Tottenham got their title push back on track with a first win in five outings and Arsenal maintained their recent revival with a third win on the bounce in Saturday’s Premier League action.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were again among the scorers for Spurs in their victory over Leeds United, while Alexandre Lacazette helped himself to a double in the Gunners’ even more straightforward success at West Brom.
Crystal Palace also picked up three valuable points with what is a now-customary victory over doomed Sheffield United, who set an unwanted record with their latest setback, but there was nothing to separate Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves in the day’s other game.
Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Saturday’s Premier League fixtures.
How Saturday went downpic.twitter.com/C2q73eoh12
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 2, 2021
Tottenham 3-0 Leeds: Son and Kane combine again in convincing victory
Son scored his 100th goal for Tottenham in all competitions to help his side on their way to a routine victory over Leeds in the early kick-off.
The South Korea international swept in Kane’s pass to become the 18th Spurs player to reach the milestone figure on what was his 253rd appearance.
Kane has now assisted 17 goals for Son in all competitions, while the pair have combined 13 times in the Premier League alone in 2020-21 – no two players have linked up more in a single season in the competition.
Prolific striker Kane had earlier given Tottenham the lead and in doing so he became the first player to reach double figures for both goals (10) and assists (11) in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
Kane has also now scored against all 30 opponents he has faced in the Premier League – the best 100 per cent record in the competition among players to have faced more than one team.
Toby Alderweireld added a third goal early in the second half and Leeds were unable to respond – the first time they have failed to score in an away league game this term, leaving Aston Villa and Manchester United as the only perfect sides in that regard.
The only blemish for Spurs was the stoppage-time dismissal of Matt Doherty for a second yellow card, meaning they have already had more top-flight red cards in 2021 than they had in the whole of 2020.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 2, 2021
Palace 2-0 Sheffield United: Eze does it for Eagles as visitors lose again
Bottom club United have now officially set the record for the longest ever winless run from the start of a Premier League campaign after going down 2-0 to Palace.
The Blades’ 17-match winless run to begin a season is the worst in the English top flight since Bolton Wanderers’ run of 22 without a victory in 1902-03.
Stretching back into 2019-20, Chris Wilder’s men are winless in 20 Premier League games – failing to keep a clean sheet in any of those – making them the fifth side to reach that figure and the first since West Brom between August 2017-January 2018.
Jeffrey Schlupp opened the scoring at Selhurst Park with just 188 seconds on the clock, which was Palace’s earliest goal in the division since James McArthur’s strike against Everton after 51 seconds in November 2017.
The versatile wideman hobbled off injured and it was his replacement, Eberechi Eze, who added a second goal with a wonderful solo effort as he became the fourth Palace player to score his first two goals for the club from outside the box – the others being Ricky Newman, Gareth Southgate and Simon Rodger.
United, who saw 16-year-old Antwoine Hackford become their youngest ever Premier League player in the second half, could not find a response as the Eagles kept a first clean sheet in the competition in 16 matches since September.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 2, 2021
Brighton 3-3 Wolves: Seagulls battle back after Burn horror shown
Dan Burn endured a first half to forget but Brighton recovered from two goals down to claim a point against Wolves at the Amex Stadium.
The centre-back put into his own net and brought down Adama Traore for a penalty that Ruben Neves converted, having earlier conceded a corner in the build-up to Romain Saiss’ opener – the Wolves defender’s second goal in three league games, which is as many as he managed in his previous 40.
In doing so, Burn became the first player to score an own goal and give away a penalty in the same Premier League game since Eliaquim Mangala for Man City against Hull City in September 2014.
Brighton refused to roll over and had a lifeline when Neal Maupay converted from the spot 50 seconds after the restart – the earliest penalty scored in the second half of a Premier League game since Opta records began in 2006-07.
Lewis Dunk then nodded in to snatch a draw – the fourth occasion Albion have rescued a point in a Premier League game in which they have been two goals behind.
4 – Arsenal’s 4-0 victory against West Brom was their biggest margin of victory in a competitive away game under Mikel Arteta. Strides. pic.twitter.com/35TGoAqilU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 2, 2021
West Brom 0-4 Arsenal: Lacazette at the double for revived Gunners
Arsenal turned on the style with a runaway victory over a struggling West Brom side as they made it three wins in a row in the Premier League, following a previous run of two victories in 12.
Kieran Tierney scored a sublime opener for the visitors, becoming the first Scottish player to score an away goal for the north London side in the competition since Charlie Nicholas against Ipswich Town in March 1986.
The strike itself was impressive and it came at the end of a 20-pass move that pulled West Brom apart. Indeed, since Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge on Boxing Day 2019, the Gunners have scored more goals following a sequence of 20 or more passes (three) than any other Premier League side.
The impressive Bukayo Saka scored the second at the end of another flowing team move – the 22nd league goal he has been involved in since the start of last season (seven goals, 15 assists), which is the second most by a teenager currently playing in the division after Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood (25).
West Brom had a goal ruled out for offside and their heads dropped from that point on as Lacazette netted a quickfire brace, taking his tally for the season to five away goals in the Premier League – already his best seasonal tally since joining Arsenal.
It was another damaging defeat for West Brom, who are the first side to lose consecutive Premier League home games by at least four goals since Wigan Athletic in August 2010.
The size of the task at hand for Sam Allardyce has now become even clearer, meanwhile – at no club has he won fewer points (one, level with Crystal Palace) or conceded more goals (13) after his first four Premier League games in charge of a club.