Every week, Martin will set you a question of his own to get your grey matter working. Click above for this week's Tyler's Teaser - which comes from Old Trafford.
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Martin's Starting Stat
I was at the Emirates on Sunday where Everton failed to win and that means they are now 13 league games against the Gunners without a win. They also have no wins in their last 18 matches against Arsenal in North London. However, here is an intriguing fact: the last time Everton won away at Man United and Arsenal in the same season they did it four days apart (which was the gap last week) and they won the first game 1-0 (at Arsenal that time). Then they won 2-0 at Manchester United (August 1969). That year they ended up as champions! It was an interesting approach to the game, knowing that stat - but that remains the last time they won away at both teams in the same campaign.
It was Arsenal's first home draw of the season in all competitions and they have scored in every Premier League game at the Emirates since April, when they were held to a goalless draw by Everton. The match was refereed by Howard Webb, whose previous eight games refereeing Arsenal had resulted in eight wins for Arsenal! The last one they lost when he was in charge was the 8-2 loss at Old Trafford!
Mesut Ozil has scored five goals for Arsenal, all at the Emirates, while Gerard Deulofeu scored his first Everton goal as a substitute. He had scored his previous two for the club in his three previous starts (vs Stevenage in the League Cup and home to Stoke in the Premier League).
To the four
Hi Martin, a nervous Man Utd fan here, wondering if we'll qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season. I was hoping you could tell me what teams have been in the lowest position in the table by January 1st, but still finished in the Top 4? Jake Bean
MARTIN SAYS: Opta have looked through every season to tell us what position each of the eventual top four were in at midnight on December 31 and I can tell you that in each of the last seven seasons, the eventual top four has come from the teams who were in the top five at the turn of the year. In fact, in the 21 Premier League seasons to date there have been only five seasons when four of the top five teams at the turn of the year failed to finish in the top four.
For the lowest-placed team at midnight on December 31 to end up in the top four you have to go all the way back to 1995/96 when eighth-placed Aston Villa eventually finished fourth. Of course, that was long before fourth place resulted in a Champions League spot. No team has ever been in Manchester United's current position (9th) at the turn of the year and finished in the Premier League's top four.
|Season||Team||Position on Dec 31||Final position|
Aces with braces
Hi Martin. This season Arsenal have had 3 players scoring a brace in three different matches. That is Ozil against Norwich, Giroud against Southampton and Ramsey against Cardiff. What is the record for the most braces scored by different players from one club in a season? Dajo Katuga
MARTIN SAYS: Hi Dajo. The boffins at Opta have looked into this for you and record stands at seven - so Arsenal need four more brace-scorers to equal that tally and five more to break it. They actually went close last season when six of their squad scored braces in the Premier League (Gervinho, Giroud (3), Arteta, Cazorla , Rosicky, Podolski).
In the early years of the Premier League, Manchester United and Liverpool both finished a season with seven men who'd netted two in a game but you might be surprised to learn that since the turn of the century the only team to finish a season with seven brace-scorers is Fulham. I've detailed those achievements for you below.
Manchester United (1995/1996)
In their title-winning season of 1995/1996, Manchester United produced seven players who scored braces in the Premier League, including Paul Scholes who got three:
Paul Scholes (3)
Eric Cantona (2)
Liverpool finished third in 1997/1998, but had more Premier League brace-scorers than any other side, including Sky Sports' very own Jamie Redknapp.
Robbie Fowler (2)
Steve McManaman, (2)
Fulham finished eighth in 2010/11 and you might be surprised by some of the names on the list of brace-scorers. Both Brede Hangeland and Chris Baird managed to score twice in one game during that season.
Clint Dempsey (3)
Hey, Isaac here. Wanted to ask Martin Tyler about Suarez. He scored 4 against Norwich and I'm pretty sure he has scored more hat-tricks against them, so I wanted to ask which player has scored the most goals against the one club. Thanks, Isaac Amujo
MARTIN SAYS:The most goals scored by one player against one club in the Premier League is the 20 goals that Alan Shearer scored in 19 appearances against Leeds United. However, when it comes to goals per game against one club, Luis Suarez's record is second to none!
He has netted 11 goals in just five games against the Canaries (including three hat-tricks, becoming the first Liverpool player to do that against one club) which means he has a Premier League goals ratio of 2.20 per game when he faces them. No other player in the history of the Premier League has played another club five times and managed more than two goals per game against them.
