Tag Archives: Record-Breaking

Iconic Moments: Fowler destroys the Arsenal back four (August 1994)

Robbie Fowler was already making a name for himself before Arsenal travelled to Anfield in August 1994. It was the first league match to be played at the famous ground since the famous standing terrace; The Spion Kop had been torn down due to the safety regulations demanded by The Taylor Report. The new all-seater Kop stand was still taking shape but the first seats were ready for this showpiece encounter. However, it was the other end of the ground where all the action took place.

In the 26th minute, Fowler powered the home side into the lead after the ball bounced off his strike partner Ian Rush invitingly into his path. Less than three minutes later, he’d doubled his tally for the afternoon. Steve McManaman made a 60-yard run and found Fowler who had made a run to the right-hand side, before drilling a shot beyond an unsighted David Seaman and into the back of the net.

Just part the half-hour, John Barnes clipped a ball over the top of the famous Arsenal back four and Fowler was away, leaving Tony Adams behind. Seaman blocked his first effort but Fowler was instinctive to this and got to the loose ball before the England goalkeeper and Martin Keown to complete his hat-trick from the most improbable of angles. He had just destroyed the Arsenal back four in four minutes and 33 seconds.

It was a Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick that stood for over 20 years and still remains one of the most remarkable moments in the league’s history. This was the day when 19-year-old Robbie Fowler became one of the hottest properties, not just in English but in world football.

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Iconic Moments: Mane breaks Fowler’s hat-trick record (May 2015)

On the final Saturday of the 2014-2015 season, Sadio Mane achieved a little piece of Premier League history. The Senegalese midfielder broke Robbie Fowler’s long-standing record by scoring the fastest hat-trick in the competition’s history, timed at two minutes and 56 seconds against Aston Villa.

Mane was playing for Southampton at the time and he opened the scoring for the Saints after 12 minutes, pouncing first from a rebound after his initial effort was saved by Villa goalkeeper, Shay Given. Moments later, a terrible backpass attempt from Alan Hutton allowed Shane Long in on-goal. Given successfully challenged him but Mane was quickest to the loose ball and scored his second goal. Then after 15 minutes, he completed his hat-trick with a beautiful curling effort after being picked out by Long.

Southampton won the match 6-1 and Fowler’s 21-year record had been shattered by Mane, who would join Liverpool FC from the south coast side in the summer of 2016.

Premier League Rewind: 13th-14th September 1997

Results: Arsenal 4-1 Bolton Wanderers, Barnsley 0-3 Aston Villa, Coventry City 1-0 Southampton, Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea, Derby County 3-1 Everton, Leicester City 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool FC 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United, Newcastle United 1-3 Wimbledon, Blackburn Rovers 3-4 Leeds United

Going into the second month of action in the 1997-1998 season, it was Blackburn Rovers who were setting the early pace. New manager Roy Hodgson had made an immediate impact on his new side and they were scoring plenty of goals, finding the net 15 times in five matches. Blackburn were looking to keep their advantage at the top of the table and respond to Saturday’s action when they met Leeds United in the live televised Sky match.

Before they got the opportunity to play, history was being made at Highbury. Against Bolton Wanderers, Ian Wright finally managed to eclipse Cliff Bastin and become Arsenal’s record all-time goalscorer. Wright’s first goal saw him equal Bastin’s mark of 177 goals but in the excitement of scoring the equaliser, he took his top off and revealed a vest he was wearing ‘178 – Just Done It!’ He was slightly too keen but five minutes later, a more routine tap-in was the goal that saw him break the record. To cap his amazing day, he completed his hat-trick with nine minutes left, taking his tally to six goals in six games. Arsenal won the game 4-1 and remained unbeaten, playing some cavalier football under Arsene Wenger which was a welcome sight for the fans who had got used to tight, cagey games in the George Graham era.

Manchester United hadn’t quite reached full throttle yet but they were getting the results and that meant the reigning champions went top after beating West Ham United 2-1 at Old Trafford. After five consecutive clean sheets, the Red Devils defence finally conceded after 14 minutes thanks to John Hartson. Recently-appointed captain, Roy Keane quickly levelled the scores before Paul Scholes scored the winning goal with 14 minutes left to play.

