Two games gone in the Premier League season and both Raheem Sterling and Teemu Pukki have four goals to share the lead in the race for the Golden Boot.
The form of two-time title winner Sterling for Manchester City is no surprise, but few could have expected Norwich striker Pukki to have made the jump into the top-flight in such style.
He scored a late consolation in the opening-day 4-1 loss at Liverpool but then grabbed a hat-trick in the Canaries’ 3-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday – to become the first player in Premier League history to score four goals in his first two appearances in the competition.
No player has scored more league goals in the top four divisions of English football since the Finland forward joined Norwich in June 2018 on a free transfer after he had been released by Danish club Brondby.
After spells in Spain with Sevilla, in Finland with HJK Helsinki and in Germany with Schalke, Pukki joined Celtic in 2013 but struggled to hold down a first-team spot, scoring seven times in 26 league appearances before a loan move to Brondby led to a permanent deal.
He scored 55 times in 130 league games for the Danish side, but since arriving at Carrow Road he has been unstoppable with 34 goals in all competitions in 48 games, and a goal every 121 minutes of action.
That means his goal-per-game ratio in league games before joining Norwich was at 0.38, but since becoming a Canary that figure jumps up to 0.73. Best free transfer ever?
Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy is among those to be impressed by Pukki.
“It’s an unbelievable story, to think he came on a free – 29 goals and no penalties last season is something in itself,” said Murphy. “You dream of growing up and watching yourself on Match of the Day and there’s his moment.”
|League goals since the start of 2018-19|
|33||Teemu Pukki||Norwich City|
|31||James Norwood||Tranmere Rovers / Ipswich Town|
|26||Tammy Abraham||Aston Villa / Chelsea|
|26||Neal Maupay||Brentford / Brighton|
|26||James Collins||Luton Town|
|25||Lyle Taylor||Charlton Athletic|
|24||Jarrod Bowen||Hull City|
|24||Dwight Gayle||West Bromwich Albion|
|24||Billy Sharp||Sheffield United|
|23||Sergio Aguero||Manchester City|
|23||Nicky Maynard||Bury / Mansfield Town|
|23||Tyler Walker||Mansfield Town / Lincoln City|
Penalty box predators
Javier Hernandez was another goalscorer this weekend, netting for West Ham in their 1-1 draw at Brighton. His goal came from inside the 18-yard box – but of course it did, because he does not score from anywhere else.
That is now 53 Premier League goals for the former Manchester United man – but the Mexican does not hold the record for top penalty box predator. That honour falls to Tim Cahill, who netted all 56 of his league goals for Everton from no further than 18 yards out.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus is another on the list of those players who do not score from outside the area. He thought he had got his 29th league goal at the weekend, but was denied what would have been a winner for his side because his injury-time effort against Tottenham was ruled out for an earlier handball.
|Players that only score Premier League goals inside the penalty area|
|53||Javier Hernandez||Manchester United / West Ham|
|38||David Unsworth||Everton / West Ham / Portsmouth / Wigan|
|37||Kevin Doyle||Reading / Wolves|
|33||Iain Dowie||Southampton / West Ham / Crystal Palace|
|33||Ashley Ward||Derby / Barnsley / Bradford|
|28||Carl Cort||Wimbledon / Newcastle / Wolves|
|28||Gabriel Jesus||Manchester City|
Another quick impact from a sub
Anyone who read this feature last week will remember we talked about the impact of Florin Andone, who netted Brighton’s second goal in their 3-0 opening-weekend win at Watford just 62 seconds after coming on as a substitute.
Well, Andone’s achievement seems quite pedestrian now after Lucas Moura ran on to the pitch for Tottenham against Manchester City on Saturday and 19 seconds later the ball was in the net, the Brazilian heading in Christian Eriksen’s corner for an equaliser in the 2-2 draw.
Moura is now the joint-seventh fastest to score off the bench since Opta started recording this stat in 2006.
He has now also been directly involved in five goals in his last five games in all competitions for Tottenham (four goals, one assist) – as many as he managed in his previous 20.
|Quickest Premier League goals from a substitute (since 2006)|
|8 seconds||Sammy Ameobi||Newcastle||Tottenham (A)||26 October, 2014|
|15 seconds||Antoine Sibierski||Wigan||Derby (A)||12 January, 2008|
|17 seconds||Andrew Johnson||Fulham||Wolves (A)||23 April, 2011|
|17 seconds||Gerard Deulofeu||Watford||Manchester City (A)||9 March, 2019|
|18 seconds||Yakubu||Blackburn||Everton (A)||17 April, 2010|
|18 seconds||Apostolos Velios||Everton||Chelsea (A)||15 October, 2011|
|19 seconds||Andre Bikey||Reading||Chelsea (H)||15 August 2007|
|19 seconds||Stelios Giannakopoulos||Bolton||Tottenham (A)||26 April, 2008|
|19 seconds||Lucas Moura||Tottenham||Manchester City (A)||17 August, 2019|
Frank Lampard was denied a win in his first game at Stamford Bridge since becoming Chelsea manager as the Blues drew 1-1 with Leicester City on Sunday.
Lampard’s first three matches have seen Chelsea lose 4-0 at Manchester United, lose on penalties against Liverpool in the European Super Cup after it had finished 2-2 after extra time and now this draw with the Foxes.
Obviously it is very, very early days, but it does mean he becomes the first Chelsea boss to not win any of his first three games in charge since Rafael Benitez at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
|Chelsea bosses in their first three games (all competitions) in the Roman Abramovich era|
|Jose Mourinho (first spell)||3||0||0|
|Luiz Felipe Scolari||2||1||0|
|Guus Hiddink (first spell)||3||0||0|
|Roberto di Matteo||3||0||0|
|Jose Mourinho (second spell)||2||1||0|
|Guus Hiddink (second spell)||1||2||0|