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Martin brings you a teaser from Loftus Road

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 28th September 2011 view comments

Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is back for the new season!

Every week he will be here to offer you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet.

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.

Ba: short surname, big goal threat

Ba: short surname, big goal threat

If you have spotted something from a game or have been stumped by a pub quiz question, simply email and he will do his best to help.

Tyler's Starting Stat - Oops.. I Dunne it again

I was at QPR v Aston Villa to see Richard Dunne score his ninth Premier League own goal, more than any other player . I must say it wasn't his fault though; the ball landed in the one spot where he couldn't get out of the way. He was 32 on the Wednesday before the game and while that was not the best way to celebrate your birthday, he accepted it with philosophy and fortitude. The defender, who has the joint highest number of red cards in Premier League history with Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson (8), has 10 Premier League goals to his name at the right end, so at least he's +1 overall!

Elsewhere, Barry Bannan scored at the right end and the fact his first Premier League goal came from the spot showed a real desire to score. His only previous senior goal came in a Europa League qualifier at Rapid Vienna in August 2010 and his next aim will be to score at Villa Park.

Villa are now unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games since the 2-1 defeat at West Brom on April 30. QPR, on other hand, have now gone seven home games without a win (all competitions). At least they scored their first home goal - even if it was an own goal!

That late goal means Villa still haven't won away at QPR in the Premier League, having lost three of their previous four visits and drawing the other. However, they did win at Loftus Road when Fulham were playing home games there in February 2004.

Dear Martin. It was unusual to see Manchester United go two goals ahead and not win the game against Basel. When was the last time this happened?Jamie (Man Utd fan)

MARTIN SAYS: The boys at Opta have told me that this is just the 12th time in the Premier League era that Manchester United have failed to win a game after being two goals ahead and the first time in the Champions League since September 1998 when they let a 2-0 lead slip against Barcelona and ended up drawing the game 3-3. They also let a two-goal lead slip at home to Galatasaray in October 1993, the only other time they've done so in that competition.

In terms of the Premier League, United have only let a two-goal lead slip nine times, the most recent occasion coming at Old Trafford last October when West Brom wiped out United's half-time 2-0 lead to draw the game 2-2.

However, Manchester United have never lost a game in the Premier League or the Champions League after going two goals ahead. Ashley Young's late header helped to preserve that record on Tuesday night.

Man Utd failing to hold on to a two-goal lead in the Premier League and the Champions League:

DateHome teamAway teamFinal scoreCompetition
28/09/2011Man UtdFC Basel3-3Champions League
16/10/2010Man UtdWest Brom2-2Premier League
11/09/2010EvertonMan Utd3-3Premier League
09/12/2000Charlton Man Utd3-3Premier League
09/12/2000Man UtdChelsea3-3Premier League
26/08/2000West Ham Man Utd2-2Premier League
05/05/1999LiverpoolMan Utd2-2Premier League
12/12/1998Tottenham Man Utd2-2Premier League
16/09/1998Man UtdBarcelona3-3Champions League
08/12/1996West Ham Man Utd2-2Premier League
04/01/1994LiverpoolMan Utd3-3Premier League
20/10/1993Man UtdGalatasaray3-3Champions League

It's easy to think of examples of United coming back from two goals down to win - the Community Shield against Manchester City, last season against West Ham or when they came back from three goals down to Spurs in the Premier League - but I can't recall when they last lost from two goals up. We'll do some research before the next column, but let us know if you know the answer!

Great column Martin! Reading your stats has become part of my weekly routine now. I've watched a number Premier League games this year and it occurred to me yesterday that of the games I've watched, many more goals are scored per game on a Sunday than a Saturday! Is this a trend (in the Premier League) over the course of the last few years? Maybe you could even look at midweek matches too. Thanks again, Tim Sheedy (Shrewsbury Town fan).

MARTIN SAYS: Those boffins at Opta have looked into this for you and we can tell you that so far this season there have been 16 games played on a Sunday, producing 53 goals - that's an average of 3.31 goals per game. In contrast we have seen 96 goals in 39 Saturday games - an average of just 2.46 goals per game.

However, if you take a larger sample of matches then there isn't such a wide difference. If you take games played since the start of the 2008/09 season then we've seen a total of 1807 goals in 674 Saturday games (2.68 goals per game) compared to 841 goals in 302 Sunday fixtures (2.78 goals per game). So while we see more goals, on average, on a Sunday, there isn't a great difference.

Opta have broken down the Premier League goals scored on each day of the week in this period and, in fact, Sunday emerges as the second best day for goals after Tuesday:

Goals by day in 2011/12 season:

DayGamesGoalsGoals per game
Saturday39 96 2.46

Goals by day since the start of the 2008/09 season:

DayGamesGoalsGoals per game

I haven't noticed much difference by day personally, but I had a good month in August when I saw 18 goals in the three Premier League games I covered for Sky Sports (West Brom 1-2 Man Utd, Bolton 2-3 Man City and Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal).

Dear Martin. Robin van Persie scored his 100th goal for Arsenal at the weekend, but what I want to know is this: Is he the top left-footed scorer in Premier League history? Gilbert Peters (Arsenal fan)

MARTIN SAYS: According to our records, Robin van Persie has scored 49 of his 69 Premier League goals with his left foot but that would only put him third on the list of left-footed Premier League goalscorers.

