Premier League Week 8: Standout Stats
The English Premier League returned this weekend with the goal outburst and quality play that fans everywhere desired for the first seven weeks of the season.
Arsenal maintained their spectacular form and defeated Norwich City with help from one of the best goals of the Arsene Wenger era to stay atop the league table for another week.
Elsewhere across the league, Manchester United were held to a draw at Old Trafford by Southampton while Swansea, Chelsea and Arsenal all netted four goals in their respective wins.
Here is a look at some of the standout statistics from Week 8 of EPL play.
Jack Wilshere's Tiki-Taka Finish Sets Goal-Scoring Streak
With his finish in the 18th minute of Arsenal's 4-1 home victory over Norwich City, Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere scored in two consecutive games for the first time in his career:
2 - Jack Wilshere has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time. Slick.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2013
Wilshere scored in the Gunners' previous match against West Bromwich Albion before the international break in the 63rd minute to secure a 1-1 draw for Arsene Wenger's club.
With the victory, Wilshere and his Arsenal teammates remained two points ahead of second-place Chelsea in the league table.
Stevie G Hits the Century Mark
In the first EPL game of the weekend, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard netted his 100th career goal in the English top flight.
Gerrard hit the century mark from the penalty spot after Luis Suarez was fouled by Newcastle's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the penalty area.
After the Liverpool No. 8 slotted his penalty past Magpies keeper Tim Krul, it made him the 24th player in league history to reach the 100-goal mark.
Of those 24 players, 13—including Gerrard—have scored 100 goals for the same club:
13 - Steven Gerrard is the 13th player to score 100+ Premier League goals for a single club. Loyal.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2013
Liverpool and Newcastle Love to Score Goals Against Each Other
We all know how exciting the fixture between Liverpool and Newcastle can be, and while Saturday's match at St. James' Park wasn't a total thriller like past meetings between the two sides, it did deliver four goals.
Yohan Cabaye, Steven Gerrard, Paul Dummett and Daniel Sturridge were the goalscorers in the 2-2 draw, making the fixture between the Reds and Magpies the highest-scoring one in league history.
The two sides have combined for a total of 126 goals in their meetings since the inception of the EPL in 1992:
According to @BBCSport The 2-2 draw between Newcastle & Liverpool means fixture has more goals than any other match-up in EPL history (126)— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) October 19, 2013
Chelsea Forwards Now Level on Goals With......John Obi Mikel?
The plight of the forwards at Chelsea has been well documented this season, with Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba putting together a futile—and before Saturday, non-existent—scoring record.
In the eighth league game of the season, it was Eto'o who scored the first goal by a Chelsea forward in the competition this season.
As Eto'o finished in the 66th minute to put the Blues ahead for good against Cardiff, he put the Chelsea forwards level on total goals with John Obi Mikel.
Mikel, if you recall, scored his first league goal in eight years at the club on September 21 against Fulham.
Sunderland's Slide to the Championship Continues
If you thought changing managers at Sunderland would help the club recover from their horrible start to the season, you thought wrong.
In Gus Poyet's first game in charge, the Black Cats laid an egg and fell 4-0 to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
The loss sunk the Wearside club further into the EPL basement and sent their goal differential to -15.
Hopefully, for the sake of the Sunderland fans, their club can get a result next weekend when they host their chief rival, Newcastle United.
Andros Townsend's Stellar Form Continues
Fresh off of his England debut last week, Tottenham winger Andros Townsend scored his first league goal of the season on the road at Aston Villa in the lone Sunday game.
Townsend's swooping cross avoided a flailing duo of Lewis Holtby and Roberto Soldado, finding the back of the net.
The 31st-minute strike by the 22-year-old came on his 27th shot of the season, which amounts to the most taken by a player before scoring his first goal this season:
27 - It took Andros Townsend 27 shots to score his 1st PL goal of the season, more than any other goalscorer in the top tier. Persistent.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 20, 2013
Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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