They would stay top of the table as Blackburn were beaten for the first time in the season after an absorbing first half against Leeds, who went into the match on a run of three successive defeats and just outside the bottom three. Leeds made a great start, taking a 2-0 lead inside six minutes through Rod Wallace and Robert Molenaar. Within 16 minutes, Blackburn were level, thanks to a scorching strike from Kevin Gallacher and a Chris Sutton penalty. Attack seemed to be the best form of defence for both teams and the visitors stormed back into a two-goal lead. Wallace scored his second of the afternoon before David Hopkin finished off another sweeping counter-attack. On 33 minutes, Martin Dahlin got the better of Molenaar and beat Nigel Martyn with a shot that went in off the post. Naturally, the second half didn’t quite have the frantic approach of the first 45 minutes although Leeds finished with 10 men after Harry Kewell was sent off. Nevertheless, they held on for all three points and left Blackburn three points behind Manchester United.

Elsewhere and Newcastle United’s 100% start to the season was ended by a Wimbledon side who had started the weekend bottom of the Premier League. The Dons left Tyneside with all three points after an excellent all-round team performance, triumphing 3-1 with goals from Carl Cort, Chris Perry and Efan Ekoku. Southampton replaced them at the foot of the table after losing 1-0 away at Coventry City. Chelsea moved into third position with a fourth successive victory after cruising to a 3-0 success at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace. Graeme Le Saux wrapped the scoring up in the 90th minute with his first goal in his second spell with the Blues.

What else happened in September 1997?

  • Over two billion people worldwide watch the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales which takes place at Westminster Abbey.
  • September sees the death of Mother Teresa, aged 87.
  • Both Scotland and Wales voted in favour of a devolved Parliament, meaning the formation of the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Parliament.
  • The IOC selects Athens as the host city of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
  • The National Geographic Channel is launched.
  • The Italian regions of Umbria and Marche are struck by an earthquake, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis at Assisi to collapse.
  • The football teams in Scotland’s top-flight, including Rangers and Celtic, decide to split from the SFL and form the Scottish Premier League from next season.

 

Iconic Moments: 201 up for Super Al (February 2006)

2005-2006 was to be Alan Shearer’s final season as a professional footballer, having previously postponed his decision to retire a year before. Part of the reason for extending his career by a further season was to try and become Newcastle United’s record all-time top goalscorer. He was closing in on surpassing Jackie Milburn’s record of 200 goals for the Magpies.

The moment finally arrived in February 2006 against Portsmouth. Graeme Souness had been dismissed as manager a few days earlier and Shearer was now helping out on a part-time coaching basis alongside Glenn Roeder. However, he still had plenty to offer on-the-pitch and he made his historical mark in the second half.

Shola Ameobi played a significant role, taking on two defenders before producing a clever backheel into the path of his strike partner. Holding off his former Newcastle teammate Andy O’Brien, Shearer never looked like missing, smashing his strike past Dean Kiely to achieve the landmark of Newcastle’s all-time record goalscorer. It was his 201st goal for the club and infront of The Gallowgate End – the most famous stand at St James’ Park.

Shearer retired two months later, finishing with 206 goals for the Magpies. He admitted afterwards: “I know what Jackie means and meant to the people. I can now sleep easy that the pressure has gone.”

Seasonal Stories: Southampton (2014-2015)

Challenging the elite

Summer 2014 was one of turmoil for Southampton who saw their manager leave for a new post and several key figures from the previous season move onto bigger clubs. However, new manager Ronald Koeman and his players found a great resolve that saw them achieve a best-ever Premier League finish of seventh, despite being made relegation favourites at the start of the campaign.

The form of Graziano Pelle was important whilst towards the end of the season, another of the new purchases in Sadio Mane sealed his place in the Premier League record books.

A challenging summer

Southampton had finished the 2013-2014 Premier League season in eighth position with their best-ever points tally in a 38-game season. However, the club were about to experience plenty of upheaval in a challenging summer.

First was the departure of Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino. Pochettino had impressed throughout his 18-month tenure in the St Mary’s hotseat and plenty of clubs were interested in his services. It was Tottenham Hotspur who eventually got his signature, replacing Tim Sherwood. Pochettino’s successor would be ex-Dutch defender Ronald Koeman, who had plenty of managerial experience from spells with PSV Eindhoven, Benfica and Valencia.

Koeman had to deal with many of the key Southampton first-team squad moving onto pastures new. Liverpool FC took the trio of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, whilst Manchester United signed Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers left for Arsenal. Morgan Schneiderlin also tried to force a move through to Tottenham but his transfer request was rejected and a serious knee injury meant Jay Rodriguez’s impact on this campaign was going to be severely limited.

