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Can you answer Martin's teaser from Stamford Bridge?

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 7th February 2012 view comments

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Tyler's Starting Stat - Sunday best

Well, we had an interesting game on Sunday! It meant that Man Utd have now gone 10 league visits to Stamford Bridge without a win since April 2002 when they won 3-0 with goals from Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There are four survivors from that game still on the books of the two clubs - Scholes and Ryan Giggs (who played on Sunday), plus John Terry and Frank Lampard (who didn't). This was the first Chelsea game in which neither Terry nor Ashley Cole have played in the Premier League since January 30, 2008 against Reading. By coincidence neither Lampard nor Didier Drogba played in that game either, just like on Sunday.

We saw the 11th Manchester United headed goal in the Premier League from Javier Hernandez. Wayne Rooney had wasted three of his previous six penalties, but was spot on this time and has now scored four goals in his last three games at Stamford Bridge, having netted in the 2-1 league defeat in March and also in the 1-0 Champions League quarter-final victory. David Luiz's first ever goal for Chelsea was against Man United and he has now played against them three times, scoring twice.

Chelsea remain the only unbeaten club in the Premier League in 2012 (W2 D3) although it must have felt like that unbeaten record had gone when they let that three-goal lead slip. Man Utd did the double double in terms of penalties after having two against Stoke on Tuesday when two different players scored. Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov didn't start against Chelsea though, so there was no doubt Rooney would take them!

For me, it was very moving that the game was played on February 5, which was 54 years to the day since the best of the Busby Babes teams played their last match before the Munich Air Crash the next day. It seemed symbolic that the 3-3 scoreline in that match against Red Star Belgrade was mirrored on Sunday.

THREE DOWN AND EASY
Dear Martin. I can remember Manchester United coming from three goals down against Tottenham and also against Sheffield Wednesday - and now Chelsea. Has anybody else come from three goals behind more often than they have in the Premier League years? Keep up the good work, Rich (Man Utd fan).

MARTIN SAYS: Sunday's game was the third time Manchester United have come back from three goals behind to rescue at least a point from a Premier League game. They came back from 3-0 down to beat Tottenham 5-3 in September 2001 and they also came back from 3-0 down to draw at Hillsborough on Boxing Day in 1992.

There have only been 16 occasions in Premier League history when a side has come back from three goals down to get a draw or a win - and nobody has done it more than Manchester United. The only other side to have done it more than once are Norwich City, who rescued a draw from 3-0 down at Sheffield Wednesday in September 1993 and came back from 4-1 down to draw at home to Middlesbrough in January 2005.

Four teams have gone one step further and have come from 3-0 down to win a Premier League game. The first team to do so was Leeds at home to Derby in November 1997 and then Wimbledon repeated the trick by winning 4-3 at West Ham in September 1998. As mentioned, United famously came from 3-0 down at Tottenham and Wolves won 4-3 against Leicester in 2003, despite being 3-0 down at half-time.

The biggest ever comeback through came exactly a year to the day before United's trip to Stamford Bridge, as Newcastle came back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with Arsenal.

All I will say is: never give up!

16 comebacks from at least three goals down in the Premier League:

Wins from 3-0 down:
Nov 8 1997: LEEDS 4-3 Derby
Sep 9, 1998: West Ham 3-4 WIMBLEDON
Sep 29, 2001: Tottenham 3-5 MAN UTD
Oct 25, 2003: WOLVES 4-3 Leicester

Draws from 3-0 down:
Dec 26, 1992: Sheff Wed 3-3 MAN UTD
Sep 1, 1993: Sheff Wed 3-3 NORWICH
Jan 4, 1994: LIVERPOOL 3-3 Man Utd
Aug 26, 2000: SOUTHAMPTON 3-3 Liverpool
Sep 6, 2000: Derby 3-3 MIDDLESBROUGH
Feb 12, 2011: West Brom 3-3 WEST HAM
May 22, 2011: Newcastle 3-3 WEST BROM
Feb 5, 2011: Chelsea 3-3 MAN UTD

