This article is part of our Premier League Stats Review series.
Is there anything more 2020 than "Ross Barkley has a monopoly of set pieces?" After joining Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Chelsea, who he made zero Premier League starts for this season, Barkley started his first game for his new club and promptly took all of their corners and free kicks, leaving Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, who he started for, and John McGinn in his dust. It obviously worked out wonderfully for Villa, who beat Liverpool 7-2, with Barkley scoring a goal. The Aston Villa set-piece situation has been fluid since they re-joined the Premier League last season, but Barkley taking all of their opportunities would surely clear that up.
We saw a few other first-time (at least for this season) set-piece takers, including Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman for Brighton, who also had Lewis Dunk take a free-kick shot, which he's wont to do every so often. We also saw Ben Chilwell take seven of Chelsea's eight corners in their win over Crystal Palace, but it's worth noting that neither Mason Mount nor Reece James played. Chelsea have an abundance of set-piece takers, and we haven't even seen Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic this season.
There is one big development is at Everton, who seem to be done with Lucas Digne on dead balls. Not only did James Rodriguez continue to take corners and free kicks this past weekend against Brighton, but even Gylfi Sigurdsson took one! Sigurdsson was rumored to be moving to MLS this fall but never got his move, and while he's certainly not a regular sterter when Allan, Andre Gomes and Abdoulaye Doucoure are fit, he's apparently a set-piece threat when he does get the minutes. Digne has now gone two games without a corner, and this past weekend was the first time he didn't get a free-kick cross either. He's still a solid creator from his left-back spot, but no free kicks would certainly limit his fantasy production.
Manchester United let Luke Shaw take three free kicks, which seems like a nice present before he's glued to the bench thanks to the addition of Alex Telles from FC Porto. Telles was Porto's primary set-piece taker and would surely be the No. 2 guy for Manchester United, but it's tough to see Bruno Fernandes giving up too many of those chances; the possibility that they split sides is there though.
Note: all columns are sortable.
Legend: MIN = minutes, CRN = corners taken, FK CR = free-kick cross, FK S = free-kick shots
If you'd like to see a match-by-match breakdown for each team, check out our Team Trends pages.
Gameweek 4 Corners and Free Kicks
|Kevin De Bruyne||MCI||LEE||A||433||MC||90||5||5||3||1|
And speaking of Bruno, he unsurprisingly took Manchester United's penalty in their loss to Tottenham, maintaining his perfect Premier League record from the spot. Additionally, Jorginho bagged TWO penalties, so his miss earlier this season hasn't pushed him off those quite yet. Harry Kane and Callum Wilson also scored for Spurs and Newcastle, respectively, prompting no changes from our expectations.
Gameweek 4 Penalties