Liverpool registered a historic win in their seven-goal blitz of Crystal Palace and the records of an unwanted kind kept coming for Arsenal in their defeat to Everton.
The reigning Premier League champions opened up a five-point lead at the top, with Merseyside rivals Everton their closest challengers after beating an Arsenal side slipping further into the abyss with each passing game.
Manchester City also got back to winning ways thanks to a Raheem Sterling-inspired success at Southampton, while Newcastle United and Fulham played out a draw at St James’ Park in the late kick-off.
Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Saturday’s action in the Premier League.
The story of Saturday pic.twitter.com/JxeSAV01HD
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 19, 2020
Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool: Reds run riot as Klopp overtakes Rafa
Jurgen Klopp registered a landmark victory in a historic win for Liverpool at Selhurst Park as the Reds won an away top-flight match by a margin of seven goals for the first time in their history.
German coach Klopp overtook Rafael Benitez (126) for the most triumphs as a Liverpool boss in the Premier League with his 127th success.
It was the first time the Merseyside outfit scored seven goals in a league game – each assisted by a different player – since a 9-0 triumph over Palace in September 1989, with the Eagles conceding seven in a home match for the first time.
Substitute Mohamed Salah netted a brace and laid on an assist for fellow two-goal forward Roberto Firmino – the 17th time the pair have combined for a Premier League goal for Liverpool, placing them behind only Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman (24).
Takumi Minamino, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane were also on the scoresheet, the latter becoming only the fourth player in Premier League history to score in seven successive appearances against an opponent.
127 – This was Jürgen Klopp’s 127th league victory in charge of Liverpool, overtaking Rafael Benítez (126) as the Reds boss with the most wins in Premier League history. Icon. pic.twitter.com/NR7AM7o51N
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
Southampton 0-1 Manchester City: Sterling sinks Saints again
Sterling’s sweeping finish proved enough for City to return to winning ways at St Mary’s Stadium as they became the first team to stop Southampton from scoring in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season.
Match-winner Sterling has been directly involved in 11 goals in 16 Premier League meetings with Southampton – only against West Ham (14) has he had a hand in more.
Kevin De Bruyne set up that goal and now has 15 Premier League assists in 2020, which is three more than anyone else. The only time the Belgium playmaker set up more goals in a single calendar year in the competition was in 2017 (18).
City kept their opponents at bay from that point on and now boast the best defensive record in the division, conceding the fewest goals (12) and keeping more clean sheets (six) than any other team.
Important 3 points against a strong side this year. we keep goingpic.twitter.com/CapnGMaXQQ
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) December 19, 2020
Everton 2-1 Arsenal: Arteta Holding on after latest defeat
Two days ahead of the one-year anniversary of his Everton appointment, Carlo Ancelotti celebrated victory over Arsenal to guarantee the Toffees a place in the top four at Christmas for the first time since 2004-05.
Rob Holding’s own goal – the third by an Arsenal player in the Premier League this season – gave Everton the lead before Nicolas Pepe converted from the penalty spot for a team-high eighth goal involvement this term.
But Yerry Mina scored what proved to be the winning goal just before half-time to inflict an eighth defeat of the campaign on Arsenal, whose return of 14 points from 14 games is their fewest since 1974-75 (12 points when converted to three for a win).
Each of Mina’s past four goals have come in the 45th minute – only Chris Eagles has scored as many consecutive goals in the same minute before, notching four times in the 90th between 2007 and 2011.
Goals are something Arsenal are still struggling for, meanwhile, having now failed to score from open play in their past five Premier League away matches, their only two goals in that run coming from the penalty spot.
Yerry Mina’s last four #PL goals:
— Everton (@Everton) December 19, 2020
Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham: Visitors pay the penalty in St James’ stalemate
Newcastle benefited from another penalty – their third in six Premier League home games – as they recovered to earn a point against an improving Fulham side at St James’ Park.
Callum Wilson made no mistake from 12 yards as he took his tally for the campaign to eight in 12 top-flight appearances, matching his return from 35 games with Bournemouth last term.
Fulham have conceded a league-high five penalties this season, including three in their past four outings, and had Joachim Andersen dismissed for the incident leading to the spot-kick – the third Danish player to see red for Fulham in the competition after Leon Andreasen and Claus Jensen.
However, Scott Parker’s men – who led through Matt Ritchie’s first-half own goal – held on to pick up at least a point when finishing a Premier League game with 10 men for the first time since they beat QPR 3-2 in April 2013, having lost on each of the five subsequent occasions.
Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet in their 11 most recent Premier League games on home soil, their longest run since February 2005 (also 11 games), but they still climbed two places into 12th.