Top of the list is Robbie Fowler, who is the only man to boast more than 100 left-footed Premier League goals. In total, 104 of his 163 strikes were recorded as coming from his famous left foot. Next on the list, unsurprisingly, is Ryan Giggs who has scored 79 of his 105 Premier League goals with his left.

Top 10 goals scored with left foot in Premier League history:

1. Robbie Fowler (104)
2. Ryan Giggs (79)
3.Robin van Persie (49)
4. Louis Saha (44)
5. Harry Kewell (43)
6. Gary Speed (37)
7. Gareth Barry (36)
8. Damien Duff (35)
9. Thierry Henry (33)
10.David Unsworth (31)

It was reported that Peter Crouch has become the sixth player to score for six different premier League clubs. Could you please tell us two things please? Who were the other five players? And... are there any other players likely to join that list any time soon? Iain (Manchester United fan).

MARTIN SAYS: Crouch's goal for Stoke against Manchester United followed goals he scored for Liverpool, Southampton, Tottenham, Portsmouth and Aston Villa and, as you suggest, he became the sixth man to do so. The other five players were:

Nick Barmby (Tottenham, Everton, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Liverpool, Hull)
Craig Bellamy (Newcastle, Blackburn, Man City, Liverpool, West Ham, Coventry)
Marcus Bent (Leicester, Ipswich, Wigan, Everton, Crystal Palace, Charlton)
Andy Cole (Man Utd, Newcastle, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City, Portsmouth)
Les Ferdinand (QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham, Leicester, West Ham, Bolton)

To answer your other question, there are several current players who have scored for five different Premier League clubs but would need to move to another one - and score a Premier League goal for them - if they are to join the list. Those players are Nicolas Anelka, Darren Bent, Emile Heskey, Hermann Hreidarsson, Robbie Keane and Jermaine Pennant.

Thanks to Opta, here are the players in who have scored for five different Premier League clubs:

Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Bolton, Liverpool)
Darren Bent (Sunderland, Charlton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Ipswich)
Benito Carbone (Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Derby)
Stan Collymore (Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Leicester, Bradford)
Emile Heskey (Liverpool, Leicester, Wigan Athletic, Birmingham, Aston Villa)
Hermann Hreidarsson (Portsmouth, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Ipswich, Wimbledon)
Mark Hughes (Man Utd, Chelsea, Southampton, Everton, Blackburn)
Robbie Keane (Tottenham, Leeds, Coventry, Liverpool, West Ham)
Jermaine Pennant (Arsenal, Stoke, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds)
Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham, Man Utd, Portsmouth, West Ham, Nottingham Forest)
Chris Sutton (Blackburn, Norwich, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Birmingham)
Ashley Ward (Derby, Norwich, Barnsley, Blackburn, Bradford)
Dwight Yorke (Aston Villa, Man Utd, Blackburn, Birmingham, Sunderland)

Great column Martin, as ever! I had a question; with Manchester City and Manchester United leading the way, how often have a team from the same city finished in the top two? Tom Colf (Manchester City fan)

MARTIN SAYS: This has only happened six times in the history of English football, once for Manchester, three times for Liverpool and twice for London.

ManchesterThe first time it occurred was 1967/98 when Manchester City won the old Division One and Manchester United finished second, the last time City were champions.

There were three back-to-back seasons in the mid-1980's when Liverpool and Everton finished in the top two positions in the First Division. Everton came out on top in 1984/85 and in 1986/97, while the season in between saw Liverpool

The only city to have achieved the feat in the Premier League era is London. Arsenal beat city rivals Chelsea to the title in 2003/04, but the positions were reversed the following year when Chelsea came out on top.

Dear Martin. Your column is essential reading every week. Demba Ba's hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers got me thinking. Is he the Premier League's top scorer of all-time with a two-letter surname - I can't think who else it could be? I'd also be interested to see who is the top scorer of players with three-letter surnames, four-letter surnames and so on. I can't work out the former and I guess the latter would be Michael Owen. I look forward to reading the answer.Craig Warner (Newcastle fan).

MARTIN SAYS: An unusual question, but one we have attempted to answer for you. No other player with a two-letter surname has scored more than Demba Ba, who now has 10 Premier League goals to his name - but watch out because Fulham have just signed a striker called Orlando Sa, who will be looking to catch him up!

If you're looking at three-letter surnames then Tore Andre Flo takes the prize, while Andrew Cole is the top scorer with a four letter surname, not Michael Owen as you thought. We have come up with a list below - though try to guess them for yourselves before you read on. There's some interesting answers in there!

Top Premier League goalscorers by letters in surname:

Letters in surnamePlayerPremier League goals
2Ba 10
6Fowler 163
7Shearer 260
8Phillips 92
9Ferdinand 149
10Sheringham 147
11Hasselbaink 127
12Pavlyuchenko 19
13Van Nistelrooy 95
14Wright-Phillips 31
20Vennegoor of Hesselink 3

Tyler's teaser

Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!

Comments (2)

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Michael Robson (Newcastle United fan) says...

Newcastle are forth in the league after 6 matches, could you do a run down of where the forth placed team after 6 matches have finished in the premier league's history, could you also do the same for the forth placed team after 7 matches, cheers

Posted 09:06 29th September 2011

James Mcgawley (Manchester City fan) says...

Also the answer to the second question is Jamie Carragher.

Posted 22:09 28th September 2011

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