Rooney leads another United rout

September, 10, 2011

Wayne Rooney's first career hat trick in the English Premier League was against the Bolton Wanderers and so is his latest one. Rooney struck for three goals Saturday against Bolton as Manchester United won 5-0 and continued to score goals at a blistering pace. First-place United has scored 18 goals (4.5 goals per match) in its four wins to open the season. United also secured its 200th away victory in the EPL, the first club to reach that mark.

Here is a statistical look at Saturday's EPL action.

•  Rooney has recorded back-to-back hat tricks -- he put three past Arsenal in an 8-2 win on Aug. 28 -- and has eight goals in United's first four matches. Rooney, who has seven career hat tricks, has 17 goals in his last 18 EPL matches. Rooney's eight goals already put him in striking distance of last season's goal haul of 11, which he recorded in 28 matches and was the lowest total of his United career.

• The five-goal home defeat against United was not the worst for Bolton. The first EPL match between Bolton and United ended 6-0 in February 1996, as Paul Scholes scored twice and David Beckham, Steve Bruce, Andy Cole and Nicky Butt also tallied to give Bolton its worst EPL loss and heaviest loss at home in any league.

• Aston Villa's Darren Bent was caught offside five times today against Everton, his most in a match this season and the second most in any EPL match this season. Bent leads the EPL with 10 offside rulings against him. Since the 2010-11 season, Bent has been called offside 77 times, 29 more than any other league player.

• Liverpool thoroughly dominated Stoke in a losing effort. Liverpool had 73 percent of the possession and completed 190 passes in the attacking third. That total serves as the most passes completed in an EPL match this season and the most in any EPL loss since Dec. 20, 2010. Liverpool also won 12 corners, tied for the most in a match this season, despite the 1-0 loss.

• Arsenal was back on its game today as it completed four through balls, its most in a match this season and tied for the second most in any EPL match this season. Last season, Arsenal completed 96 through balls, 32 more than any other EPL club.

Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.



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