“We told ourselves we wanted to create history. That was history but obviously the wrong type," Jürgen Klopp, manager of the Liverpool of the England Premier League, said Tuesday after 2-7 loss to Aston Villa. Defending champion Liverpool suffered heaviest defeat in 57 years.
On the same day, Super Sonny Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur scored two goals to help the team’s 6:1 victory over Manchester United. Son scored four goals on Sept 20 when Tottenham came from behind to thrash Southampton 5-2.
The English Premier League is witnessing a series of goals at the onset of the season. As of Tuesday, there has been a total of 144 goals across 38 games, which is 40 goals more than the same period of the previous season. According to BBC, the average goal score per game is the second highest after the 1930-1931 season (3.95 goals per game), which scored the highest average score for top league games. This season’s performance is the highest since the launch of the EPL in 1992. Particularly, 11 out of 38 games (around 29%) scored more than five goals from both teams.
One reason behind the series of goals may come from strikers making various and creative attempts to score goals, who had been jeered and ridiculed from the audience when they had not been able to score. “Strikers, free of the burden to score by fans, are making various attempts to score,” said Michael Keane of Everton. “Even if two or three goals are given away by defenders, strikers drive a come-from-behind-victory, which amazes us.”
Overall decline of performance and changes in rules were also working factors. “Due to COVID 19, players are training less. Lack of preparedness also impacted loss of points,” the BBC pointed out. Analysts said that reinforced handball rules encouraged the number of penalty kicks, which increased by 22% from the previous season, and video assistant referees discouraging defenders also played a part in raising the number of goals.
Yun-Cheol Jeong email@example.com