Draws from 4-0 down:
Feb 5, 2011: NEWCASTLE 4-4 Arsenal

Draws from 4-1 down:
Feb 22, 1995: Aston Villa 4-4 LEICESTER
Jan 22, 2005: NORWICH 4-4 Middlesbrough
Oct 1, 2007: TOTTENHAM 4-4 Aston Villa

A PENALTY TO PAY?
Penalties seem to play an important part in the outcome of the results in both the top and the bottom half of the Premier League table this season. If we'd take away all the penalties scored, what would the Premier League table look like? Would there be any major changes? Or have all the clubs benefited equally? Thank You, Aldar (fan of the Premier League)

MARTIN SAYS: Having done the around-the-world commentary at Arsenal v Aston Villa last weekend, I'm getting used to plenty of second-half penalties on a Sunday!

Those clever chaps at Opta have calculated this for us and there would be some slight changes to the look of the Premier League, but not too many.

Manchester United have now scored more goals from penalties than any other team - six in total - so you might expect their points tally suffer if you removed all penalties, but in fact it would remain the same. The three points they would lose from their tally if you discounted their penalty goals against Stoke and Chelsea this week would be negated by the three points they would gain if you removed penalties scored against them by Newcastle's Demba Ba and Blackburn's Yakubu. Under these calculations, United would actually go one-point clear of City, who would be three points worse off if you removed all penalties from their matches.

At the bottom, Wigan would be in an even more perilous position as they have earned a net three points from penalty goals this year, but the most affected team would be Everton, who would be four points worse off and would slip from 11th to 15th. They have scored four goals from penalties this season.

Overall though, as you can see, removing penalties would not affect the table too much

Premier League table with penalty goals removed, as of 07/02/2012:

PWDLFAGDPtsDifference
Man Utd241743532231550
Man City24166258174154-3
Tottenham 241554582418540
Chelsea241284412615441
Newcastle 24135634259442
Liverpool241010427198401
Arsenal24116745321339-1
Sunderland241068332211363
Norwich 249693335-2331
Stoke 247892029-929-1
Aston Villa2461082630-4280
Swansea 2461082228-628-2
West Brom2476112329-6271
Fulham246992634-8270
Fulham2475122026-626-4
Wolves2457122442-18221
QPR2456132339-16210
Bolton 2462162648-22200
Blackburn 2446143152-21180
Wigan 2427151745-2813-3

BIG FOUR... BIG SCORES!
There seems to have been an enormous number of goals in the head-to-head games involving last year's top four this season. This is surprising because games between the top teams tend to be quite tight. Are we seeing more goals in these games than we have in previous years? Oliver (Chelsea fan)

MARTIN SAYS: You're right. There have been some remarkable scorelines in the games involving last season's top four. The results in the eight meetings so far are as follows:

Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd

Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal
Chelsea 2-1 Man City
Chelsea 3-3 Man Utd

Man City 1-0 Arsenal

Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal
Man Utd 3-1 Chelsea
Man Utd 1-6 Man City

In total we have seen 42 goals in the games involving last season's top four. The record for goals in games involving the previous season's top four is 45 (set by Blackburn, Man Utd, Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in 1995/96). In fact, even if the remaining four meetings between these teams finish 0-0, this season would still provide the third highest total of goals in these head-to-head games.

Currently these fixtures have given us a goals per game ratio of 5.25. This is way above the record of 3.75 goals per game set in 1995/96. The commentators are loving all these goals. Let's hope for more of it!

This table, courtesy of our friends at Opta, will hopefully make things clearer.

Goals in games involving previous season's top four:

SeasonPrevious season's top fourGoalsGamesGoals per game
2011/12Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal4285.25
1995/96Blackburn, Man Utd, N Forest, Liverpool45123.75
2002/03Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Newcastle43123.58
2008/09Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool37123.08
2000/01Man Utd, Arsenal, Leeds, Liverpool36123.00
1999/00Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds35122.92
2001/02Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds35122.92
1996/97Man Utd, Newcastle, Liverpool, Aston Villa34122.83
2010/11Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham32122.67
1993/94Man Utd, Aston Villa, Norwich, Blackburn31122.58
2004/05Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool30122.50
1997/98Man Utd, Newcastle, Arsenal, Liverpool29122.42
2009/10Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal29122.42
1994/95Man Utd, Blackburn, Newcastle, Arsenal27122.25
2003/04Man Utd, Arsenal, Newcastle, Chelsea27122.25
2007/08Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal26122.17
1992/93Leeds, Man Utd, Sheff Weds, Arsenal25122.08
2006/07Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal24122.00
2005/06Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Everton21121.75
1998/99Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea19121.58

