Football Commentator & Columnist
The Euro stars
The best of the best in Europe, the super subs and Chelsea's shoot-out blues... it's Martin Tyler!
Last Updated: 24/02/11 1:08pm
Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!
Every week he will be here to offer you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet.
Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.
Tyler's Starting Stat - Gunners break Barca duck
For my starting stat, I thought I'd hark back to that fantastic Arsenal v Barcelona game that I commentated on for Sky Sports last week. It was the first time the Gunners had beaten them in their seven meetings - and we are yet to see a clean sheet from either side when these two have played each other. I can't imagine we will see a clean sheet between in the game at the Nou Camp in a couple of weeks either.
Arsenal have now lost only two of their last 16 home games in the Champions League knockout stages - and both were against English clubs (Chelsea in 2004 at Highbury and Manchester United in 2009 at the Emirates). They also took their total to 16 goals in four home games in the Champions League this season, although it was the first time in five games at home in the Champions League they hadn't had a penalty.
The result saw Barcelona go two games without winning after drawing with Sporting Gijon in the league the previous weekend. However, David Villa scored his 19th of season against Arsenal and then added another on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. That means he has scored 20 goals in all competitions for the sixth consecutive season. His best total was 31 for Valencia in 2008/09.
It was only Barcelona's second defeat in 36 games, but like the previous one it was not terminal. Their last defeat was a 3-1 loss to Real Betis in the second leg a Copa del Rey match on January 19. However, they had won the home leg 5-1 and went through anyway!
KINGS OF EUROPE
Dear Martin. I was interested to see the 'all-time Premier League table' in this week's column and I wondered what an all-time Champions League table would look like. You'd need to include all group games and knock-out games with three points for a win and one point for a draw. I wonder if Manchester United would be top - or maybe Barcelona or Real Madrid? Kieron (Blackburn fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Below we have outlined how an 'all-time' Champions League table would look, stretching back to the inception of the tournament in 1992. We have awarded three points for a win of all individual games (two-legged matches count as two games) and the score was taken following the full-time whistle (after extra-time if necessary, but not penalty-shoot-outs).
Manchester United would come out on top, 25 points ahead of their nearest rivals Barcelona, although they have played 17 games more. Real missed the chance to go 'level on points' with Barcelona after they could only draw with Lyon in midweek. You'll notice that there are four English teams in the top 12 with Arsenal in sixth, Chelsea in 9th and Liverpool in 12th.
All-time Champions League table (top 12 teams):
ENGLISHMEN IN EUROPE
Hi Martin. Peter Crouch's strike vs Milan on Tuesday has made me wonder which Englishman has scored the most Champions League goals? I suspect it's Gerrard or Rooney but Crouch must be high on the list. Thanks, Ryan Smith (Southend United fan)
MARTIN SAYS: This season, Peter Crouch has become one of only eight Englishmen to score more than 10 Champions League goals. He has now netted 13 times in the competition proper - and that does not include the five goals he has scored for Liverpool and Tottenham in qualifying matches. These are not officially recorded as Champions League goals by UEFA.
To answer your question, the Englishman with the most Champions League goals is Manchester United's Paul Scholes, who has 24 goals to his name. I have listed the other eight Englishmen with more than 10 goals below:
1. Paul Scholes (24)
2. Wayne Rooney (21)
3. Steven Gerrard (19)
4. Frank Lampard (19)
5. Andy Cole (18)
6. David Beckham (16)
7. Peter Crouch (13)
8. Michael Owen (11)
BLUES PAYING THE PENALTY
Dear Martin. Can you tell me what Chelsea's record is like in penalty shoot-outs in recent years? We lost to Everton this year, Blackburn last year and we lost to Manchester United in the Champs Lge Final. When was the last time we won one? Oliver (Chelsea fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Remarkably, Chelsea have now won just one of their last eight penalty-shoot-outs in various competitions. Their only victory on penalties in the last five years came in the 2009 Community Shield when they beat Manchester United 4-1 on penalties. They have also lost the Community Shield by this method and gone out of the FA Cup, Carling Cup and in the final and semi-finals of the Champions League.
