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Double trouble

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 26th November 2013 view comments

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I was at the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday where I watched the Bluebirds in red and the Red Devils in blue!

Ryan Giggs made his first appearance against Cardiff - the 117th club he's played against for Manchester United and his hometown club, as he lived in the city until he was seven.

Patrice Evra scored on his 350th Manchester United appearance and Jordon Mutch, who set up Fraizer Campbell's goal, made the 100th league appearance of his career.

It was David Marshall's 250th league game in England and Campbell scored his third goal of the season - all against Manchester clubs after two against Manchester City.

Campbell also scored Cardiff's first first-half home goal of the season. Kim Bo-Kyung scored only the third goal for Cardiff by a non-Englishman this season - after Peter Odemwingie and Aron Gunnarsson.

It was the first top division staging of this fixture since September 1961 when Manchester United won 2-1 and they were on the verge of winning 2-1 again until that late goal.

However, they did maintain an impressive Premier League record. When they have been winning at half-time they have lost only three times - against Arsenal (Nov 2001), West Ham (Dec 2007) and Chelsea (March 2011). They have avoided defeat on the 380 other occasions they have led at half-time.

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 10 in all competitions and this is the 231st different ground that they have played on since 1895.

Double in double figures

Dear Martin. Great commentary every week. I'm a Liverpool fan and I've noticed that both Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are on nine league goals already this season and I'd expect both of them to be in double figures very soon. I was wondering if one team had ever had two players on double figures before the turn of the year in the Premier League? Gill Andrews (Liverpool fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Thanks to the boffins at Opta I can tell you that 11 teams have seen two strikers score 10+ goals before January 1 during the history of the Premier League - although only six of those have come since 1995 when the league was reduced from 22 to 20 teams (and therefore fewer games are played).

The last side to achieve such a feat was Manchester City in their title-winning season of 2011/12 when both Sergio Aguero (13) and Edin Dzeko (10) had hit double figures before the turn of the year.

The most goals scored by one strike force before the turn of the year was the 30 goals scored by the original Premier League SAS - Shearer and Sutton - in 1994/95 for Blackburn Rovers. That season Alan Shearer had netted 17 league goals before January 1 and Chris Sutton had got 13.

Two players from one club hitting double figures for Premier League goals before January 1:

20-team seasons:
ARSENAL 1997/98: (Ian Wright 10, Dennis Bergkamp 10)
BLACKBURN 1997/98: (Chris Sutton 12, Kevin Gallacher 10)
MAN UTD 1999/00 (Dwight Yorke 11, Andrew Cole 13)
ARSENAL 2004/05 (Robert Pires 10, Thierry Henry 16)
MAN UTD 2005/06 (Ruud van Nistelrooy 15, Wayne Rooney 10)
MAN CITY 2011/12 (Edin Dzeko 10, Sergio Aguero 13)

22-team seasons:
ARSENAL 1993/94 (Ian Wright 12, Kevin Campbell 10)
NEWCASTLE 1993/94 (Andrew Cole 19, Peter Beardsley 10)
BLACKBURN 1994/95 (Chris Sutton 13, Alan Shearer 17)
MAN UTD 1994/95 (Andrei Kanchelskis 11, Eric Cantona 10)
TOTTENHAM 1994/95 (Teddy Sheringham 10, Jurgen Klinsmann 10)

It's worth pointing out that Sergio Aguero has 10 Premier League goals and Alvaro Negredo has five - but is in very good form so they could also join the list this season.

Half-time heroes

Martin. Once again Liverpool led at half-time in a match and didn't end up winning it. I have heard that we would be top of the table if games finished after 45 minutes. Is this true? Carl (Liverpool fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Thanks to Opta I can tell you that what you've heard is correct. Liverpool have led more games at half-time than any other team in the Premier League this season. They've been in the lead after 45 minutes in nine of their 12 games and been level in two (away at Newcastle and home to Southampton). The only game where they've been behind at the break was the defeat at Arsenal when they trailed to Santi Cazorla's 19th-minute goal.

They have the best first-half record in the Premier League and if we create a "half-time table" then they'd be top by five points from both Manchester City and Arsenal. Interestingly, Hull City and Newcastle would both be in the top seven under this criteria and Norwich, Cardiff and Aston Villa would be in the relegation zone.