We asked those clever chaps at Opta to give us a list of players who've played at least five Premier League games against a particular club and can boast an average of more than one goal per game. Under those criteria, the next best record belongs to Ian Wright, who played five times against Ipswich and scored eight goals - an average of 1.6 goals per game. The next best record also comes against Ipswich as Andy Cole scored 10 goals in seven games against them - that's 1.43 goals per game. Michael Owen boasts a record of 13 goals in 10 games against Newcastle, even though he played for them for several years!
Incredibly Suarez appears in this list three times. He has got seven goals in six Premier League games against Sunderland which means he has a goal ratio of 1.17 per game against them and he has six goals in five games against Wigan (1.20 goals per game).
Best goal ratios against one opponent (minimum five games):
|All-time Premier League||Opponent||Games Played||Goals||Goals per game|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||Charlton||7||8||1.14|
|Robin van Persie||Stoke||9||8||1.13|
|Alan Shearer||Nottingham Forest||9||10||1.11|
The wrong end
Dear Martin. West Ham players scored two goals for Liverpool at the weekend and it's not the first time that has happened. Has any team ever scored more own goals for their opponent than West Ham have for Liverpool over the last few years? Bobbie Hodges (West Ham fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Thanks to the clever people at Opta I can tell you that West Ham have actually scored three own goals in Premier League matches against Liverpool - because Joey O'Brien's own goal at the weekend has now been awarded as a Luis Suarez goal! However, that is not a record, as two teams have scored SIX goals for their opponents in the Premier League years. Those teams are as follows:
LIVERPOOL vs Tottenham: The record for the most own goals against a particular team is actually by West Ham's opponents on Saturday. Liverpool have put the ball into their own net against Tottenham on six occasions in the Premier League and my Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher won't want to be reminded that he has "scored" three times for Spurs (in December 1998, May 1999 and November 2008). Neil Ruddock (November 1994), John Barnes (August 1995) and Martin Skrtel (November 2010) have also scored at the wrong end in this fixture.
SUNDERLAND vs Manchester United: In the Premier League era, Manchester United have benefitted from six goals from Sunderland players. Anton Ferdinand has, in fact, scored twice for Manchester United at Old Trafford (in October 2009 and on Boxing Day 2010). Before that, Andy Meville (March 1997) and Stanislav Varga (October 2001) netted at the wrong end in this fxture and more recently we have seen former United defender Wes Brown (November 2011) and Titus Bramble (last March) score own goals.
It is not uncommon for sides to have scored multiple own goals in Manchester United's favour. In fact, in the Premier League years Arsenal Aston Villa, Bolton Everton and Fulham have all been debited with four own goals in matches against Manchester United.
Dear Martin. My team Sunderland have scored five own goals this season and we are only into the start of December. Are we on course for a record for own goals in one season? Also, where are Sunderland on the all-time list of Premier League own goals. Probably quite high! Eric (Sunderland fan)
MARTIN SAYS: With Opta's help I can tell you that Sunderland's five own goals this season has already put them joint eighth on the list of teams with the most own goals in one campaign - and there is still more than half the campaign to go.
The last team to finish a season with more than five own goals was your North East rivals Middlesbrough, who put through their own net six times in their relegation season of 2008/09. Other teams to have put through their net six times in one campaign are Fulham (2005/06), Southampton (1999/2000), Wimbledon (1995/96) and Manchester City (1994/95).
The Southampton team who were relegated in 2004/05 scored a remarkable seven own goals in one season, but even that wasn't enough to break the record set by Leicester in the 2003/04 campaign, when they went down. That year they scored EIGHT own goals, which I have detailed for you below:
Aug 23: Nails v Chelsea
Aug 30: Thatcher v Aston Villa
Dec 28: Thatcher v Bolton
Jan 11: Dabizas v Chelsea
Jam 17: Curtis v Middlesbrough
Feb 07: Taggart v Newcastle
Feb 10: Walker v Bolton
Apr 17: Dabizas v Blackburn
To answer your other question, Sunderland have scored a total of 30 own goals in the Premier League era, which puts them joint seventh on the all-time list. The record is held by Everton, who have scored 40 own goals in the 22 Premier League seasons, which is around 1.8 per season. However, Sunderland's record is now 2.1 per season following their flurry in this campaign.
Most own goals in Premier League history:
Aston Villa (37)
Arsenal, Liverpool (32)
Southampton, Sunderland (30)
West Ham, Middlesbrough, Man City (29)
Man Utd (28)
Blackburn, Chelsea (26), Tottenham (24)