Chelsea's last eight penalty shoot-outs:
26/10/2005: Lost 5-4 v Charlton (Carling Cup third round)
01/05/2007: Lost 4-1 v Liverpool (Champions League semi-final)
05/08/2007: Lost 3-0 v Man Utd (Community Shield)
21/05/2008: Lost 6-5 v Man Utd (Champions League final)
12/05/2008: Lost 5-4 v Burnley (Carling Cup fourth round)
09/08/2009: Won 4-1 v Man Utd (Community Shield)
02/12/2009: Lost 4-3 v Blackburn (Carling Cup fifth round)
19/02/2011: Lost 4-3 v Everton (FA Cup fourth round)
Martin, love the blog and have finally thought of a good question! I have noticed that Van der Sar has proven quite a contributor for Manchester United in terms of providing assists for goals, I was just wondering which goalkeeper has provided the most assists in the Premier League to date? Nicky Forrest (Blyth Spartans fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Different data suppliers record assists in different ways, but according to the excellent website Premier Soccer Stats, Edwin van der Sar can boast seven assists in his Premier League career, all for Manchester United. However, this figure would not get him into the top 10 assist-making goalkeepers in Premier League history.
Top of our list is Paul Robinson, who can boast 17 assists during his spells with Leeds, Tottenham and Blackburn (and famously also a goal, for Spurs against Watford in 2006/07). He heads up a distinguished list that includes the likes of David James, Jussi Jaaskalainen and Ian Walker:
Goalkeepers with the most assists in the Premier League:
1. Paul Robinson (17)
2. David James, Jussi Jaaskalainen (14)
4. Ian Walker (13)
5. Shay Given (12)
6. Peter Schmeichel, Tim Flowers (11)
8. David Seaman, Shaka Hislop, Brad Friedel (9)
THE SUPER SUBS
Hi Martin. I have to say that your football knowledge is absolutely remarkable. After watching Javier Hernandez coming off the bench for Man Utd so many times and scoring - mirroring Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer - I just wanted to ask can you list the players who have come off the bench and scored most goals since the inception of the Premier League? Thanks. Much obliged. Yasin Bhai (Manchester Utd fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Hernandez has scored three times as a substitute in the Premier League for Manchester United, but he has some way to go to catch the other United super sub you mention. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored 17 Premier League goals as a substitute between 1996 and 2007 and leads the all-time list in this respect.
However, he is not out front on his own. Thanks to our friends at Opta, we can tell you that Nwankwo Kanu has also netted 17 times from the bench during his Premier League career. He did it nine times for Arsenal, once for West Brom and seven times for Portsmouth, including twice last season to go level with Solskjaer at the top of our list.
Hot on their heels is Jermain Defoe, who is the current Premier League player with the most goals as a substitute. He scored nine goals from the bench for West Ham, including six in the 2001/02 season and a further seven in his first spell at Tottenham. However, he has not scored a league goal from the bench since leaving Tottenham in January 2008 either for Portsmouth or in his second spell at Spurs.
Most Premier League goals as a substitute:
17: Nwankwo Kanu, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
16: Jermain Defoe
13 Robbie Keane, Andrew Cole, Tore Andre Flo
11: Michael Owen
10: Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, Julian Joachim, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
I was interested to find out that the Premier League's all-time leading goalscorer, Alan Shearer, only scored two of his 260 goals from the bench (one for Blackburn in 1993/94 and then for Newcastle in his final season, 2005/06). Furthermore, this season's top scorer, Dimitar Berbatov, has only ever scored once as a substitute in the Premier League, for Tottenham back in 2007/08.
WOOD YOU BELIEVE IT?
Hey Martin. As a West Ham fan, I have seen us hit the woodwork on numerous occasions this season. Can you tell me if we're the team who has hit the woodwork the most? Thanks. Ben H
MARTIN SAYS: West Ham have indeed hit the woodwork more times than any other team this season, but they share the record with two other teams. Like the Hammers, Aston Villa have also hit the woodwork on 16 occasions in the Premier League this year, as have Arsenal who went level with Villa and West Ham after Theo Walcott struck a post against Stoke on Wednesday night.
That contrasts starkly with Fulham, who have hit the post or crossbar four times fewer than those teams. Mark Hughes' men have rattled the upright on just four occasions, whole Bolton and Blackburn have hit it just five times.
Hitting the woodwork the most in 2010/11:
16: Arsenal, Aston Villa, West Ham
13: Stoke City
11: Manchester City, Wolves
9: Liverpool, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion
8: Newcastle, Sunderland
6: Birmingham, Everton, Wigan
5: Blackburn, Bolton
Fill in your answers to Martin's teaser using the feedback form below - and keep those questions coming in!