Top-four challengers Manchester City and Liverpool drew in the Premier League on Sunday, a significant result for one player

One Premier League defender celebrates an unusual goalscoring record, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy’s vital statistics show a sharp upturn under Craig Shakespeare and could Romelu Lukaku be the new Gary Lineker?

BBC Sport takes a look at the most interesting facts and figures from the weekend.

When this guy scores…

…his team don’t lose.

In January, we told you Liverpool midfielder-turned-left-back James Milner had equalled the record for most games scored in without his team losing.

Well now he’s out on his own.

The Yorkshireman netted his seventh penalty of the season as Liverpool drew 1-1 against his old club Manchester City on Sunday to extend his unbeaten streak of goalscoring appearances to 47 games.

The run stretches back to the start of his career at Leeds in 2002-03, followed by moves to Newcastle, Aston Villa, City and Liverpool.

Premier League’s top five lucky charms
Games scored in Won Drawn
James Milner 47 37 10
Darius Vassell 46 36 10
Cesc Fabregas 42 34 8
Salomon Kalou 32 29 3
Oyvind Leonhardsen 28 21 7

Mahrez & Vardy back but Wes Mor-gone

Leicester have won all four games since Craig Shakespeare took charge as manager following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, and much of it owes to the improvement of key players Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy.

PFA Player of the Year Mahrez has contributed two goals and one assist under the new boss, having provided just five goals and three assists in his 32 previous games in all competitions.

The average number of chances created by the Algerian is also up from 1.62 to 1.86, while he is attempting more dribbles per game (7.43) than under the Italian (6.19).

England striker Vardy, who scored 24 league goals last season, has played the same number of games as his team-mate but has performed even better under Shakespeare.

Vardy has scored three times and provided two assists in his past four games. Under Ranieri this season, he scored four times in 32 games and had not contributed any assists.

The chances created by the former non-league striker are up from 0.92 to 1.56 per game, the number of touches in the opposition penalty area have increased from 3.88 to 7.02 and dribbles attempted have gone from 1.79 to 3.12.

Those Atletico Madrid defenders will be quaking in their boots come the Champions League quarter-finals.

Skipper Wes Morgan played every single minute last season as the Foxes claimed a sensational Premier League title triumph.

Although this league campaign has not quite gone to plan, the Jamaican defender has remained a mainstay in the side… until Saturday.

Morgan’s 87-game top-flight run ended after a back injury kept him out of the win over West Ham. Impressive, you may think, but it is nowhere near the record for an outfield player.

That accolade goes to recently retired midfielder Frank Lampard, who appeared in 164 games in a row for Chelsea from October 2001 to December 2005.

Not bad, but former goalkeeper Brad Friedel takes the crown for most games played in a row in the Premier League.

The American began his run for Blackburn in 2004, going on to play an astonishing 310 consecutive games for Rovers and Aston Villa, before his run ended at Tottenham in 2012.

Now that will take some beating.

Most consecutive games played in the Premier League
Date of first game Teams Consecutive games Date of last game
Brad Friedel 14/08/2004 Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham 310 29/09/2012
Tim Howard 30/09/2007 Everton 210 23/02/2013
Jose Reina 11/08/2007 Liverpool 183 01/04/2012
David James 17/01/2004 Manchester City, Portsmouth 166 20/04/2008
Frank Lampard 13/10/2001 Chelsea 164 26/12/2005

Possession and shots? Overrated

Arsenal fans held more banners during the loss against West Brom calling for manager Arsene Wenger to leave

If you have more of the ball, the opposition have less chance of scoring.

Incorrect.

Arsenal’s tumultuous season hit a new low on Saturday when they were beaten 3-1 by West Brom at The Hawthorns, despite holding 76.86% possession in the fixture.

The Gunners made 750 passes, compared to the opposition’s 219, yet still went home with nothing. #WengerIn or #WengerOut, Arsenal fans can’t decide whether they want the Frenchman as manager or not.

This will make them feel a little better…

Earlier this season, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side went to Turf Moor and dominated a match in which they had 80.38% possession and 26 shots. The final result? Burnley scored with both of their shots on target to claim victory.

On the other hand, Crystal Palace beat Watford on Saturday without having a single shot on target. Troy Deeney’s own goal gave Sam Allardyce’s side a 1-0 victory.

Since the 2003-04 season, the Eagles became only the fourth side – after Middlesbrough’s victory over Manchester City (November 2003), Sunderland beating West Brom (January 2006) and Watford’s win over Hull (October 2016) – to win a top-flight game without a shot on target.

There’s something in the Merseyside water

Premier League goals and games before the age of 24

Romelu Lukaku’s two goals in Everton’s 4-0 thrashing of Hull on Saturday allowed him to become the first Toffees player to score 20+ league goals in a season since Gary Lineker in 1985-86, when the Englishman scored 30.

The Belgian’s tally stands at 21 – the highest in the league – so he has nine games remaining to overtake the Match of the Day presenter’s haul.

Lukaku also became the first foreign player to score 80 or more goals in the Premier League before turning 24. Former Liverpool strikers Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler, as well as ex-Everton frontman Wayne Rooney, also achieved the feat.

The offer of a new £140,000-a-week contract has not been enough to tempt Lukaku to remain at Goodison Park, but the deal remains on the table.

They may want to double the money to get him to stay.

East Midlands managerial merry-go-round

The East Midlands, signposted: ‘Managers enter at your peril.’

Saturday’s Championship game between Nottingham Forest and Derby – which ended 2-2 – was the fifth successive match between the sides with both teams being led by different managers.

Quite incredible.

It was the fifth successive match between the two sides with BOTH teams being led by different managers.

So that’s 10 new managers for two teams across five fixtures.

Take a look at the most recent meetings:

Who will be in the two hot seats next season?


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