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Martin's back with some statistical gems...

Features - Martin Tyler Posted 6th February 2013 view comments

Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!

Every week on he answers your questions and offers you statistical gems from what he's seen as he tours the world commentating for Sky Sports.

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

Fulham v Middlesbrough, August 2003: there are seven Frenchmen in this huddle!

Fulham v Middlesbrough, August 2003: there are seven Frenchmen in this huddle!

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

Tyler's teaser

But as usual we'll kick off with a question for YOU. Click play to see this week's Tyler's Teaser.

Martin's Starting Stats

I was at the Manchester City v Liverpool game last Sunday, where City failed in their bid to achieve seven consecutive shutouts, which would have been a new club record. Daniel Sturridge was the man to stop that happening in his 100th Premier League game, with his 29th Premier League goal. He made it three in four in the league for Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard continued his run of playing in every minute of all 25 Premier League games this season and scored his sixth Premier League goal and we've given him his ninth assist of the season too.

This was Liverpool's 12th Premier League game out of 25 on a Sunday this season and they also played two FA Cup ties on a Sunday, so it really has been a Sunday Service for them!

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero's strike was Man City's 25th Premier League goal in the final 30 minutes this season, more than any other club.

Some minor stats from the game:

Joe Hart - 250th league appearance
Joleon Lescott - 200th Premier League appearance
Alex Kolorov - 50h Premier League appearance
Joe Allen - 150th career league appearance

Hi Martin. Love the column, an absolute pleasure to read every week. With the red machine rolling on again this weekend, it does feel like it is going to be United's title this season. I know we dropped an eight-point lead last season but with that being City's best Premier League points haul to date, can you please tell me how many points they picked up in their final 13 games and how many times United have failed to equal that tally in the Premier League era? I'm hoping for a good omen! Thanks Martin, much obliged; Graham England (Manchester United fan)

MARTIN SAYS: In the final 13 games of last season. Manchester City picked up 29 points from a possible 39 to win the title. To answer your question, Manchester United have failed to equal that tally in nine of the 20 Premier League seasons to date.

If Manchester City were to end the season in the same way then they would finish on 82 points. That means Manchester United would need to pick up 20 points or fewer to finish below them. There's only been one Premier League season ever when they've picked up so few in the final 13 matches - the 2003/04 campaign when they finished third behind Arsenal and Chelsea, losing four and drawing four of their last 13.

If somehow City were to win all 13 of their remaining games they would finish on 92 points and Manchester United would need to pick up 31 or more points to guarantee the championship. They have managed to do that five times in Premier League history - so history suggests that even a perfect finish from Manchester City would not necessarily be enough for them!

Thanks to Opta, here's Manchester United's record in the last 13 games of each Premier League season:


Dear Martin. My question is inspired from the recent significant points difference between the teams in the top two (being the Manchester clubs). I was wondering what the been the biggest points difference a team has overhauled to go onto win the Premier League. I imagine Man United's 8-point lead over Man City last season would be up there. George Brandrick (Manchester United fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Below, Opta have detailed the maximum number of points by which the eventual champions have trailed another team in each Premier League season. As you can see, it's rare for teams to make up an eight-point gap - in particular at such a late stage of the season - but we have seen teams overhaul larger margins in the past.

The biggest ever title-winning chase came in the 1997/98 season. After 19 games, Arsenal were 13 points behind Manchester United (although they had played one game fewer) and were fifth in the Premier League. However, they picked up 45 points from their final 19 games (compared to just 33 in the first half of the season) to pip United to the title by a point.

Manchester United have twice closed 12-point gaps themselves. They trailed Norwich by that number of points after 17 games of the very first Premier League season, but went on to take the title - and they famously made up a 12-point gap on Newcastle in the final 15 games of the 1995/96 campaign.

Here is the biggest deficit every Premier League champion has made up in their title-winning season:

SeasonChampionsTrailedNo. points behindGames played
1992/93Man UtdNorwich 1217
1993/94Man UtdIpswich 31
1994/95BlackburnNewcastle 811
1995/96Man UtdNewcastle 1223
1996/97Man UtdLiverpool1016
1997/98ArsenalMan Utd1319
1998/99Man UtdAston Villa67
1999/00Man UtdArsenal51
2000/01Man UtdLeicester 18
2001/02ArsenalNewcastle 617
2002/03Man UtdArsenal1013
2003/04ArsenalMan Utd320
2005/06ChelseaTottenham 31
2006/07Man UtdChelsea38
2007/08Man UtdChelsea83
2008/09Man UtdLiverpool1017
2009/10ChelseaMan Utd431
2010/11Man UtdChelsea510
2011/12Man CityMan Utd831

Dear Martin. First of all thank you for reading and answering my question the other week, however I have another to ask. Being a Newcastle fan and following our 'French revolution' this transfer window and in fact previous windows, I was wondering what has been the highest percentage of a single nationality to start for a Premier League team, excluding English. Kind Regards, Mike Coll (Newcastle Fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Four Frenchmen started for Newcastle against Chelsea on Saturday, but that's far from the record for players from a single nation (excluding Englishmen) starting in a Premier League team.

According to Opta, that record is held by Fulham who named SEVEN Frenchmen in their starting XI against Middlesbrough on the opening day of the 2003/04 season in Chris Coleman's first game as permanent manager. It was his team, but a lot of the players had been signed by Jean Tigana. Those players were:

Jerome Bonnissel, Alain Goma, Martin Djetou, Sylvain Legwinski, Steed Malbranque*, Louis Saha and Steve Marlet.

