Remember when Harry Kane just could not score a goal in August? It seems a long time ago now.
The England captain has scored at least 17 goals in each of the past five Premier League seasons, but failed to find the net in the first 14 games he played in the month of August – a run that lasted for 1,065 minutes over five seasons.
Nothing lasts forever and that streak ended on the opening weekend of last season when he scored in the 3-1 win over Fulham on 18 August 2018, and again nine days later in a 3-0 win at Manchester United.
There is to be no August angst this year either as Kane scored twice in the final four minutes on Saturday as Spurs fought back from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, it was no surprise that he found the back of the net against Villa as he has now scored six times in six appearances against them.
Tottenham have also won 37 Premier League games after finding themselves behind at half-time – more than any other side.
Kane could still do with boosting that goal-to-game ratio in August, though, as it remains his worst month for scoring. Manchester City and Newcastle are the other sides he could face this month.
|Harry Kane’s month-by-month Premier League goalscoring record|
|Month||Appearances||Goals||Shots||Goals per game|
Sterling work from Sterling
It was also a good weekend for Kane’s England colleague Raheem Sterling, who scored a hat-trick as champions Manchester City began their campaign by thumping West Ham 5-0 at London Stadium.
He became the eighth player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign, but the first since Didier Drogba grabbed a treble in Chelsea’s 6-0 win over West Brom at the start of 2010-11.
Sterling’s second goal was his 50th in the league for City as he became the sixth player to reach the milestone for the club after Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Edin Dzeko.
It also lifted Sterling up to equal 25th in the list of Premier League hat-trick scorers, but he has got a long way to go to match Aguero and Alan Shearer’s total of 11.
|Most Premier League hat-tricks|
|11: Sergio Aguero, Alan Shearer|
|9: Robbie Fowler|
|8: Harry Kane, Thierry Henry, Michael Owen|
|7: Wayne Rooney|
|6: Luis Suarez|
|5: Robin van Persie, Andrew Cole, Dimitar Berbatov, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ian Wright|
|4: Dwight Yorke, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Chris Sutton, Matt le Tissier, Kevin Campbell, Teddy Sheringham, Carlos Tevez, Les Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe, Yakubu, Fernando Torres|
|3: Tony Cottee, Emmanuel Adebayor, Nicolas Anelka, Theo Walcott, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Raheem Sterling, Robbie Keane, Romelu Lukaku, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dion Dublin|
Sterling’s treble was the 24th Premier League hat-trick by a City player, lifting the club up to joint fourth in that list, but still 15 behind Arsenal and Liverpool.
|Most Premier League hat-tricks by club|
|39: Arsenal and Liverpool|
|32: Manchester United|
|24: Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham|
|10: Aston Villa, Leeds|
Southampton made a slow start to their Premier League campaign as they were beaten 3-0 by Burnley at Turf Moor. But it should come as no surprise for Saints fans as they have not won their opening league fixture since 2013-14 when they beat West Brom 1-0.
In fact, Southampton have a miserable opening Premier League weekend record with only two wins in 21 attempts – a winning return of 9.6%.
Norwich, Leicester and Watford also failed to start off with a win, just like normal. Norwich, 4-1 losers at Liverpool, have only started their Premier League campaign with a win once; the Foxes, who drew 0-0 at home with Wolves, have won their opener on two out of 14 occasions; while the Hornets, who slumped to a 3-0 loss at home against Brighton, have one win from seven attempts.
At the other end of the scale, Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea was their 19th opening weekend win in the Premier League era.
Of those sides no longer in the top flight, Blackpool are the only team with a 100% record when they started in style with a 4-0 triumph at Wigan in August 2010 – but that was as good as it got for the Tangerines, who were relegated that season.
QPR were never a good team to bet on early on when they were in the Premier League as they failed to win in seven opening weekends.
|Premier League opening weekend records|
Quick off the mark, but not that quick
Florin Andone netted Brighton’s second goal in their 3-0 win at Watford just 62 seconds after coming on as a substitute. However, he was nowhere near as quick as some players have been. In fact, he does not even make the top 40 since Opta started keeping records of this statistic in 2006.
Newcastle’s Sammy Ameobi comfortably holds the record of best-impact sub as he netted eight seconds after his introduction game at Tottenham in October 2014.
Second on the list is Wigan’s Antoine Sibierski, who only needed 15 seconds before he was celebrating in his side’s home match against Derby in January 2008.
Andrew Johnson (Fulham, 17 seconds), Gerard Deulofeu (Watford, 17), Yakubu (Everton, 18), Apostolos Vellios (Everton, 18), Andre Bikey (Reading, 19) and Stelios Giannakopoulos (Bolton, 19) have also all scored within 20 seconds of coming on.