There were eight new arrivals. Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld and left-back Ryan Bertrand were the season’s loan stars and they would be joined by six new permanent squad members. Attacking midfielder Sadio Mane came in from RB Salzburg, Fraser Forster moved from Celtic to succeed Artur Boruc as the club’s permanent no.1 goalkeeper and Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic was acquired from FC Twente. Many columnists and pundits had Southampton down among their contenders for relegation following the summer of change.

Tremendous early run

Southampton played well on the opening weekend at Anfield and were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Liverpool FC. Shane Long, a recent signing from Hull City, missed a great late opportunity to earn the Saints a share of the points.

Southampton’s first win came at the end of August. Having made peace with the hierarchy after his summer spat, Schneiderlin came to the fore at Upton Park, scoring twice in Southampton’s 3-1 triumph away at West Ham United.

This win in east London started a tremendous run of form for Southampton as they would win eight of their next nine matches to rise to the dizzying heights of second position. They kept six clean sheets in that period with Alderweireld and Bertrand settling in very quickly and showing that Shaw and Lovren weren’t being missed at all.

One of those victories remains the club’s biggest-ever Premier League victory as they wiped the floor with Sunderland. Southampton won 8-0. They were helped by three own goals whilst Graziano Pelle scored twice to continue his fantastic start to his Southampton career. He scored six goals in his first 11 matches.

TABLE ON 9th November 2014

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 11 9 2 0 28 11 +17 29
2 SOUTHAMPTON 11 8 1 2 23 5 +18 25
3 Manchester City 11 6 3 2 22 12 +10 21
4 West Ham United 11 5 3 3 19 14 +5 18
5 Swansea City 11 5 3 3 15 11 +4 18
6 Arsenal 11 4 5 2 19 13 +6 17

Maintaining form in festive period

Another player who was having an excellent season was Nathaniel Clyne. The right-back scored a late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa but it did begin a dip of form which saw Southampton lose four consecutive matches. Three of those games were against the elite in the shape of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

However, there was another bounce at the right time. With the festive period in sight, Southampton had some tricky games against Everton, Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal but collected 10 points from a possible 12. The 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park saw Neil Warnock’s second reign as Crystal Palace manager come to an end whilst the 2-0 victory over Arsenal forced Arsene Wenger into changing his main goalkeeper from Wojciech Szczesny after an error-strewn display on the south coast to David Ospina.

The January transfer window was a quiet one in comparison to the busy summer period. Bertrand’s loan move became a permanent transfer whilst Dutch winger Eljero Elia was brought in on-loan for the rest of the season from SV Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. Jack Cork though did leave for a fresh start at Swansea City after being unable to hold down a regular place in Koeman’s starting XI.

Elia’s impact was limited but he did score both goals to spearhead a 2-1 away victory at Newcastle United. This came after Tadic came off the bench to secure victory at Old Trafford against Manchester United. In mid-January, Southampton were sitting in third place and above Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool FC. They looked a potential serious player for the UEFA Champions League qualifying positions.

Feeling the pace

A late home defeat in early February to Swansea City was the first signs that Southampton would fall short of what had turned out to be an ambitious but feasible target. Jonjo Shelvey’s long-range strike helped the Welsh club garner all three points on a day where a couple of Southampton’s key players had days to forget. Forster, who had been excellent in-goal, didn’t do enough to keep out Shelvey’s shot, whilst Bertrand blotted his copybook with a red card for a dangerous tackle on Modou Barrow.

Southampton would win only another five Premier League matches after this game and dropped out of the top four after a 2-0 home loss to Liverpool FC on 22nd February. They wouldn’t return to that position again.

Nevertheless, there were still some high points. Tadic’s penalty ensured they collected an excellent point at Stamford Bridge against champions-elect Chelsea whilst James Ward-Prowse scored only his second-ever goal for the club in April’s 2-0 win over Hull City which briefly took the Saints back into fifth position.

Southampton eventually finished in seventh, winning just one of their last six games. However, that victory was a memorable one against Aston Villa.

Southampton were leading 5-1 at half-time as they took full advantage of a brittle defensive display from their opponents. Mane broke Robbie Fowler’s 21-year record to become the new holder of the fastest Premier League hat-trick in history. Mane’s treble came in just two minutes, 56 seconds. Shane Long added a spectacular fifth from 40 yards out and Koeman admitted afterwards: “It was an amazing afternoon and I didn’t expect it I have to be honest but I was expecting a reaction after the last two games and it was great as it was our last home game. The fans deserved it for their amazing support.”

