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Weekend numbers: Ronaldo's missed 50, flying Reds and another PogBrace

The FC crew answer your tweets on the length of Unai Emery's honeymoon at Arsenal, Neil Warnock's success at Cardiff, New Year's resolutions and more.
Manchester City beat Southampton to end their losing run, but Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol examine why teams are no longer afraid of the champions.
With a third successive win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop assess the marked differences in Man United's play.
Stewart Robson and Peter Walton discuss the big refereeing decisions from the weekend's football action.
After Manchester City's win at Southampton, Steve Nicol says the returns of David Silva and Sergio Aguero will help steady the reigning champions.
ESPN take a look back at a year Paul Pogba will never forget.

Liverpool ended the year with a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, while Manchester United continued their impressive start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, brushing aside Bournemouth 4-1. Over in Italy, Juventus entered the winter after a VAR-controversy fueled 2-1 win over Sampdoria thanks to a brace from... who else, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Here, then, are the best of the numbers from the last bit of footballing action in 2018.


6

Roberto Firmino's hat trick is the sixth in fixtures between Liverpool and Arsenal...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's honeymoon continues at Man United

Paul Pogba scored twice to ensure a winning home debut for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is now 2-for-2 since taking charge of Manchester United.
Steve Nicol and Craig Burley urge Manchester United fans not to get ahead of themselves after their consecutive wins under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Steve Nicol believes Manchester United's success under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is due to a return of confidence in the post-Mourinho era.

MANCHESTER, England -- After overseeing a 3-1 win over Huddersfield on Boxing Day -- his second victory as caretaker manager of Manchester United in the space of four days -- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that he has not had time to change that much since taking the reins from Jose Mourinho last week.

The hectic holiday schedule does not allow for quality time on the training pitch, but Solskjaer's United are already different from the team he inherited. How long it lasts is anyone's guess and,...

Weekend numbers: Lionel Messi's free-kick record, Romelu Lukaku ends home rut

Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders.
Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match.
Jurgen Klopp insists he isn't surprised by Mohamed Salah's desire to score after he stayed on his feet during Liverpool's second goal.
Niko Kovac admits Borussia Dortmund would have to make mistakes in order for Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga title.
Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham.
Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference.

Chelsea stunning Manchester City and Liverpool thrashing Bournemouth to go top have made the Premier League title race exciting again. In Spain, Lionel Messi eviscerated Espanyol with a display of supreme skill, while in Italy, Juventus continued their remorseless march to an eighth straight scudetto with a 1-0 win over Inter. Here are the best numbers from an action-packed weekend of football.


15

Here's a ridiculous Messi stat: Messi has more free-kick goals over the last four La Liga seasons (15)...

David Silva, Sergio Aguero banish Kevin De Bruyne injury woes as Man City run riot

English Premier League: Sergio Aguero (76') Manchester City 5-1 Huddersfield
English Premier League: David Silva (48') Manchester City 4-1 Huddersfield
English Premier League: Jon Gorenc Stankovic (43') Manchester City 3-1 Huddersfield
English Premier League: Sergio Aguero (35') Manchester City 3-0 Huddersfield
English Premier League: Gabriel Jesus (31') Manchester City 2-0 Huddersfield
English Premier League: Sergio Aguero (25') Manchester City 1-0 Huddersfield

MANCHESTER, England -- Three points on Manchester City 6-1 Huddersfield in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

1. Champions carry on where they left off

If any of Manchester City's rivals thought there was a possibility they may have lost any of their hunger following a record-breaking title triumph last season, Pep Guardiola's side put that to bed with an emphatic performance against Huddersfield Town.

Sergio Aguero hit the 13th hat trick of his City career and could have doubled that as Guardiola's...

N'Golo Kante, Jorginho impress in new-look midfield as Chelsea cruise

HUDDERSFIELD, England -- Three thoughts on Chelsea's 3-0 win vs. Huddersfield in the Premier League.

1. Chelsea do enough to start with victory

Maurizio Sarri said this week that his Chelsea team might not play entirely as he wants until the second half of the season and, against Huddersfield, they certainly were not the whirling, fast-paced team of the new manager's ideals. As such, the fact they won 3-0 anyway is a good sign that the acclimatisation period might not be too calamitous.

Sarri's...

Premier League: Man City, Liverpool fight for title; Man United uncertainty under Mourinho

After a record-breaking campaign in 2017-18, the FC crew assess the expectations for Manchester City in the Premier League this season.
Jurgen Klopp contends his top players 'don't use Liverpool and then go,' but Shaka Hislop explains why that's not a sure thing.

The Premier League is back! A new season brings fresh optimism and hope for the campaign ahead -- but how are the clubs shaping up?

ESPN FC's club correspondents, bloggers and staff run the rule over all 20 teams and predict their final position in 2018-19. 

Using last season's table, with the three promoted teams at the bottom, here's a look at each club's season ahead.

MAN CITY

Biggest signing and biggest loss: It's hard to think that there was too much missing from Manchester City's...