goal for Man Utd against Leicester. At 23y 56d, he became the third youngest to reach that milestone for the club after Wayne Rooney (22y 157d) and Cristiano Ronaldo (22y 341d).
  • Marcus Rashford’s winning goal for Manchester United against Wolves, timed at 92 minutes and 51 seconds, was their latest winning goal in a Premier League game at Old Trafford since Owen scored against Manchester City in September 2009 (95:27).
  • Against Burnley, Oliver Burke set a new record for the longest run without a win from the start of a Premier League career, with that game his 25th appearance in the competition.
  • Brighton ended 2020 with just one Premier League home win (17 games), the lowest total of victories on home soil in a calendar year in the history of the competition (excluding promoted/relegated teams).

January

Premier League Season Review - January - Liverpool v Burnley
  • A goal against Leeds ensured Tottenham striker Kane had scored against all 30 opponents he had faced in the Premier League, the only 100% record in the competition among players to have faced more than one side.
  • Defeat at Crystal Palace saw Sheffield United set a new record for the longest run without a win from the start of a Premier League season (17 games).
  • Against Leicester, Andy Carroll scored his first Premier League goal for Newcastle since Boxing Day in 2010, 10 years and eight days had passed – the second-biggest gap between Premier League goals for a club after Wayne Rooney’s 13 years and 121 days for Everton.
  • A 1-0 victory against Liverpool saw Southampton become the first team in Premier League history to beat all seven winners of the competition in the season after a title win. Danny Ings’ winner in that match was his 50th Premier League goal.
  • Kane’s header against Fulham saw him become just the third player to score 25 Premier League goals with his head (25), his right foot (94) and his left foot (34) – after Robbie Fowler and Andrew Cole.
  • Defeat to Burnley was Liverpool’s first defeat in 69 Premier League games at Anfield (W55 D13) since losing 1-2 to Crystal Palace in April 2017. It was the second-longest unbeaten home run in English top flight history after Chelsea’s 86 games ending in October 2008.
  • Following a 5-0 victory at West Brom, Man City became the ninth different side to finish the day top of the Premier League table this season, the most in a top flight campaign since 1986-87 (also 9).
  • Sheffield United became only the third side from Yorkshire to win at Old Trafford in any competition during the Premier League era, after Leeds United in January 2010 (FA Cup) and York City in September 1995 (League Cup).
  • Defeat to Liverpool was José Mourinho’s sixth home league loss in charge of Tottenham, more than at any of his previous clubs.
  • Man City won all nine of their games in all competitions in January, the most wins by a team in the top four tiers of English football in a single month since the formation of the Football League in 1888.
  • Their 1-0 defeat at Brighton was Tottenham’s 1,096th Premier League game, and the first in which they did not start a single English player.

February

Premier League Season Review - February - Man Utd 9-0
  • Manchester United’s 9-0 win against Southampton was the third such result in Premier League history – the other two also involved either Man Utd (win vs. Ipswich in 1995) or Southampton (defeat vs. Leicester in 2019).
  • Manchester United had seven different scorers in their 9-0 win against Southampton, only the second time a team has had seven different scorers in a Premier League match, after Chelsea vs. Aston Villa in December 2012.
  • Jesse Lingard became only the second player to score twice on his Premier League debut for West Ham, after Trevor Sinclair against Everton in January 1998.
  • Spurs boss José Mourinho suffered back-to-back league defeats on home soil for the very first time in his managerial career, following their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
  • Against Newcastle, James Ward-Prowse became the ninth player to reach double figures for direct free-kick goals in Premier League history.
  • In their FA Cup win against Swansea, Manchester City set a new record for consecutive wins in all competitions by an English top flight side (15).
  • Defeat to Wolves saw Southampton lose six consecutive league matches for the first time in their history.
  • Fulham picked up their first ever away win at Everton in league competition, on what was their 28th attempt. They had lost each of their last 22 away league games against the Toffees.
  • Everton’s 2-0 win at Liverpool was their first away win at Anfield in 24 visits in all competitions (since September 1999) and their first win against the Reds at all in 24 meetings (since October 2010).

