42 attempts and no goals: Zlatan’s shooting struggles

  • Zlatan

42 attempts and no goals: Zlatan’s shooting struggles

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic might not be scoring, but he is not afraid of shooting, while Romelu Lukaku is almost single-handedly seeing off West Ham.

42 shots and no goals

The more you shoot, the more you score, right? Wrong. At least it is if you’re Ibrahimovic.

The former Sweden international has not scored in his past six Premier League matches, his worst run in the league since his time with Inter Milan in 2007.

Since his most recent top-flight goal, against Manchester City on 10 September, Ibrahimovic has had 42 attempts at goal.

That is more than any other player has even attempted during the whole Premier League season.

Most shots by Premier League players in 2016-17

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) 57
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) 41
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 36
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 33
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 32
Paul Pogba (Manchester United) 31
Ibrahimovic tried to break down a stubborn Burnley side by letting fly 12 times in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.That amounted to almost a third of Manchester United’s 37 shots, the most efforts in a single Premier League game since 2003-04.But the home side were denied by a combination of wayward finishing and Tom Heaton’s brilliance…

Heaton’s wall

Most people would have expected Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton to be a busy man this season – as the line last of defence for a newly promoted club.

He was outstanding against United, making a whopping 12 saves to keep out his former club.

Left or right, high or low, Heaton – as demonstrated in our goalmouth graphic – was everywhere.

But it is not the first time he has more than earned his weekly pay packet this season – he has made 21 saves more than any other Premier League keeper.

Most saves by Premier League goalkeeper this season

Tom Heaton (Burnley) 57
Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) 36
Ben Foster (West Brom) 35
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) 35
Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) 32

Hammers have bad Luk

West Ham players and fans will be sick of the sight of Romelu Lukaku.

The Everton striker has netted in each of his past seven appearances against the Hammers after scoring the opener in Sunday’s 2-0 home win.

Only Robin van Persie has a better scoring streak against one side, netting in eight games in a row against Stoke.

The Toffees’ reliance on Belgium striker Lukaku against the Hammers, since he first arrived on loan from Chelsea in 2013, is clear:

Victory at Goodison Park was the first time Everton have beaten West Ham by more than one goal with Lukaku in their side.

Four of his goals have helped earned narrow one-goal wins, with one salvaging a draw.

Without his input, Everton would have won nine fewer points against the Hammers.

Squeaky clean Koscielny

If Laurent Koscielny strikes you as a mild-mannered man then your assumption is supported by a startling disciplinary statistic.

The Arsenal centre-back has committed only two fouls this season, despite having to shackle some of the Premier League’s best attackers.

Shkodran Mustafi – Koscielny’s regular centre-back partner – has given away eight fouls, despite playing two games fewer.

But both players are squeaky clean in comparison to the Premier League’s chief culprits.

Middlesbrough’s Antonio Barragan (15) has been penalised for more fouls than any other top-flight defender, ahead of Leicester’s Robert Huth (14), Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward and West Brom’s Jonny Evans (13).

However, there is one striker who appears to antagonise Koscielny. And that’s Diego Costa.

Both of the Frenchman’s two fouls this season have been against the Chelsea striker.

Downing’s Olympic legacy

Ryan Giggs had just won his 10th Premier League title with Manchester United, Portsmouth had lifted the FA Cup, and work had yet to begin on London’s Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Games.

That was May 2008, the date of Stewart Downing’s most recent Premier League goal for Middlesbrough before his strike against Bournemouth on Saturday.

That’s a total of 3,093 days between the two goals by the Boro-born winger.

Another week, another unwanted Sunderland record…

Sorry Sunderland fans, your team are becoming a regular fixture in this stat-based synopsis. And not for the right reasons.

Last week, we reported that Jack Rodwell had gone 1,241 days without winning a game when in the starting XI. Make that 1,248.

Sunderland’s 4-1 home defeat by Arsenal extended the former England midfielder’s unwanted record, as well as bringing up another miserable statistic for the Premier League’s bottom side.

David Moyes’ men have collected only two points from their opening 10 games – the joint worst start to a Premier League campaign.

But there is a positive for the most optimistic of Sunderland fans to take: the other club to have made such a woeful start were Manchester City in 1995-96.

So you never know. Sunderland could be taken over by a mega-rich consortium, buy loads of the world’s best footballers and lift the Premier League title in 2033-34…