Blogs & Opinion

Champs minus blanks

Martin Tyler - Martin Tyler Posted 21st April 2014 view comments

Tyler's Teaser

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 was recorded at Goodison Park ahead of Everton's clash with Manchester United.

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Martin's Starting Stats

I was at David Moyes' final game in charge of Manchester United on Sunday to see Everton complete their first double over them since 1969/70 when they were champions. This is the first time ever that the club has lost to Everton, Liverpool and Man City home and away in the same season - conceding 14 goals in those six games and scoring only one.

Moyes' Manchester United record in all competitions reads P51 W27 D9 L15 F86 A54. His final game was played nine years to the day since his Everton team beat Man United 1-0 with Duncan Ferguson getting the decisive goal and Gary Neville and Paul Scholes being sent off.

After going 85 games without conceding a Premier League penalty they conceded three at home to Liverpool last month - all awarded by Mark Clattenburg, who gave another on Sunday. That's quite a contrast to 2012 and 2013 when they went through the whole of those years without giving one away.

Everton won their 20th league game - the first time they have got 20 wins in a Premier League season - and they moved on to 69 points, extending their best ever points tally.

Leighton Baines made it 13 successful Premier League penalties out of 13 on the occasion of his 300th Premier League game.

Leaky champions

Hi Martin. Liverpool very rarely keep clean sheets and yet now look likely to go on and win the title. Can you tell us if they are likely to become the champions with the fewest clean sheets in the Premier League history? Sean

MARTIN SAYS: I can tell you that Liverpool have only kept 10 clean sheets in their 35 Premier League games this season. Those clean sheets came in their games against Stoke, Aston Villa, Manchester United (twice), Fulham, Hull, Everton, Southampton and Tottenham (twice).

Thanks to the boffins at Opta I can also say that no side has won the Premier League finishing the season with less than 12 clean sheets. That means that unless Liverpool keep clean sheets in their final three matches, but still go on to win the league, they will match or break the record for the champions with the fewest clean sheets in their title-winning season.

The previous low was recorded by Manchester United's title-winning side of 1999/2000, which only kept 12 clean sheets in 38 games. That side conceded 45 Premier League goals, which is the most by any title-winning team. Liverpool are currently just one goal shy of that total, having let in 44 goals in their 35 games so far.

That's all in stark contrast to Chelsea, who kept 25 clean sheets on their way to the title in 2004/05, conceding just 15 goals all season under Jose Mourinho.

Number of clean sheets kept by title-winning sides

ChampionsSeasonGoals concededClean sheets
Man Utd08/092424
Man Utd07/082221
Man Utd92/933118
Man Utd95/963518
Man Utd93/943817
Man City11/122917
Man Utd00/013117
Man Utd06/072716
Man Utd10/113715
Man Utd96/974415
Man Utd12/134313
Man Utd02/033413
Man Utd98/993713
Man Utd99/004512
Liverpool?2013/1444 so far10 so far

Out of interest, the other title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea have kept 13 and 16 clean sheets respectively so far this season.

It takes three

Dear Martin. I always look out for your column each week, great read. I wanted to ask you about Liverpool's goals because I've lost count of the number of times they've scored three goals (or more) in a game this season. Has any side scored three goals more often than they have in a Premier League season? Kurt (Liverpool fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Sunday's 3-2 win over Norwich was the 20th time Liverpool have scored three goals in a Premier League game this season. They have now scored three times or more against the following teams:

Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Fulham (twice), Everton (twice), Norwich (twice), West Ham, Tottenham (twice), Cardiff (twice), Stoke, Arsenal, Swansea, Southampton, Man Utd and Man City.

They have now matched the all-time Premier League record which was set by Manchester City in their title-winning season of 2011/12 and Liverpool will break the record if they hit three in any of their remaining games against Chelsea, Crystal Palace or Newcastle.

As you can see from the table below, Manchester City have hit three goals on 17 occasions this season and scoring three on multiple occasions does not necessarily result in a title. Of the 10 sides to have scored three goals 16 times or more in a Premier League season, only four of them (so far) went on to win the league.

Sides to score 3+ goals most often in a Premier League season:

TeamSeason3+ goals
Man City2011/201220
Man Utd1999/200019
Man Utd2009/201018
Man Utd2001/200217
Man City2013/201417
Man Utd2006/200716
Man Utd2012/201316

Win five, lose five

Hi Martin. Crystal Palace just recorded their fifth straight victory in their 1-0 win at Upton Park, but earlier in the season they suffered five straight defeats. Has this ever happened to a team in the same season before, and if so, have any teams recorded more consecutive victories and defeats in the same season? Thanks, Conor

MARTIN SAYS: You're absolutely right. Crystal Palace have just won five straight matches (for only the second time in their top-flight history by the way) against Chelsea, Cardiff, Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham, having earlier in the season lost SEVEN games in a row against Man Utd, Swansea, Southampton, Liverpool, Fulham, Arsenal and West Brom.

