Premier League leaders Liverpool made continental history in Week 22 when the Merseysiders won 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur to record the best start to a domestic season in Europe’s top five leagues.
Roberto Firmino’s goal won Saturday’s fixture and took Jurgen Klopp’s side to 61 points from their first 21 games of the campaign, the highest tally achieved among Europe’s elite in that span, per OptaJoe:
Manchester City demolished Aston Villa 6-1 away on Sunday to climb back to second, capitalising on Leicester City’s surprise 2-1 loss at home to in-form Southampton.
The Citizens ran rampant at Villa Park, where Sergio Aguero grabbed a hat-trick and one assist to take the match ball. Riyad Mahrez continued his hot streak and netted a brace before teeing up Aguero’s third. Kevin De Bruyne helped engineer a grand portion of City’s best attacks and notched two assists of his own, one of which was for Gabriel Jesus’ third goal in as many games.
Pep Guardiola’s team were in fact one of those knocked to second in terms of Europe’s best league starts. City (2017-18), Juventus (18-19) and Bayern Munich (13-14) each took 59 points from their first 21 games in previous domestic campaigns, per Sky Sports.
Southampton look to be easing out of relegation danger after Danny Ings’ late strike saw them edge Leicester on Saturday to move up to 12th, seven points from the bottom three. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have taken 13 points from their last five games, and only Liverpool (15) have accumulated more in that time.
Elsewhere, Norwich City’s gradual ebb toward likely relegation continued following their 4-0 drubbing at Manchester United. The Canaries haven’t won in the league since November 23 and are eight points from safety with 16 matches remaining—they must yet travel to Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Sheffield United, Wolves and end their season at the Etihad Stadium.