Tyler's Starting Stat - Double DutchI was at the astonishing game between Arsenal and Liverpool on Sunday, where we saw two goalscorers in form. Robin van Persie now has 15 goals in his last 15 games (all competitions) and did so in his 150th Premier League appearance (which is not very many when you consider he has been over here for seven seasons). That was his 61st Premier League goal and his second against Liverpool - the other also came in a 1-1 draw in December 2008.
His former Feyenoord team-mate Dirk Kuyt has scored seven in his last nine games (all competitions) and his fourth in 12 against Arsenal. It was a case of double Dutch in the end.
Kuyt also became only the second visiting player to score at Arsenal in the Premier League this year. The other was also from Merseyside: Everton's Louis Saha.
Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last 11 games at home to Liverpool, but that's scant consolation after a match they had to win. The Reds' last victory at Arsenal was a 1-0 success in February 2000 through a Titi Camara goal.
We saw Arsenal's 16th penalty in all competitions this season and the 12th they have scored. After missing against Wigan, van Persie has three successes out of four attempts. Meanwhile, Dirk Kuyt has scored all four of the penalties he has taken this year.
PAYING THE PENALTY
Dear Martin. I've never known Liverpool concede as many penalties as they have this season. Can you ask the guys at Opta if we've ever conceded more in one season? Also, has anybody conceded more than us this season? Mark (Liverpool fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Opta have only been recording data on penalties conceded from the start of the 2005/06 campaign, but in that period Liverpool have never conceded more spot-kicks than the seven they have this season. In fact, they only conceded six Premier League penalties in the last two seasons combined. I've also included the number of penalties conceded by Arsenal, which seems appropriate after the events of Sunday.
Penalties conceded by season:
2010/11: Liverpool (7) Arsenal (7)
2009/10: Liverpool (4) Arsenal (7)
2008/09: Liverpool (2) Arsenal (5)
2007/08: Liverpool (5) Arsenal (4)
2006/07: Liverpool (1) Arsenal (3)
2005/06: Liverpool (2) Arsenal (1)
In fact, Arsenal and Liverpool, along with Blackburn Rovers, have conceded more penalties than anybody else this term. All three sides have conceded seven penalties:
Most penalties conceded (2010/11):
SEVEN: Liverpool, Blackburn, Arsenal
SIX: West Brom, West Ham, Man United, Bolton, Sunderland
FIVE: Stoke, Newcastle
THE LATE, LATE SHOW
Hi, Martin! The Arsenal v Liverpool game was settled past 100 minutes. Which is the game that has had the longest added-time period in Premier League history? And Kuyt scored in the 103rd minute. Is this a latest goal in Premier League history? Kaoru Terasawa (Liverpool Fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Plenty of people have been asking us about this and the boffins at Opta have looked into this for you. They have only been recording the exact time of goals and injury time from the start of the 2006/07 season, but in those four years I can tell you that Dirk Kuyt's goal is indeed the latest (recorded as minute 101:48). He snatched away the record from Robin van Persie, who'd held it four barely four-and-a-half minutes!
Latest goals in the Premier League since 2006/07:
Dirk Kuyt for Liverpool v Arsenal (101:48mins on 17/04/2011)
Robin van Persie for Arsenal v Liverpool (97.10mins on 17/04/2011)
Wade Elliott for Burnley v Hull City (95.50mins on 10/04/2010)
Michael Owen for Man Utd v Manchester City (95.27mins, 20/09/2009)
David Ngog for Liverpool v Man Utd (95.27mins on 25/10/2009)
Andy Reid for Sunderland v West Ham (95.24mins on 29/03/2008)
The goals by Owen and Reid were winning goals, but the others before Sunday did not change the outcome of the game. Casting my mind back, I would think that Steve Bruce's famous late winner against Sheffield Wednesday - in a game when the referee had to be replaced - might have made that list if Opta's data went back that far.
To answer your other question, Sunday's game was not the most injury time we have seen in a Premier League match since Opta have been recording their data. The 11.54 minutes of injury time played on Sunday was topped by the 12.10 minutes played when Reading hosted Chelsea in 2006/07, an occasion marred by a lengthy injury to Petr Cech. However, no goals were scored on injury time that day.
Most second half added time since 2006/07:
12.10mins: Reading v Chelsea (2006/07)
11.54mins: Arsenal v Liverpool (2010/11)
11.04mins: Stoke v Tottenham (2008/09)
10.29mins: Blackpool v Man Utd (2010/11)
10.25mins: Hull v Aston Villa (2009/10)
10.16mins: Man City v West Ham (2008/09)
9.56mins: Fulham v Watford (2006/07)
8.54mins Chelsea v Blackburn (2007/08)
8.42mins: Chelsea v Tottenham (2009/10)
8.15mins: Stoke v Hull (2009/10)
Apart from Sunday's match, only one other goal was scored in injury time in these games. That was Liam Lawrence scoring the second in a 2-0 win for Stoke over Hull last season.
Hi Martin, I recently saw stats that emphasised what a terrible nose-dive Sunderland have had from being in a healthy top-half position at the start of 2011. Which teams (if any) have been relegated despite being in the top half of the league at the turn of the year? (I have a feeling Norwich may be one, when first relegated from the Premier League in 94/95). Tom Carlos (Arsenal fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Only one team has been relegated from the Premier League having been in the top half of the table on January 1. As you suspected, that team was Norwich City who were seventh in the 22-team Premier League on January 1, 1995 with 33 points from 22 games. However, they picked up just 10 points from their final 20 games and were relegated in 20th place.