FINAL 2014-2015 TABLE – THE TOP SEVEN

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Chelsea 38 26 9 3 73 32 +41 87
2 Manchester City 38 24 7 7 83 38 +45 79
3 Arsenal 38 22 9 7 71 36 +35 75
4 Manchester United 38 20 10 8 62 37 +25 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 19 7 12 58 53 +5 64
6 Liverpool FC 38 18 8 12 52 48 +4 62
7 SOUTHAMPTON 38 18 6 14 54 33 +21 60

Southampton had produced a stunning season and proven a lot of people wrong. The fans could be happy that despite all of the summer changes, Koeman and the board had made some smart moves in the transfer market and been rewarded with the club’s best-ever Premier League finish. They also finished with the second-best defensive record, letting in just 33 goals in 38 matches.

Iconic Moments: Rooney makes Manchester United history (January 2017)

When Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United in August 2004 from his boyhood club Everton, it was an opportunity for him to make his mark on the big stage on a regular basis. After a sensational European Championships for England that summer, Rooney continued where he left off with a hat-trick on his Red Devils debut in the UEFA Champions League against Fenerbahce.

Already England’s all-time record goalscorer, Rooney was closing in on another milestone and he achieved it in January 2017. With just two minutes of stoppage-time left away at Stoke City, Manchester United looked destined to lose the game 1-0. Rooney had other ideas.

This brilliant free-kick into the top corner of the net was his 250th goal for the club. It meant he surpassed the total by Sir Bobby Charlton to become Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer.

It was a moment of football history from one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever players. Rooney finished with 253 goals for the Red Devils before going back to Everton in the summer of 2017. He waved goodbye to the Premier League for good a year later, moving to the MLS to join D.C United.

Iconic Moments: The Centurions (May 2018)

Having broken a whole manner of Premier League records on their way to the title in 2017-2018, there was one final landmark Manchester City were desperate to land. On the final day of the season, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side travelled to Southampton looking to reach another phenomenal achievement. Victory would take them to the grand total of 100 points for the season. No-side in Premier League history has ever amassed this tally in a single campaign.

However, Southampton defended brilliantly and it looked like this might be a feat that Guardiola’s team would miss out on until virtually the last kick of the entire season. In the fourth minute of stoppage-time, Kevin De Bruyne’s long ball over the top of the Saints backline played through Gabriel Jesus, who finished coolly to give Guardiola’s side a 1-0 victory and achieve the three-figure total for points. It also meant they broke the records for highest goal difference total (+79) and points margin victory to the runners-up (19).

This team will go down in the annuals as one of the greatest the Premier League has ever seen. The Manchester City team of 2017-2018 will forever be known as ‘The Centurions.’

Iconic Moments: Guardiola’s greats achieve a new winning mark (December 2017)

When Raheem Sterling scored a dramatic late winner away at AFC Bournemouth in August 2017, followed by a controversial red card, few could have predicted the perfection Manchester City were about to hit. They were about to embark on a record-breaking winning run in the history of the Premier League.

The signs of total ruthlessness were shown in September when Liverpool FC, Watford, Crystal Palace and reigning champions Chelsea were all beaten by a total aggregate score of 17-0. Stoke City shipped seven goals after the October international break and the winning sequence went on and on. Burnley, West Bromwich Albion, Arsenal and Leicester City posed little threat before three successive narrow 2-1 victories in the space of seven days.

Sterling was the late hero again in two of these wins over Huddersfield Town and Southampton, whilst it was David Silva who scored the decisive goal in the narrow home triumph against West Ham United. After defeating Manchester United 2-1 in the Manchester Derby, it was Silva who ensured they broke the record away at Swansea City.

In a routine 4-0 away victory, Silva was in sensational form, scoring twice and setting up another. It was their 15th successive Premier League victory, surpassing the record achieved by Arsenal between February and August in 2002. Only Everton had stopped the Citizens from winning at this stage of the campaign.

The final mark was 18 when Crystal Palace held them to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park on New Years’ Eve. However, this is likely to be a mark that is unlikely to be beaten for many years to come.