March

Premier League Season Review - March Tuchel Chelsea
  • Against Manchester City, Conor Coady scored his first Premier League goal in what was his 103rd appearance. It was also the first shot on target in his Premier League career.
  • In their 4-1 win over Wolves, Manchester City completed a 19th consecutive Premier League match without falling behind, equaling Arsenal’s record between December 1998 and May 1999. They lost their next match 2-0 to Man Utd.
  • On March 7, both Liverpool (1-0 vs. Fulham) and Manchester City (2-0 vs. Manchester United) lost at home on the same day in the Premier League for the first time since March 3, 2007.
  • Liverpool’s defeat against Chelsea was their fifth consecutive home league defeat, their longest such run in their history. This run would extend to six games with a defeat against Fulham. The Reds also became the first reigning top-flight champion to lose five straight home league games.
  • In a 4-1 win against Crystal Palace, Tottenham duo Kane and Heung-Min Son combined for a goal for the 14th time in the Premier League this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton’s competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.
  • Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel became the first manager in Premier League history to see his side keep a clean sheet in each of his first five home games in charge in the competition.
  • With two assists against Sheffield United, Jamie Vardy became the sixth player to register 100+ goal involvements in the Premier League after turning 30 years of age (81 goals, 20 assists), after Teddy Sheringham (127), Frank Lampard (118), Ian Wright (110), Alan Shearer (102) and Gianfranco Zola (101).
  • Losing 2-1 despite scoring first, Spurs have dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League – the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.
  • Leeds’s 2-1 win at Fulham was their first away win in London in 17 games in all competitions.
  • West Ham’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal (in which the Hammers’ took a 3-0 lead) was the third time in the Premier League season that a team has led by three or more goals and failed to win (also West Brom 3-3 Chelsea and Spurs 3-3 West Ham) – the most instances in a single Premier League campaign since 2010-11 (also three).

April

Premier League Season Review - April - Farewell Jose
  • Chelsea conceded eight goals in their two games against West Brom in the Premier League this season, the most they have shipped against one side in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Losing 5-2 against West Brom, Chelsea conceded five or more goals in a home Premier League game for only the second time, previously doing so against Arsenal in October 2011 (5-3).
  • At 36 years and 193 days old, Thiago Silva became the oldest Chelsea player to be sent off in a Premier League game when he saw red against West Brom.
  • Liverpool registered their biggest ever margin of victory in an away top flight match against Arsenal (3-0). 
  • Kane’s brace at Newcastle were his 83rd and 84th away Premier League goals for Spurs, the most a player has scored on the road for a single club in the competition’s history.
  • Aston Villa against Fulham was the first game in Premier League history to see every player in the starting XI for both sides born after the first Premier League game on August 15, 1992.
  • Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat to Leeds was their first home defeat against a promoted side in 42 Premier League games, since losing 2-0 against Reading in February 2007. Meanwhile, it was just the fourth time in Premier League history a promoted team had won away against the league leaders.
  • Against Leicester, West Ham midfielder Mark Noble became only the eighth player to make 400 Premier League appearances for a single club.
  • Alexandre Lacazette became the sixth Frenchman to score 50 Premier League goals for a single club, with four of the six doing so for Arsenal (also Thierry Henry, Olivier Giroud and Robert Pires).
  • Kane’s brace against Everton took him to 20 goals in the Premier League this season, the fifth time he’s done so – only Alan Shearer (seven) and Sergio Agüero (six) have scored 20+ goals in more Premier League seasons than Kane.
  • With six games remaining, Sheffield United suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, alongside Ipswich Town (1994-95), Derby County (2007-08) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).
  • Sheffield United became the first team to finish as high as ninth in the Premier League and be relegated the following season since Birmingham City (ninthin 2009-10, relegated in 2010-11).
  • In Spurs’ 3-1 home defeat to Man Utd, José Mourinho suffered his 10th league defeat of the season, the first time he had ever lost 10 league games in a single season in his managerial career.
  • Mason Greenwood’s goal against Burnley saw him move level with Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by a Manchester United teenager in the Premier League (15).
  • Heung-Min Son’s penalty against Southampton was the 88th to be scored in the Premier League this season, setting a new record for most penalty goals in a single Premier League campaign.
  • For Spurs against Southampton, Ryan Mason (29y 312d) became the youngest manager in Premier League history.
  • At 94 minutes and 58 seconds, Joe Willock’s equaliser for Newcastle was the latest goal Liverpool have conceded at Anfield in a Premier League game since we have exact goal times available (2006-07).
  • Salah’s goal against Newcastle saw him become the first Liverpool player to score at least 20 goals in three different Premier League campaigns.
  • Against Newcastle, Liverpool’s James Milner made his 159th appearance as a substitute in the Premier League, overtaking Peter Crouch as the all-time record holder for sub appearances in the competition.
  • At Wolves, Chris Wood became just the third player to score an away first-half hat trick in the Premier League, while the Burnley striker also became the first player from New Zealand to net a Premier League hat trick.
  • Manchester United’s goalless draw at Leeds was their seventh 0-0 in the Premier League this season, their most in a single campaign in the competition.
  • Away at Leeds, Manchester United defender Harry Maguire played his 71st consecutive Premier League match while completing 90 minutes, equaling the all-time club record set by Gary Pallister between November 1993 and May 1995. The run came to an end in the next match when he was subbed off with 12 minutes remaining at Aston Villa.

