The new Premier League season kicked off with a bang Saturday, as Liverpool’s exhilarating 4-3 win over returnees Leeds United highlighted the opening day of the 2020-21 campaign. Courtesy of stats from Opta and Squawka, we examine some of the most outstanding numbers from the day’s quartet of fixtures.
1 – Arsenal raised the curtain on the season with a 3-0 win over Fulham. By opening the scoring at Craven Cottage, striker Alexandre Lacazette became the only player to record the first goal of a Premier League campaign on more than one occasion. The Frenchman also accomplished the feat in 2017-18.
2 – Willian was the standout performer in the Gunners’ win, setting up a pair of goals on his Arsenal debut. That’s the same number of Premier League assists as Mesut Ozil delivered all of last season.
3 – Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player to score a hat-trick on the opening day of a Premier League season, securing his treble with an 88th-minute penalty that clinched all three points for the reigning champions.
4 – Salah has now scored on the opening day of four straight seasons, too, joining Teddy Sheringham as the only players who can make such a claim.
5 – Liverpool and Leeds combined for five goals in the opening 33 minutes of Saturday’s thrilling tilt, making it the first opening-weekend match to feature five or more tallies in the first half since 2006.
8 – Callum Wilson made an immediate impact in his first match for Newcastle, scoring the opener in the Magpies’ eventual 2-0 win over West Ham United. The Englishman now has eight goals in nine league matches versus the Hammers, which is more than he’s scored against any other Premier League opponent.
10 – Virgil van Dijk had a mixed day – an uncharacteristic error led to a Patrick Bamford goal – but the towering Dutchman did get on the scoresheet with a typically emphatic header. He’s now scored 10 goals since joining the Reds, more than any other center-back in the league over that span.
11 – Grim reading for Fulham fans on this one. In top-flight action, the Cottagers have now lost their last 11 London derbies. Their next chance to end that horrid run comes next month against Crystal Palace.
35 – Liverpool have won each of their last 35 league matches when Salah scores a goal. The recipe is pretty simple for Jurgen Klopp, then.
60 – Saturday’s victory means Liverpool are now unbeaten in 60 consecutive Premier League matches at Anfield. What a fortress.
120 – Who needs possession? Crystal Palace only completed 120 passes en route to claiming a 1-0 win over Southampton. The Saints had just over 70% of the ball but couldn’t find a way past Vicente Guaita.