Seasonal Records: 2017-2018

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 2017-2018 Premier League campaign. It was a season Manchester City completely dominated, breaking a host of records on their way to a third Premier League title.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester City 38 32 4 2 106 27 +79 100
2 Manchester United 38 25 6 7 68 28 +40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur 38 23 8 7 74 36 +38 77
4 Liverpool FC 38 21 12 5 84 38 +46 75
5 Chelsea 38 21 7 10 62 38 +24 70
6 Arsenal 38 19 6 13 74 51 +23 63
7 Burnley 38 14 12 12 36 39 -3 54
8 Everton 38 13 10 15 44 58 -14 49
9 Leicester City 38 12 11 15 56 60 -4 47
10 Newcastle United 38 12 8 18 39 47 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace 38 11 11 16 45 55 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 11 11 16 45 61 -16 44
13 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 48 68 -20 42
14 Watford 38 11 8 19 44 64 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 9 13 16 34 54 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 9 10 19 28 58 -30 37
17 Southampton 38 7 15 16 37 56 -19 36
18 Swansea City 38 8 9 21 28 56 -28 33
19 Stoke City 38 7 12 19 35 68 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 6 13 19 31 56 -25 31

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1018
European qualifiers Manchester City (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Champions League)

Liverpool FC (UEFA Champions League)

Chelsea (UEFA Europa League)

Arsenal (UEFA Europa League)

Burnley (UEFA Europa League)

Longest winning run 18 games (Manchester City)
Longest unbeaten run 22 games (Manchester City)
Longest winless run 20 games (West Bromwich Albion)
Longest losing run 8 games (West Bromwich Albion)
Highest attendance 83,222 (Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal)
Lowest attendance 10,242 (AFC Bournemouth vs. West Bromwich Albion)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC)
PFA Young Player of the Year Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Football Writers’ Award Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC)
PFA Team of the Year David de Gea, Marcos Alonso, Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah
Manager of the Year Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Premier League Goal of the Season Sofiane Boufal (SOUTHAMPTON vs. West Bromwich Albion)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Sergio Aguero Watford vs. Manchester City 0-6 16th September 2017
Alvaro Morata Stoke City vs. Chelsea 0-4 23rd September 2017
Callum Wilson AFC Bournemouth vs. Huddersfield Town 4-0 18th November 2017
Wayne Rooney Everton vs. West Ham United 4-0 29th November 2017
Harry Kane Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 23rd December 2017
Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton 5-2 26th December 2017
Sergio Aguero Manchester City vs. Newcastle United 3-1 20th January 2018
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal vs. Everton 5-1 3rd February 2018
Sergio Aguero (4) Manchester City vs. Leicester City 5-1 10th February 2018
Mohamed Salah (4) Liverpool FC vs. Watford 5-0 17th March 2018

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Mohamed Salah Liverpool FC 32
2 Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur 30
3 Sergio Aguero Manchester City 21
4 Jamie Vardy Leicester City 20
5 Raheem Sterling Manchester City 18
6 Romelu Lukaku Manchester United 16
7 Roberto Firmino Liverpool FC 15
8 Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal 14
9 Gabriel Jesus Manchester City 13
10= Heung-Min Son Tottenham Hotspur 12
10= Eden Hazard Chelsea 12
10= Riyad Mahrez Leicester City 12
10= Glenn Murray Brighton & Hove Albion 12
14= Alvaro Morata Chelsea 11
14= Marko Arnautovic West Ham United 11
16= Leroy Sane Manchester City 10
16= Christian Eriksen Tottenham Hotspur 10
16= Sadio Mane Liverpool FC 10
16= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 10
16= Chris Wood Burnley 10
16= Wayne Rooney Everton 10
16= Luka Milivojevic Crystal Palace 10
23= David Silva Manchester City 9
23= Anthony Martial Manchester United 9
23= Dele Alli Tottenham Hotspur 9

 

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Watford 0-6 Manchester City 16th September 2017
Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City 14th October 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace 23rd September 2017
Manchester City 5-0 Swansea City 22nd April 2018
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017
Liverpool FC 5-0 Watford 17th March 2018
Chelsea 5-0 Stoke City 30th December 2017
Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield Town 29th November 2017
Arsenal 5-0 Burnley 6th May 2018