May

Premier League Season Review - May - Aguero leaves on a high
  • With his hat-trick against Sheffield United, Gareth Bale became the sixth Welsh player to score 50+ Premier League goals.
  • Mason Greenwood’s goal against Aston Villa saw him become the highest-scoring teenager for Manchester United in Premier League history (16), overtaking Wayne Rooney’s haul of 15.
  • Thanks to West Brom’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, Sam Allardyce was relegated from the Premier League for the first time in his managerial career.
  • West Brom suffered their fifth relegation from the Premier League, the joint-most of any side in the competition (along with Norwich).
  • Courtesy of Leicester winning their first Premier League game at Old Trafford since 1998, Manchester City were confirmed as the champions for the fifth time in the last 10 seasons.
  • Man Utd’s Amad Diallo Traore assisting Mason Greenwood against Leicester was the first time a teenager assisted another teenager for a Premier League goal since David Wheater set up Adam Johnson for Middlesbrough in May 2006.
  • Liverpool’s 4-2 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford was the 141st away win in the Premier League this season, setting a new record for most away wins in a single English top-flight campaign.
  • Manchester City’s 4-3 win at Newcastle set a new English Football League record of 12 consecutive away wins. It was also their 23rd away game unbeaten in all competitions, another new record for an English league side.
  • Alisson scored a 90th-minute winner for Liverpool at West Brom, becoming the first-ever goalkeeper to score a competitive goal for the Reds in their 129-year history.
  • Manchester United conceded 28 home goals in the Premier League this season – they last conceded more at Old Trafford in a single league campaign back in 1962-63 (38).
  • Leeds became only the second promoted team to win 10 Premier League away games in a single season (10), and the first to do so since Nottingham Forest in 1994-95 (10 in total).
  • Brighton’s 3-2 comeback victory over Manchester City was the 53rd time this season a club had won a Premier League match having conceded the first goal, a new record within a single season in the competition (56 in total at the end of the season).
  • Against Chelsea, Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho became the first player in Premier League history to score a goal on all seven weekdays within a single season.
  • Against Sheffield United, Joe Willock became the youngest player in Premier League history to score in six consecutive appearances in the competition (21y 272d).
  • Sergio Reguilón’s own goal with Spurs against Aston Villa was the 1,000th own goal scored in Premier League history.
  • Manchester United became just the fourth side in English top-flight history to remain unbeaten away from home across an entire league campaign, after Preston in 1888-89, Arsenal in 2001-02 and Arsenal again in 2003-04.
  • Fulham became the first team in English top-flight history to fail to score at least 10 home goals in a single campaign, with the Cottagers nettings just nine league goals at Craven Cottage.
  • Joe Willock finished the season by scoring in seven consecutive Premier League appearances, just the second Newcastle player to do so after Alan Shearer in 1996.
  • Despite spending more days in the top four than any other Premier League side this season (242), Leicester finished fifth and missed out on Champions League qualification.
  • West Ham finished in the top six for just the second time in the Premier League, after their fifth-place finish under Harry Redknapp in 2012-13.
  • Thanks to a brace against Everton on the final day, Sergio Agüero overtook Wayne Rooney’s record for most goals for a single team in Premier League history, netting his 183rd and 184th goals for Manchester City.
  • Kane finished the season as both the top goalscorer and top assister in the Premier League – only the second time a player has finished with both the outright most goals and assists in the competition after Andy Cole in 1993-94.
  • The 2020-21 Premier League campaign was the first season in any division in the top four tiers of English football league history to see more away wins (153) than home wins (144).
  • None of Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur had a Saturday 3pm kick-off in this season’s Premier League – the first teams in the competition’s history to go an entire campaign without one.

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