Of the 55 teams to have been relegated since the Premier League began, only six were 14th or higher on January 1. Those teams were:
Norwich City (7th in 1994/95)
Middlesbrough (13th in 1992/93)
Sunderland (13th in 1996/97)
Reading (13th in 2007/08)
Newcastle (14th in 2009/10)
Burnley (14th in 2010/11)
That means 89 per cent of relegated teams were in the bottom six at the turn of the year. However, it seems possible that this season could go against the grain as Sunderland (7th), Blackpool (8th) and Blackburn (9th) were all in the top half on New Year's Day. The bottom six on New Year's Day this season was (from bottom side upwards): West Ham, Wolves, Fulham, Birmingham, Wigan, Aston Villa.
IN TUNE WITH GIGGS
Hi Martin, After watching the evergreen Ryan Giggs last night, me and a fellow United supporter could not help but marvel about how illustrious his career has been and hopefully will continue to be. We began to wonder since he began tearing teams apart in '91 how many United team mates has he had in those two decades? As in took to the field with. It must be a huge number. Then we began to think of the team you could make made up solely of Ryan Giggs' opponents!! Giggsy is a true United legend!! Thank you, David Lewis
MARTIN SAYS: We can only find data for the Premier League, but I can tell you that since the new-look top flight was launched in 1992/93, Giggs has played alongside 123 other players in league games for Manchester United.
You won't be surprised to hear he has played alongside Paul Scholes more often than anybody else. The duo have appeared in the same Premier League game on 366 occasions. I have detailed below, Giggs' most common Premier League team-mates:
1. Paul Scholes (366)
2. Gary Neville (297)
3. Roy Keane (258)
4. Denis Irwin (239)
5. Peter Schmeichel (131)
6. Phil Neville (203)
7. John O'Shea, Nicky Butt (202)
9. David Beckham (199)
10. Mikael Silvestre (197)
I was also interested to note the names of 14 players whom Giggs has only played alongside once in the Premier League. There are a few forgotten figures in this list:
STAYING IN TOUCH
Hi Martin, After watching the Liverpool v Man City game, where Liverpool won 3-0, I read somewhere that Edin Dzeko touched the ball only 50 times in the entire game. This is apparently his, and the lowest number of touches for someone who has completed 90 mins of football this season. My question is can you show who has had the most touches in 90 mins of football and also the top players by their total number of touches this season? Thanks, Michael Laidlaw, Scotland
MARTIN SAYS: We can help you out with those stats Michael, thanks to our friends at Opta, but remember sometimes quality is as important as quantity! In terms of most touches in a game this season, the record is held by Denilson of Arsenal, who touched the ball 142 times when the Gunners drew 2-2 at 10-man Wigan in December.
Here is the top 10 when it comes to most touches in a Premier League season, a list which you'll note is dominated by midfielders:
1. Denilson, Arsenal v Wigan (142)
2. John Obi Mikel, Chelsea v Stoke (138)
3. Danny Murphy, Fulham v West Ham (136)
4. Charlie Adam, Fulham v Blackpool (133)
5. Mikel Arteta, Aston Villa v Everton (128)
6. George Elokobi, Wolves v Bolton (128)
7. Jack Wilshere, Arsenal v Stoke (127)
8= Paul Scholes, Man Utd v Newcastle (126)
8= Michael Essien, West Brom v Chelsea (126)
10. Luka Modric, Tottenham v West Ham (125)
As for the most touches overall, that honour falls to Fulham's Danny Murphy, who has touched the ball 2,737 times this season. As we have discussed previously in this column, he has also completed the most passes in the Premier League this year.
Most Premier League touches (2010/11)
1. Danny Murphy (2737)
2. Gael Clichy (2675)
3. Charlie Adam (2646)
4. Michael Essien (2542)
5. Leighton Baines (2459)
6. Benoit Assou-Ekotto (2455)
7. Jose Enrique (2435)
8. Ashley Cole (2385)
9. Bacary Sagna (2330)
10. Barry Ferguson (2291)
Please note that these statistics were correct BEFORE the midweek Premier League fixtures.
THE GOAL-HEAVY GAMES
Hi Martin love the column, I am a Newcastle fan and have witnessed the many crazy Newcastle vs Manchester United games with the 6 -2 game being a perfect example of this. My question is, has this fixture on average produced the most goals since the beginning of the Premier League? James Cairns (Newcastle Utd fan).
MARTIN SAYS: Again, the boys at Opta have been able to look into this for you. Ahead of the midweek meeting of the two Uniteds, this fixture had produced 102 goals since the Premier League began - and only four fixtures can boast more.
Top of the list is games between Arsenal and Everton, which have contributed an incredible 111 goals in 38 games. Everton are also involved in the second most goal-heavy fixture, against Manchester United (108 goals) - and they could top that record when they clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Most goals in a Premier League fixture:
1. Arsenal and Everton (111)
2. Everton and Man Utd (108)
3. Liverpool and Newcastle (105)
4. Liverpool and Tottenham (103)
5= Newcastle and Tottenham (102)
5= Man Utd and Newcastle (102)
7. Liverpool and Man Utd (101)
8= Man Utd and Tottenham (100)
8= Arsenal and Chelsea (100)
10. Man Utd and West Ham (99)
If you're looking for an exact fixture (rather than home and away games combined), then those stats are below. If you're looking for goals, it seems the best place to be is Arsenal when they're at home to Everton. That particular fixture has yielded 64 goals in 19 Premier League meetings.
Most goals in an exact Premier League fixture:
1. Arsenal v Everton (64)
2. Tottenham v Everton (61)
3. Liverpool v Aston Villa (59)
4. Everton v Man Utd (58)
5= Newcastle v Man Utd (56)
5= Arsenal v Chelsea (56)
7. Liverpool v Arsenal (55)
8= Liverpool v Man Utd (54)
8= Man Utd v Blackburn
8= Liverpool v Newcastle (54)