Club football made its return after the international break with the top teams quickly re-establishing their superiority. Manchester City remained top of the Premier League after defeating West Ham, while Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal kept up the pace with wins. Manchester United were swatted aside at home by Brighton, while Chelsea drew away to Bournemouth.
Real Madrid came from behind to defeat Real Sociedad, thus reclaiming top spot in LaLiga after Barcelona had overtaken them temporarily in their dismantling of Real Betis. Atletico Madrid suffered a rude awakening with a 0-3 loss away to Valencia.
Inter came out on top in the Milan derby to lead Serie A, with Juventus defeating Lazio to climb to second place. Over in Germany, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich shared the spoils in a top-of-the-table clash while RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund picked up wins. PSG lost their first game of the season at home to Nice, who leapfrogged them in the Ligue 1 table headed by Monaco, who drew their game against Lorient.
ESPN’s By The Numbers has the best stats from the weekend:
7, 43 and 59
Erling Haaland leads the way in the Premier League scoring charts once more, bringing up his seventh goal of the season in five games. He’s scored 43 Prem goals since his arrival last season, which is level with the amount of Prem goals Chelsea have scored in that span. Incredibly, Haaland has outscored Chelsea in all competitions since his arrival, scoring 59 to Chelsea’s 56.
Chelsea’s tally of five goals in five games is their worst since the 1995-96 season (5), where they finished eleventh, scoring 46 goals in total. The club didn’t fare much better last season, scoring six goals in their first five games.
Manchester United saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at home come to an end against Brighton (who also were the last team to beat them at Old Trafford). The club had defeated all the other teams in the ‘Big 6’ during that run.
Mo Salah crossed the 200 mark for Liverpool, with his two assists against Wolves making it 201 goal contributions for the club in the Premier League – only Steven Gerrard has more.
Liverpool are on the longest current unbeaten streak in the Premier League ��
They’ve avoided defeat in any of their last 16 matches! pic.twitter.com/bAlsbSYFH2
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 16, 2023
Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Everton saw them keep their twelfth clean sheet away from home since the start of last season, with only Fulham and Man City (7) coming close to such an away record. Mikel Arteta’s side also have the most goals scored from corners (16) in that span. 1-0 to the Arsenal, eh?
50 and 100
Ange Postecoglou has not lost any of his last 50 league matches at home (42 wins), going back to his time in Japan with Yokohama F. Marinos, Celtic and now Spurs. He did lose two games at home with Celtic in the UEFA Champions League, however (against Real Madrid and RB Leipzig). Spurs’ comeback win over Sheffield United was the latest in Premier League history and also their 100th win after conceding the first goal – bettered only by Manchester United (103).
The wait is over. Ferran Torres is the first Barcelona player to score a direct free-kick since Lionel Messi… 866 days ago. It was also Torres’ first-ever goal from a direct free-kick.
Carlo Ancelotti brought up his 173rd win as Real Madrid head coach, passing Zinedine Zidane for the second most in club history behind Miguel Muñoz’s unbeatable 357 wins.
5×2 and 55
Real Madrid have won their first five games of the season in the last two seasons – the only time they did so in consecutive seasons was in 1961-62 and 1962-63. It also was Real Madrid’s 55th LaLiga win after conceding the first goal since 2010-11, which is tied with Tottenham for most such wins in Europe’s top 5 leagues in that span.
Valencia ended a 17-game winless run against Atletico Madrid in LaLiga with a 3-0 win at home – their first since November 2014.
18 and 18
Sergio Ramos started for Sevilla against Las Palmas last night. It was his first match for the club in 18 years, three weeks and two days – he last featured on August 28, 2005 (vs Racing Santander) as an 18-year-old. It also was a good omen for the club, who ended their club record three-game losing streak to open the season.
Sevilla record their first win and clean sheet of the season in Sergio Ramos’ first match back at the club after losing their first three games ��
Instant impact ���� pic.twitter.com/G4kLEBL8LO
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 17, 2023
49 and 5
Inter Milan last scored at least five goals in a Milan derby forty-nine years ago in 1974 (a 5-0 win). The blue-and-black side of Milan have defeated their city rivals eight times when scoring five in their entire history. This was also the first time in the derby’s history that Inter have won five in a row (all comps).
Roma’s 7-0 dismantling of Empoli saw a Jose Mourinho-managed team win by 7 goals in a game for the first time since March 2011, when his Real Madrid won 8-1 to Almería in LALIGA. It was also Roma’s largest Serie A win since November 2006, when they defeated Catania 7-0.
Dusan Vlahovic is the first Juventus striker ever to begin two consecutive campaigns with four goals in as many games.
Harry Kane scored his fourth goal in as many Bundesliga games for Bayern Munich and in doing so brought up the 300th goal of his club career (280 for Spurs).
Heidenheim won their first-ever Bundesliga game with a 4-2 win over Werder Bremen, with two goals coming from midfielder Eren Dinkci, who is on loan from … Werder Bremen.
Nice ended a 13-game winless streak away to PSG with their 3-2 victory at the Parc des Princes – their first win at the stadium since November 2009.
PSG’s 8 points through 5 match days are the team’s fewest since 2010-11, when they amassed 7 points in the opening 5 games. Last season PSG started 4-1-0 (W-D-L) with 21 goals scored, this season it is 2-2-1 with 10 goals scored.
No Messi, no party. Inter Miami’s unbeaten run came to an end as they lost for the first time since Messi’s arrival, with the Argentinian not part of the squad (rested after the international window) as his club went down 2-5 away to Atlanta United.
Cristiano Ronaldo in contrast, had a good outing in Al Nassr’s 3-1 win over Al Raed.
4 and 7
Ronaldo scored for the fourth consecutive game, and leads the Saudi Pro League scoring charts this season with seven goals, followed closely by teammate Sadio Mane (6).
(Stats courtesy: ESPN Stats and Information Group)