GUNNED DOWN BY GUNNERS
Hi Martin. Fantastic column. Just left the Emirates after witnessing Arsenal thrash Blackburn 7-1. However my question is about Paul Robinson. In his spells at Leeds, Tottenham and Blackburn, he has been in high scoring games and on the receiving end of some maulings. So I am asking how many Premier League goals has he conceded against Arsenal and is it the highest against a single club for Premier League keepers. Ray Joseph (Arsenal Fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Paul Robinson has now faced Arsenal 21 times in the Premier League and on Saturday the number of league goals he has conceded against them rose to 60.

Thanks to our friends at Opta I can tell you that, remarkably, Robinson held the record for the most goals conceded by a goalkeeper against a single Premier League game BEFORE Saturday's clash. Those seven goals have only served to put him even further in front!

As you'll see from the list below, Robinson's record against Arsenal is now by far the worst for any Premier League goalkeeper. The only other 'keeper to have conceded more than 50 against one club in the Premier League is Shay Given, who has conceded 52 times against Manchester United whilst playing for Newcastle, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

Most goals conceded by a goalkeeper against a single club in the Premier League:

Paul Robinson v Arsenal (60)
Shay Given v Man Utd (52)
Mark Schwarzer v Arsenal (47)
David James v Man Utd (47)
Jussi Jaaskelainen v Man Utd (47)
Jussi Jaaskelainen v Chelsea (43)
Brad Friedel v Chelsea (43)
Shay Given Liverpool (42)

SEEING DOUBLE HEADERS
Hi Martin, After Arsenal's 7-1 win over Blackburn at the Emirates and Blackburn's 4-3 reversal earlier in the season is this 15 goal,10-5 aggregate scoreline the highest we have seen in the Premier League? Mark Robinson (Blackburn Rovers fan)

MARTIN SAYS: It's close, but not quite. This is the fourth time in Premier League history we've seen the home and away fixtures between two teams in one Premier League season produce 15 or more goals.

The double-header that yielded the most goals was between Manchester United and Newcastle back in 2002/03 when the Old Trafford clash finished 5-3 and the return at St James' Park finished 6-2 to the Red Devils - a total of 16 goals scored. Ruud van Nistelrooy, Paul Scholes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored in both games.

This year's Arsenal v Blackburn games resulted in the third time that a Premier League head-to-head has yielded 15 goals in the same season. In the very first Premier League season, the clashes between Oldham and Wimbledon finished 6-2 and 2-5. Also, back in 1994/95 we saw the exact same scorelines as we saw in the Arsenal v Blackburn clashes when Aston Villa took on Wimbledon. Villa won 7-1 at home, but lost the away tie 4-3!

Highest aggregate score for a Premier League fixture in one season:

SIXTEEN GOALS
2002/03: Man Utd v Newcastle (5-3h & 6-2a)

FIFTEEN GOALS
2011/12: Arsenal v Blackburn (7-1h & 3-4a)
1992/93: Oldham v Wimbledon (6-2h & 2-5a)
1994/95: Aston Villa v Wimbledon (7-1h & 3-4a)

FOURTEEN GOALS
1992/93: Everton v QPR (3-5h & 2-4a)
1994/95: Ipswich v Man Utd (3-2h & 0-9a)
1999/00: Man Utd v West Ham (7-1h & 4-2a)

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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Padraig Cradock (Arsenal fan) says...

Hey Martin. Your column has been enlightening as always. My question for you is, with Arsenal in mind, what is the lowest a team has finished when their top scorer was also the league's top scorer?

Posted 14:33 8th February 2012

Dave Jessop (Manchester United fan) says...

hi martin Saw that Paul Robinson holds the record for the most goals conceded to a particular team and thought of the other end of the spectrum - who has conceded the least against Man United in his career (average goals per game) - my guess would be Brad Friedel who always seems to play a blinder against us.

Posted 20:03 7th February 2012

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