The other starters were Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands), Moritz Volz (Germany), Lee Clark (England) and Junichi Inamoto (Japan).

*Malbranque is listed as French by Opta, even though he was born in Belgium, because he represented France's Under-21's and was called up to the senior squad (although he did not play).

There are seven further occasions when SIX Frenchmen have started a Premier League game. Other than French players, the highest is five (Scottish and Irish). Those seven games are as follows:

15/03/03: FULHAM v Southampton (Goma, Malbranque, Djetou, Legwinski, Marlet, Saha)
23/08/03: FULHAM v Everton (Goma, Bonnissel , Malbranque, Djetou, Legwinski, Saha)
08/11/08: ARSENAL v Manchester United (Sagna, Gallas, Clichy, Silvestre, Diaby, Nasri)
15/11/08: ARSENAL v Aston Villa (Sagna, Gallas, Clichy, Silvestre, Diaby, Nasri)
28/12/08: ARSENAL v Portsmouth (Sagna, Gallas, Clichy, Silvestre, Diaby, Nasri)
25/09/10: ARSENAL v West Brom (Sagna, Squillaci, Clichy, Koscielny, Diaby, Nasri)
03/10/10: ARSENAL v Chelsea (Sagna, Squillaci, Clichy, Koscielny, Diaby, Nasri)

Newcastle have got 11 Frenchmen on their books currently. In total, 29 Frenchmen have played in the Premier League this season - eight from Newcastle. When David Ginola joined Newcastle in 1995 he was one of only two Frenchmen in the league along with Eric Cantona!

Hi Martin. Reading's Adam Le Fondre has come off the bench to score many vital goals for Reading this season. Is there another player in the Premiership who has scored more goals compared with minutes he has played on the pitch. I would be very interested to know, Regards, Paul Cowin

MARTIN SAYS: Before I answer your question I would like to highlight the fact that Adam Le Fondre has equalled the record for goals scored as a substitute in a single Premier League season. He has scored six times from the bench this term, matching the record set by Jermain Defoe and Tore Andre Flo.

Most goals by a substitute in a single Premier League season:

2012/13:Adam Le Fondre (6)
2001/02: Jermain Defoe (6)
1997/98: Tore Andre Flo (6)
2012/13: Edin Dzeko (5)
2010/11: Javier Hernandez (5)
2007/08: Marlon Harewood (5)
2004/05: Robert Earnshaw (5)
1998/99: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (5)
1995/96: Graham Fenton (5)

However, this doesn't mean he has the best goals-per-minute record in the top flight this season. He has spent 996 minutes on the field and has 10 goals to his name (so has scored a goal every 99.6 minutes), but one player has a better ratio. That man is Javier Hernandez of Manchester United, who has only spent 622 minutes on the field in the Premier League this term, but still has eight goals to his name. That means he's scored once every 77.8 minutes in the Premier League.

Premier League 2012/13: Best mins per goal (minimum 5 goals)

PlayerGoalsMinutes playedMins per goal
Javier Hernandez862277.8
Adam Le Fondre1099699.6
Edin Dzeko111100100.0
Frank Lampard101046104.6
Robin van Persie182026112.6
Luis Suarez172157126.9
Theo Walcott111400127.3
Wayne Rooney101294129.4
Romelu Lukaku91171130.1
Mladen Petric5668133.6

It's a good job this stat wasn't around in the 1970's because my goals-per-minute record wasn't as good as I'd have liked in my Isthmian League days.

Hi Martin, I really hope you can help me with this one. After witnessing Southampton's second-half performance at Old Trafford on Wednesday, I would love to know the stats. Our possession in the second half must have been well into 60% mark with the ball in their half for the majority of that 45 minutes. Obviously we ended up losing the match but it was a 45 minutes to be proud of and I would love to know how it compares with other teams that have visited Old Trafford in the past. Has any other team dominated United like that before on their own soil? Man City 6-1 maybe, but then was their possession as high as ours? Great articles with the best stats and I hope you can answer my question. Richard

MARTIN SAYS: It certainly was an impressive second-half display from Southampton and according to our friends at Opta they recorded possession stats of 67.9 per cent in the second half, which is remarkable for an away team at Old Trafford.

They had 45.7 per cent of possession in the first half and their overall possession stat for the game was 57.33 per cent. Opta have only been keeping possession data since the 2006/07 season, but in that time period the Saints enjoyed the third highest amount of possession for a visiting team at Old Trafford in a Premier League game.

The highest figures recorded were by Arsenal in May 2009. They became the only side in six-and-a-half years to have more than 60 per cent possession against Manchester United and yet the game finished 0-0 and Sir Alex Ferguson's side secured the point they needed to win the title that season.

The only other side with higher possession than Southampton in this timeframe was Chelsea, who had 57.75 per cent in November 2006. But like Arsenal and the Saints, they failed to convert their dominance into a victory and drew that game 1-1.

Interestingly, three teams have had more possession than Manchester United at Old Trafford this season, yet United have won all of those games 2-1, the other two coming against Arsenal and Liverpool.

Below we have listed 15 occasions when a team has had the most possession in a Premier League game at Old Trafford since 2006/07. You'll notice that only two of these games resulted in defeat for the home team; the famous 6-1 victory for Manchester City in 2011 and Arsenal's late 1-0 victory in September 2006.

Visiting team possession at Old Trafford since beginning of 2006/07 Premier League season

DateTeamPossession %Final score
01/02/11Aston Villa55.813-1
10/05/09Man City52.862-0
23/10/11Man City51.011-6
12/02/11Man City50.292-1
03/05/08West Ham 50.214-1

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