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City 14th October 2017
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City 13th May 2018
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Southampton 26th December 2017
7 Everton 2-5 Arsenal 22nd October 2017
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Manchester City 14th January 2018
7 Arsenal 4-3 Leicester City 11th August 2017
6 Watford 0-6 Manchester City 16th September 2017
6 Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City 10th February 2018
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Stoke City 9th December 2017
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 1-5 Liverpool FC 2nd December 2017
6 Arsenal 5-1 Everton 3rd February 2018
6 Watford 2-4 Manchester United 28th November 2017
6 Chelsea 4-2 Watford 21st October 2017
6 Watford 3-3 Liverpool FC 12th August 2017
6 Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool FC 22nd December 2017
6 AFC Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham United 26th December 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool FC 9th September 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace 23rd September 2017
5 Manchester City 5-0 Swansea City 22nd April 2018
5 Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Callum Hudson-Odoi Chelsea 0-3 AFC Bournemouth 17 years, 2 months, 24 days 31st January 2018
Ethan Ampadu Huddersfield Town 1-3 Chelsea 17 years, 2 months, 28 days 12th December 2017
Rekeem Harper West Bromwich Albion 1-0 AFC Bournemouth 17 years, 5 months, 4 days 12th August 2017
Michael Obafemi Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 6 months, 15 days 21st January 2018
Phil Foden Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 6 months, 18 days 16th December 2017
Reiss Nelson Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace 18 years, 1 month, 10 days 20th January 2018
Tyrese Campbell Leicester City 1-1 Stoke City 18 years, 1 month, 27 days 24th February 2018
Brahim Diaz Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle United 18 years, 5 months, 17 days 20th January 2018
Dwight McNeil Burnley 1-2 AFC Bournemouth 18 years, 5 months, 21 days 13th May 2018
Lasse Sorensen Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City 18 years, 6 months, 22 days 13th May 2018

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Julian Speroni Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal 38 years, 7 months, 10 days 28th December 2017
Gareth McAuley West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Southampton 38 years, 1 month, 29 days 3rd February 2018
Bruno Manchester City 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion 37 years, 7 months, 8 days 9th May 2018
Peter Crouch Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City 37 years, 3 months, 13 days 13th May 2018
Heurelho Gomes Manchester United 1-0 Watford 37 years, 2 months, 28 days 13th May 2018
Gareth Barry West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Huddersfield Town 37 years, 1 day 24th February 2018
Patrice Evra Leicester City 0-2 West Ham United 36 years, 11 months, 20 days 5th May 2018
Michael Carrick Manchester United 1-0 Watford 36 years, 9 months, 15 days 13th May 2018
Willy Caballero Chelsea 1-1 Huddersfield Town 36 years, 7 months, 11 days 9th May 2018
Damien Delaney Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur 36 years, 7 months, 5 days 25th February 2018

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 David de Gea Manchester United 18
2 Ederson Manchester City 16
3= Hugo Lloris Tottenham Hotspur 15
3= Thibaut Courtois Chelsea 15
5 Petr Cech Arsenal 11
5= Nick Pope Burnley 11
7= Loris Karius Liverpool FC 10
7= Jordan Pickford Everton 10
7= Mathew Ryan Brighton & Hove Albion 10
7= Jonas Lossl Huddersfield Town 10

Iconic Moments: A Premier League record for Barry (September 2017)

It was a tough season for everyone connected with West Bromwich Albion but whilst it ended in relegation, Gareth Barry did claim a Premier League record. When he lined up for the Baggies in the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in September 2017, he made his 633rd top-flight appearance. This made him the highest appearance maker in Premier League history, succeeding Manchester United legend and current manager of Wales, Ryan Giggs.

The midfielder made his Premier League debut aged just 17 in May 1998 at Hillsborough, playing for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday. He joined Manchester City in 2009 and three years later, won the Premier League title. After a four-year spell on Merseyside with Everton, Barry moved to West Brom in mid-August 2017 and helped himself to a goal later in the season in a home loss to Manchester United.

The ex-England international won’t add to his tally this season after extending his contract to stay at The Hawthorns. His aim this season will be to try and get WBA back to the top-flight at the first attempt. However, his current tally of 653 appearances is likely to stand for many years to come.

 

Premier League Files: Efan Ekoku

Premier League Career: Norwich City (1993-1994), Wimbledon (1994-1999)

Efan Ekoku made some early Premier League history in September 1993 against Everton when he became the first player to score four goals in the same match. He was always a constant threat in the opposition penalty area and possessed a decent scoring record for the teams he represented.

