The Midweek In Numbers: Aguero goal rate stays solid in non-vintage season

Liverpool know how to fight back against Chelsea and Marcus Rashford's impact role is not so much about goals

BY Raf Diallo 14:32 Tuesday 31 January 2017, 14:32 31 Jan 2017

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero rues a missed chance. Picture by Tim Goode EMPICS Sport

With Chelsea facing Liverpool and Arsenal by the time this week is out,  the Premier League title race could be well and truly over. 

They are highlights of a busy week of action which could be defining in the grand scheme of things, while both Manchester clubs have challenges of their own to consider. 

Liverpool have thwarted Chelsea of late

Back in the first half of the season before Antonio Conte had decided to switch to the 3-4-3 formation, Liverpool were in the ascendancy and defeated Chelsea 2-1 away from home.

Four and a half months later and things have changed. Chelsea are 10 points clear of the Reds and would be virtually champions elect if they can beat Liverpool and then Arsenal on Saturday.

However, Liverpool have a decent head to head record against their London rivals and have not lost their last four fixtures, winning twice.

And if they fall behind, they shouldn't fear Chelsea if we're solely basing it on recent history.

In the three fixtures before Liverpool's 2-1 win September, Chelsea took the lead in each of their head to heads, only for Liverpool to fight back to either draw (twice) or win. 

In two consecutive head to heads, Liverpool's equalisers have come in the crucial period just before half time (Steven Gerrard's 44th minute leveller in May 2015 and Philippe Coutinho's 45th minute goal in October 2015).

Aguero's goal rate holds up in non-vintage season

West Ham have lacked a regular goalscorer up front across the span of the season.

But Manchester City have also not enjoyed the full benefits of a Sergio Aguero in form - or free of suspension - for parts of this season ahead of their trip to the East End of London on Wednesday.

His 11 goals in the Premier League this season are not to be sniffed at though. That's a rate of 0.68 goals per match which is a highly respectable figure.

It's not too far off last season's rate of 0.8 goals per match and in his highest scoring Premier League campaign (26 goals in 2014-15), his rate stood at 0.78 - a shade more than this season when the Argentine has been scrutinised more than ever.

A couple of goals against West Ham would immediately swing the curve upwards.

Man United vs Hull City

When Manchester United beat Hull City 1-0 back in August, it was teenage sensation Marcus Rashford who got the ball over the line.

His development was always going to be interesting under a Jose Mourinho whose management of emerging talent has not been viewed in the best light.

Rashford has scored three times in 17 appearances this season and is a regular in the matchday squad. He tends to be used more as an impact substitute - still remarkable considering his status this time last season - where his pace and direct running causes problems.

But the England international has not found the net since September's 4-1 win over Leicester City.

Including this season since his career started, Rashford has scored seven of his eight league goals in matches in which he has started and played for at least 75 minutes.

Of course, that's hardly a revelation though as players will naturally score more goals the longer they spend on the field. But in terms of being an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer style wonder sub, Rashford has one goal, and the impact he provides is more than just about finding the net.

However, he'll be eager to get back in the hunt for goals when Man United face Hull.


Carl Frampton: I have a better boxing brain than Leo Santa Cruz

16:09 Thursday 26 January 2017 2 Minute Read

"Your win has always been my win": Venus Williams makes powerful tribute to winning sister Serena

11:15 Saturday 28 January 2017 2 Minute Read

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor confirm interest in super-fight

10:58 Sunday 29 January 2017 2 Minute Read

Why perception has become Ian Cathro's biggest enemy

13:53 Monday 30 January 2017 4 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week