This article looks at how well all of the Premier League teams (apart from the promoted sides) have done so far this season by looking at how many points they have taken, how many goals they have scored, and how many goals they have conceded, compared to the corresponding fixtures from last season.
For example, Tottenham beat Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford this season but lost 3-0 in the same fixture last season. Therefore, Tottenham have taken 3 more points, scored 3 more goals and conceded one less goal than they did in the game last year.
Southampton, Reading and West Ham have not been included in the comparison as they spent last season in the Championship, so all games against these three sides have been subtracted from the analysis in the interests of making a fair comparison.
Chelsea have made the biggest improvement in terms of goals scored, as they have netted 9 more than they did in the exact same fixtures last season, while Fulham, Swansea, and West Brom have all scored 7 more goals than in the last campaign. Manchester United have scored 5 more goals, and Everton and Manchester City have each scored 3 more goals.
Aston Villa and Tottenham have scored 2 more goals, Liverpool and Stoke have scored one more goal than they did in these games last season while Wigan have scored exactly the same amount of goals.
Newcastle have scored 5 fewer goals this season, which is the highest attrition of all the Premier League teams. Arsenal and QPR have scored 3 fewer goals, Sunderland have scored 2 fewer goals, and Norwich have scored one less goal than last season.
Stoke have conceded 3 fewer goals than they did in the same fixtures last season, which represents the biggest proportional defensive improvement of any Premier League team. Chelsea and Manchester City have conceded 2 fewer goals, and Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Sunderland have each conceded 1 less goal than they did last season.
Liverpool have conceded 7 more goals in their matches this season, while Manchester United, QPR and Wigan have all conceded 5 more. Newcastle and Norwich have conceded 4 more goals than last season, while Everton, Swansea, and West Brom have all conceded 3 more. Tottenham have conceded 2 more, and Fulham have conceded 1 more goal than they did in these matches last season.
Chelsea have improved their points share from 7 matches this season by an impressive 10 points, while Manchester City have taken 4 more, and Aston Villa, Fulham and West Brom have each taken 3 more points.
Sunderland and Swansea have both taken 2 more points this season, Stoke have taken one more point, and Everton and Tottenham have taken the exact same amount of points than they did from the corresponding fixtures last season.
Newcastle and Wigan have taken 7 fewer points from their games this season than they did last season, while Arsenal have taken 5 fewer points, QPR have taken 4 fewer points, Liverpool have taken 3 fewer points and Manchester United and Norwich have taken one less points than they did from the same games last season.
What can this show us?
By looking at the differences between the exact same games from this season and last we can learn a lot about how well each team has improved and the areas that teams are struggling with this season. It may also help us see just how well the new managers are actually getting on.
It is plain to see Chelsea’s improvement under Roberto Di Matteo but this comparison just shows by how much. Chelsea have taken 7 more points, scored 5 more goals and conceded 4 fewer goals than they did in the exact same games last season, mainly due to the impressive performances of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, as well as Fernando Torres’ return to form.
Many people have also blamed Liverpool’s poor form at the start of the season on a lack of goals, but they have only scored one less goal than they did in the exact same games last season. The main reason for their poor form actually seems to be the defensive errors that have given so many goals away as the defenders get used to Brendan Rogers’ tactics and passing philosophy.
Newcastle have taken 7 fewer points and scored 5 fewer goals than they did from the same games last season, which represents quite a difference, but it was always going to be difficult for them to replicate last year’s form. Taking 16 points from a possible 21 in these games last season was always going to be incredibly hard for them to replicate, especially with only Demba Ba hitting goalscoring form this campaign.
Andre Villas-Boas has been receiving rave reviews recently (well, everywhere but The Sun newspaper) but Spurs have actually taken the same amount of points from their 7 games as they did under Harry Redknapp last season, with the exact same goal difference.
Manchester City are also 5 points better off than Manchester United in the 7 corresponding games they have played so far this season. Tellingly, City have also managed to win three of the games that they drew last year. If they can replicate last year’s results in the remaining games this year then they may just finish above their rivals again.