De Bruyne hits assists landmark and goes one better than Sancho, Seagulls add to Chelsea’s misery

Kevin De Bruyne became the second player to reach 100 Premier League assists for a club when the Manchester City playmaker set up Erling Haaland for the hosts’ third goal in a 3-1 win over Leicester City.

The result cut Arsenal’s lead to three points at the top of the table, ahead of the Gunners’ trip to West Ham on Sunday.

Saturday’s games saw Ollie Watkins remain in top form for Aston Villa, but there were bad home defeats to London giants Chelsea and Tottenham while Brighton and Hove Albion and Bournemouth celebrated impressive victories.

Here Stats Perform, guided by important match facts from Opta, unveil the finer details of the day’s Premier League action.

Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City: Haaland and De Bruyne are the stars as City keep up the pressure

Armed with a 3-0 lead after 25 minutes, Manchester City took their foot off the pedal and Leicester gained a foothold, but the Foxes rarely get much out of this game. There are 11 wins in the last 13 league games against Leicester now for Pep Guardiola’s team, and five wins in as many meetings.

City have a 10-game winning streak in all competitions, which they have only improved on twice during the Guardiola era, with a run of 21 games from December 2020 to March 2021 and 11 games from August to October in 2017.

Haaland scored twice to take his tally to 32 in the top flight, ever closer to the Premier League record of 34 in a single season, while De Bruyne’s pass to score the Norwegian forward’s second goal allowed to complete 100 assists for City. Ryan Giggs, with 162 for Manchester United, is the only other player to reach an assist century for a club in the Premier League.

De Bruyne has now assisted 10 goals for Haaland in all competitions this season, and that’s the most assists any player has ever had for the young goalscoring machine with a top-flight club, beating Jadon Sancho’s nine when he and Haaland were teammates at Borussia Dortmund in the 2020-21 season.

Leicester remain in relegation trouble, with the 2015-16 Premier League champions taking just eight points from 16 games in the competition (W2 D2 L12), losing eight of their last nine.

Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle United: Watkins and Villa score half-centuries as Emery’s revival accelerates

Aston Villa were perilously close to the relegation zone when Steven Gerrard was sacked in October. A sensational recovery continued as they crushed third-placed Newcastle on Saturday, with their Premier League winning streak now at five games.

They last achieved five straight wins in the competition on this corresponding weekend 25 years ago when John Gregory was boss, and Saturday’s result means Newcastle’s Eddie Howe has lost his last four league clashes with the ‘Villa manager Unai Emery, who was previously in charge of Arsenal, with an 11-2 aggregate.

Villa reached 50 points in 31 games, the first to reach that tally since he got there in 29 games in 2009-10, and Watkins was a key figure in the team’s resurgence.

The England forward added to Jacob Ramsey’s lead, which came from Watkins’ assisted header, by netting a second-half brace to take the Magpies out of the match.

Watkins’ 50th, 51st and 52nd goals for Villa (39 goals and 13 assists) came in his 102nd Premier League game for the club, with only Christian Benteke (88 games) reaching 50 fewer games in competition for the club. Watkins has 12 goals and three assists in the Premier League since the World Cup, with only Haaland (16) having more involvements in this span.

Chelsea 1-2 Brighton & Hove Albion: Seagulls swoop down on Stamford Bridge scalp

Brighton substitutes Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso did the damage and Chelsea can’t complain. In terms of goals expected (xG), Brighton dominated this one, finishing on 2.28 to the hosts’ 0.60.

After failing to win against Chelsea in 14 Premier League games, Brighton achieved a double this season after winning 4-1 at home in October.

Chelsea’s winless run at home in the league now stands at four games (D2 L2), and that’s their worst run since picking up just one point from their last five games at Stamford Bridge in the 2015-16 season.

Only Manchester United (10) have scored more goals off the bench than Brighton (8) in the Premier League this season, and the sides meet next weekend in the semi-final stage of the FA Cup.

Tottenham 2-3 Bournemouth: Balotelli echoes as Outtara stuns Spurs

Tottenham have Aston Villa and Brighton in hot pursuit after this shock, with Dango Ouattara grabbing Bournemouth’s winner four minutes 11 seconds into stoppage time.

It was the last winning goal Bournemouth ever scored in the Premier League, as well as being the penultimate winning goal scored against Spurs by any team since 2006-07, following Mario Balotelli’s goal for Manchester City in January 2012, which was arrived after four minutes and 39 seconds of added time.

This was Bournemouth’s first away win against Tottenham, having lost in all five of their previous attempts, and marked the first time Spurs have lost at home as they took the lead from a 3-2 defeat against Southampton in February last year.

Bournemouth have won five of their last nine Premier League games and have notably gone six points clear of their last three, having won just five of their previous 25 games. Dominic Solanke scored the Cherries’ second goal and provided assist for the other two goals, scoring and assisting in the same Premier League game for the third time this season, with no player having done so on multiple occasions.

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