Born in 1967, it wasn’t until the age of 22 before Ekoku made his breakthrough in the English game, playing initially for non-league side Sutton United before turning professional in 1990 with AFC Bournemouth. He was signed by Harry Redknapp just weeks after the club had been relegated to the Third Division. He produced a goal return of one goal in every three matches for the Cherries and that was enough for Norwich City manager Mike Walker to part with £500,000 to snap Ekoku up on transfer deadline day in March 1993.

He was brought in as the club seeked to make a late challenge for the championship and also to try and take some of the pressure off Mark Robins and Chris Sutton in the goalscoring department. Ekoku scored three times in the final 10 matches of the Premier League season but Norwich’s leaky defence meant they finished off the pace of champions Manchester United. Nevertheless, they still came a fine third in the league table.

September 1993 was the peak of Ekoku’s Norwich career. He will always go down in the club’s history books because he scored their first-ever goal in European competition, striking in the 3-0 UEFA Cup victory against Vitesse Arnhem. Days later, Norwich travelled to Goodison Park to take on an Everton side that had started solidly and were in the top six. The Toffees were the better team in the first half and led through a Paul Rideout goal but Ekoku cancelled that advantage out just before half-time. He then ran riot in the second half, adding another three goals to become the first Premier League player to score four goals in a match. It was a remarkable achievement as Norwich ended the game 5-1 winners.

Ekoku finished with 12 goals that season in the Premier League but manager Walker quit mid-season to take over the post at Everton. Norwich’s form nose-dived and they finished down in 12th. It was still a happy season for Efan though, as he was part of the Nigeria squad that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations. He also was part of the Super Eagles squad that made the round-of-16 at that summer’s World Cup in the United States.

Norwich owner Robert Chase had a habit of cashing in on the club’s hottest properties and Ekoku was no exception. A bid of £900,000 was accepted in October 1994 for the striker to move to Wimbledon. Two weeks later, infront of the Sky Sports cameras, he scored his first Wimbledon goal to beat…Norwich City at Selhurst Park! The anger Norwich supporters had towards their chairman increased greatly after this transaction.

Ekoku was part of the Wimbledon squad that consistently punched above their weight in the Premier League. He was their top scorer in 1996-1997 with 11 goals as the club finished eighth in the table and reached the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions. He did well to regularly hold down a striking berth in those days with the likes of Dean Holdsworth, Marcus Gayle and Jason Euell amongst his competition.

Ekoku moved to Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland in August 1999 before returning to England for spells in the Football League with Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City. He retired in 2004.

Today, Efan works as a commentator for the Premier League’s world feed and is a weekly guest on Football Dynamics on Bloomberg Africa.

Iconic Moments: Vardy’s record (November 2015)

Strikers love scoring goals and they take more pleasure when they do it on both a regular and consecutive basis. In August 2003, Ruud van Nistelrooy broke his own mark when he scored for Manchester United on Tyneside against Newcastle United. The Dutchman’s run of finding the back of the net in 10 successive Premier League matches was a mark that would last for 12 years.

Jamie Vardy’s rise through the ranks from non-league footballer to England international has been a phenomenal one. His goals were a huge ingredient towards 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City shocking the sporting world in becoming Premier League champions. His run of scoring in 11 successive matches is a landmark that will be very difficult to beat.

Vardy’s run started with a late penalty in August to earn a 1-1 draw against AFC Bournemouth. Initially, the scoring mark wasn’t talked about as he continued to find the target. Aston Villa, Stoke City, Arsenal, Norwich City and Southampton couldn’t stop him and nor could Crystal Palace in October. Vardy’s winner not only was a goal to take him into strong company but it got people talking. Could he go all the way and break Van Nistelrooy’s mark?

As Leicester’s surge towards the top of the table continued, so did Vardy’s ability to find the back of the net. He scored winning goals away to West Bromwich Albion and at home to Watford. He shook off an injury scare to open the scoring at St James’ Park in a commanding 3-0 win against Newcastle United. That equalled Van Nistelrooy’s mark, ironically in the stadium when Ruud had achieved the current feat.

A week later, leaders Leicester faced third-placed Manchester United. Would Vardy put his name in the record books?  In the 24th minute, Christian Fuchs played an inch-perfect pass inside full-back Matteo Darmian. Vardy latched onto it and finished decisively past David de Gea. The King Power Stadium erupted in a crescendo of noise as Vardy took the acclaim from his overjoyed teammates.

Bastian Schweinsteiger did equalise to earn a point for the Red Devils but the day fully belonged to Jamie Vardy. His place in Premier League history was signed and sealed.