When Bruno Fernandes replaced Donny van de Beek at half-time against West Ham United on Saturday, Manchester United seemed to be in big trouble. 1-0 down and having attempted three shots compared to their opponents’ tally of 12, it looked like David Moyes would get one over his former club.
However, the Portuguese had other ideas. He created eight goalscoring chances in his 45-minute appearance, with one of those assisting Paul Pogba’s equaliser in the 65th minute. Overall, just under 25% of his 33 passes to successfully find a teammate in the game ended with a shot by the recipient of his pass.
All eight of his chances were created came in open play; a Premier League high by a player within a game in 2020-21. The last player to create as many goalscoring chances despite playing a maximum of one half of football in a Premier League match was Jason Koumas in February 2008 for West Brom against Sunderland.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min combining for a goal has become the norm, this season.
Yesterday’s north London derby victory over Arsenal saw them assist a goal for each other, taking the overall tally to 31 Premier League goals in which Kane and Son have combined – now just five off the record held by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard in the competition (36).
Harry Kane has now assisted 10 goals in the Premier League this season, with a quite frankly ridiculous eight of those coming for his Korean teammate. Overall, he’s only passed to Son 56 times in the competition in 2020-21, meaning that 14% of his passes have ended assisting his goals.
Kane assisted his 10th Premier League goal of the season in just 11 games; no player has ever reached 10 assists in fewer appearances from the start of a campaign in the competition. The only other player to have managed it that quickly is Mesut Özil for Arsenal in 2015-16 – if only the Gunners had a player that could bring some creative spark from midfield, now.
I Spy, Excellent Chances
The 2,000 Chelsea fans in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night could have been forgiven for fearing the worst after former academy prospect Patrick Bamford opened the scoring for Leeds United inside four minutes. However, Chelsea put on an attacking display stronger than any seen so far this season in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard side attempted 23 shots with a 2020-21 league-high 4.21 Expected Goal (xG) total in the match and could even allow their forwards to make goal line clearances from their own teammates.
This performance was the highest non-penalty xG on record for Chelsea in a Premier League match (since 2013-14) and the last team to exceed this tally were Manchester City against Brighton back in July (4.64).
Enjoy this? Subscribe to The Analyst to receive five stories each Friday from Stats Perform. It’s free.