No side has won six straight games and lost six straight games in the same season in Premier League history - so Crystal Palace have a chance to achieve that if they can beat Manchester City at home on Super Sunday. However, we have seen FOUR other sides win five consecutive games and lose five consecutive games in the same season. Those teams were as follows:


Under Bryan Robson, Middlesbrough went on a five-game winning run against Coventry, Manchester City, Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday and QPR in September and October, but went on an eight-game losing run against Everton, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Southampton, Chelsea, Newcastle and Bolton from December to February.

BOLTON (2004/05)

Under Sam Allardyce, Bolton went on a six-game losing run in November and December with defeats against Portsmouth, Everton, Norwich, Manchester City, Manchester United and Blackburn before drawing with West Brom on New Year's Day and then immediately went on a five-game winning run against Birmingham, Arsenal, Blackburn, Tottenham and Crystal Palace in January and February.

TOTTENHAM (2004/05)

Spurs went on a six-game losing run and then immediately went on a five-game winning run in the first part of this season. Under Jacques Santini they lost to Portsmouth, Bolton and Fulham before he was removed and they then lost to Charlton, Arsenal and Aston Villa. However, they won their next five games under Martin Jol against Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Manchester City, Southampton and Norwich.

WIGAN (2005/06)

Wigan had a fine start to their first ever Premier League season and went on a six-game winning run between September and November against Everton, Bolton, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Fulham and Portsmouth - but then immediately went on a five-game losing run in their next five matches against Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Turning shots into goals

Chelsea lost to Sunderland at the weekend with 31 attempts with 15 on target, yet only 1 goal. For quite a few games now Chelsea have had very high attempts but not many goals, and I'm wondering, what is Chelsea's shots to goal ratio for the whole season, and what team has the best shots-to-goal ratio for the 2013/14 Premier League season? Sean

MARTIN SAYS: With the help of the boffins at Opta I can tell you that Chelsea have had 470 shots in the Premier League this season, which is the second-highest number behind Liverpool, but they only have 67 goals - which is a conversion rate of 14.3%. That's only the sixth-best conversion rate in the Premier League.

You may not be surprised to hear that Liverpool have the best conversion rate with 96 goals from 477 shots, which means that they have scored with more than 20% of their efforts this season. In contrast, Norwich City have the worst conversion rate in the league: they have had 321 shots, but only managed 28 goals - which means just 8.7% of their efforts have gone in.

Shots to goals conversion rates in the Premier League (2013/14)

TeamGoalsShots attemptedGoals to shots ratio
Manchester City9146119.7%
Man Utd5634416.3%
Swansea 4734913.5%
Stoke 3929713.1%
Tottenham 5139313.0%
West Brom4131912.9%
West Ham 3829712.8%
Aston Villa3529711.8%
Hull City3429111.7%
Cardiff 3128510.9%
Crystal Palace283019.3%
Norwich 283218.7%

Perfect at penalties

Dear Martin. It was said at the weekend that Leighton Baines has never missed a Premier League penalty in 13 attempts. Can you tell me how many players have a 100% record at penalties in the Premier League - I assume there will be a few to have only taken one and scored it. Can anyone boast a better record than Baines? Alfie (Everton fan)

MARTIN SAYS: Thanks to Opta I can tell you that there are 171 players in Premier League history with a 100% record from penalty kicks, although as you suggest, 102 of those players have only taken one penalty and scored it. A further 31 players have scored two penalties from two attempts.

I have detailed the other 36 players with a 100% record from Premier League penalties below and as you can see, no player has such a good record having taken as many penalties as Baines. The only other player to have taken more than six Premier League penalties and scored them all is former Tottenham. Manchester United and Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov (who scored nine out of nine) and former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby (who scored from seven from seven).

Players with 100% penalty conversion records in the Premier League (min three penalties taken):

13 out of 13Leighton Baines

9 out of 9
Dimitar Berbatov

7 out of 7
Jan Molby

6 out of 6
Clive Wilson, Graham Alexander, Eden Hazard, Rickie Lambert, Yaya Touré, Stephen Hunt, Elano, Garry Parker, Craig Gardner

5 out of 5
Mark Viduka, Mario Balotelli, Aljosa Asanovic, Shola Ameobi, Michael Ricketts

4 out of 4
Mark Walters, Marlon King, Alen Boksic, Roberto Soldado, Amr Zaki, Martin Petrov

3 out of 3
Mikael Forssell, Jamie Redknapp, Nigel Clough, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Le Fondre, Clive Mendonca, Craig Bellamy, Gary McSheffrey, Craig Hignett, Marian Pahars, Wilfried Bony, Matthew Etherington, Dane Whitehouse

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