Liverpool put seven past Crystal Palace and Manchester United brushed aside Leeds United with six goals on a bonkers weekend of Premier League action.
Reigning champions Liverpool are the first side to sit top of the tree at Christmas in three successive years since last achieving the feat themselves between 1978 and 1980 under Bob Paisley.
While a couple of scorelines stood out, it was business as usual for Jamie Vardy as he scored for the 11th time this season in Leicester City’s 2-0 win at Tottenham, making some history in the process.
With the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.
Palace plundered as rampant Reds cut loose
There was a magnificent seven for Liverpool at Selhurst Park in the early kick-off on Saturday, the reigning Premier League champions running up the score to move further clear at the summit.
It was the first time Liverpool have scored seven in an away game in the top flight since March 1991. Roberto Firmino bagged two of them, a year on from his last league brace for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Poor Palace, then. They had not conceded more than five at home in any competition since a 6-1 defeat to the Reds in August 1994.
They were 3-0 down at home by half-time for only the sixth time in the Premier League era. However, three of those occasions have come against Liverpool (also in August 1994 and October 2016).
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 21, 2020
Vardy starts the Christmas party early
Vardy likes Tottenham. Maybe not as much as certain alcopop drinks and kicking corner flags at Bramall Lane, but the striker does seem to relish a trip to Spurs.
His goal in Leicester City’s 2-0 triumph on Sunday means he has completed the set when it comes to Spurs, having now scored against them at White Hart Lane, Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
He is the first player in Premier League history to score away to a specific opponent at three different grounds.
A Toby Alderweireld own goal made sure of all three points for the Foxes, who will be in the top two places of the table at Christmas in consecutive seasons for the first time in their history.
Next up for Brendan Rodgers’ side: third-place Manchester United at home on Boxing Day.
Jamie Vardy is the first player to score away goals against the same team on three different grounds in the #PL, having notched at White Hart Lane, Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium@LCFC | #TOTLEI pic.twitter.com/GzUS47jc8e
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 20, 2020
Red Devils put on a (first-half) show
Man United and cross-Pennine rivals Leeds served up a pre-Christmas treat at Old Trafford in a game that saw Scott McTominay score the Premier League’s quickest ever brace inside just 170 seconds.
A further three goals followed before half-time, making it the fourth game in the competition this season to see as many as five goals scored in the opening 45 minutes, along with Liverpool v Leeds, Aston Villa v Liverpool and Man United v Tottenham.
To put that into some context, five or more goals were scored in the first half of just three matches in the whole of 2019-20.
The rampant hosts added another couple of goals to their tally in the second half, including a strike from Daniel James to end a 33-game wait since his last Premier League goal, a run spanning some 16 months.
James was also – harshly, in the view of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – booked for simulation, making him only the second player in the Premier League this season to be cautioned for diving, along with Wolves’ Adama Traore.
Enjoy, Reds pic.twitter.com/NiPwlQPZwy
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) December 20, 2020
A bit of Mina time
Mikel Arteta’s woes continue following an eighth defeat in 14 Premier League matches for Arsenal this season, this most recent setback coming at the hands of the under-fire manager’s former club Everton.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side took the lead through a Rob Holding own goal, the centre-back becoming the first Arsenal player to put into his own net in this Premier League fixture since, of all people, Arteta in April 2014.
That is the third own goal Arsenal have scored in the top flight this term – only in 2002-03 (four) and 2011-12 (five) have they scored more in a single season.
Nicolas Pepe temporarily levelled up for the Gunners from the penalty spot, only for Yerry Mina to head in what proved to be the winner in the 45th minute.
The timing of the goal should come as little surprise given that the last four league goals scored by the ex-Barcelona man have come in that exact minute, including stoppage time.
Only Chris Eagles has scored as many consecutive goals in the same minute before, notching four times in the 90th between 2007 and 2011.