The "half-time" Premier League table 2013/14

Manchester City12732153+1224
Manchester United12624117+420
Newcastle United1254398+119
Hull City1245368-217
West Bromwich Albion1244455016
West Ham United1236334-115
Tottenham Hotspur1236335-215
Stoke City1235477014
Swansea City1226437-412
Crystal Palace1225538-511
Aston Villa1216538-59
Cardiff City1208438-58
Norwich City12138112-116

Early-season scorers

Dear Martin, I was looking at the Premier League table and noticed that Manchester City have scored 34 goals already - which is 10 more than any other team in the league. They have scored an amazing amount of goals at home and I was wondering if this a record for this stage of the season. Al McGregor (Manchester City fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Manchester City's tally of 34 goals is the third highest total from any team after 12 games of a Premier League season. However, they have fallen eight goals short of the record - which was set by themselves under Roberto Mancini in their title-winning campaign of 2011/12.

In the first 12 games of that season they scored at least twice in each match. They put two past Fulham and Everton; three past Bolton, Newcastle, QPR, Wolves and Wigan; four past Swansea, Aston Villa and Blackburn; five past Tottenham and - most famously of all - six past Manchester United.

This is only the sixth time a team has scored 30+ goals in the opening 12 games of a Premier League campaign. The other occasions were as follows:

2011/12: Manchester City (42)
2009/10: Arsenal (36)
2013/14: Manchester City (34)
2000/01: Manchester United (33)
2004/05: Arsenal (32)
2001/02: Manchester United (30)

However, Manchester City have broken the Premier League record for the most goals in the first six home games of a Premier League season. They have put seven past Norwich, six past Tottenham, four past Newcastle and Manchester United, three past Everton and two past Hull to give them a total of 26 goals - a new Premier League record.

Most goals in first six games of a Premier League season:

2013/14: Manchester City (26)
2000/01: Manchester United (22)
2009/10: Arsenal (20)
1999/00: Manchester United (19)
2004/05: Arsenal (19)
2009/10: Liverpool (19)
2011/12: Manchester City (19)

Omens for Spurs

Hi Martin. It was not a very good weekend for my beloved Spurs and I'm starting to doubt if Andre Villas-Boas can get us into the Champions League this season. I was wondering there were any omens from yesterday's defeat. Has a team ever lost by six goals and still got into the top four? Anthony Behan (Tottenham fan)

MARTIN SAYS: I can put your mind at rest a little but Anthony because we have seen a team lose by SEVEN goals in the past and still secure a Champions League spot. That side was Everton, who lost 7-0 to Arsenal in the 2004/05 season and still finished fourth to secure a place in the Champions League preliminary round. That heavy loss came in the penultimate game of the season.

Two other sides have lost by six goals and finished in the top four of the Premier League. Arsenal lost 8-2 at Old Trafford in 2011/12 and finished third at the end of the season, while Norwich City lost 7-1 to Blackburn in the very first Premier League season and still finished third in the table. So there is some hope for Tottenham fans!

Opta have also given us four examples of teams losing by five goals and still finishing in the top four at the end of the campaign: Arsenal lost 6-1 to Manchester United in 2000/01 and ended up in second place; Manchester United lost 6-1 to Manchester City in 2011/12 and finished second; Newcastle lost 5-0 to Manchester United in 1996/97 and ended up second; and Manchester United lost 5-0 to Chelsea in 1999/00 and ended up as champions!

Toon's French fancies

Dear Martin. By my calculations, all but one of Newcastle's goals this season have been scored by French players. Are any other teams this dependent on players from one nation? Has, for example, any team had all their goals scored by Englishmen? William Owens

MARTIN SAYS: Newcastle have scored 17 Premier League goals this season and you're right to say that all-but-one of them have been scored by Frenchmen. Loic Remy (8), Yoan Gouffran (3), Hatem Ben Arfa (2), Yohan Cabaye (2) and Mathieu Debuchy (1) have all scored for them in the league with Paul Dummett's goal against Liverpool the only one scored by a non-French player.

No other team has been quite as reliant as goalscorers from one nation. Just over 94% of Newcastle's goals have come from Frenchmen and the closest comparable record comes from Cardiff City where 72.7% of their goals have come from Englishmen. We have detailed the nation that has contributed the most goals to each Premier League so far this season below:

TeamNationalityGoalsTotal Goals% Total Goals
Manchester CityArgentina103429.4%
Cardiff CityEngland81172.7%
Manchester UnitedEngland82040.0%
West Ham UnitedEngland6966.7%
Aston VillaBelgium41330.7%
Norwich CityEngland41040.0%
SwanseaEngland / Ivory Coast41723.5%
Tottenham HotspurSpain4944.4%
Crystal PalaceEngland3742.9%
Hull CityRepublic of Ireland3933.3%
Stoke CityEngland / Scotland31225.0%
SunderlandItaly / Scotland3837.5%
West Bromwich AlbionEngland / Rep Ireland31421.4%

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