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 Stats
Robin van Persie has now scored in the last five Premier League meetings of Manchester United and Arsenal. He scored in both games for Arsenal in the 2011/12 season and in both for Manchester United last season before doing so again last Sunday. It was his 129th Premier League goal and he is the top-scoring Dutchman in Premier League history - but I won't tell you the others because it would help you with this week's Teaser!
Ryan Giggs made his 50th appearance against Arsenal - his 951st Man Utd appearance overall - but he has only scored two goals against them; that infamous FA Cup semi-final goal at Villa Park in 1999 and he also scored in a 2-2 draw at Highbury in April 2003. He has never scored against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have won their last five Premier League games at home to Arsenal and Sunday's result marked the end of Arsenal's 15-game unbeaten away streak. Their previous best away streak was 16 games, which also ended at Old Trafford in October 2004. Before Sunday their last away defeat was at Spurs on March 3 and their last away game without a goal was 17 games ago at Aston Villa. Arsenal also became the last team to fail to score in a Premier League game this season.
David Moyes had won only three of 25 matches against Arsenal as Everton manager - but he now boasts a 100% record as Manchester United boss. The game was Arsene Wenger's 50th match against Manchester United - the first one not against Sir Alex Ferguson - and his record (all comps) is W16 D10 L24.
The same scoreline
Hi Martin, On Sunday we saw Sunderland beat Man City 1-0 for the 4th consecutive season. Is this a record for the most consecutive scorelines in one fixture in the Premier League? Rick Grant
MARTIN SAYS: As you say, Sunderland won 1-0 at home to Manchester City for the fourth season in a row, however thanks to our friends at Opta I can tell you that we have seen a fixture produce the same scoreline for FIVE seasons in a row.
That fixture also involves Manchester City losing to the same opponent by the same scoreline. Between 2004/05 and 2008/09, the fixture between Tottenham and Manchester City at White Hart Lane finished as a 2-1 win for the home side five times in a row. The run ended in December 2009 when Tottenham won 3-0, but the five consecutive 2-1s were as follows:
19/03/2005: Tottenham 2-1 Man City
08/09/2006: Tottenham 2-1 Man City
13/05/2007: Tottenham 2-1 Man City
09/12/2007: Tottenham 2-1 Man City
16/05/2009: Tottenham 2-1 Man City
We have seen four other instances of a fixture finishing with the same scoreline for four seasons in a row. Two of these involve Manchester City, including the current run of 1-0 defeats at Sunderland.
Fixtures finishing with the same scoreline for four seasons in a row:
11/02/2004: Portsmouth 0-2 Chelsea
28/12/2004: Portsmouth 0-2 Chelsea
26/11/2005: Portsmouth 0-2 Chelsea
03/03/2007: Portsmouth 0-2 Chelsea
26/12/2001: Southampton 1-0 Tottenham
01/01/2003: Southampton 1-0 Tottenham
27/03/2004: Southampton 1-0 Tottenham
05/05/2005: Southampton 1-0 Tottenham
16/02/2010: Stoke 1-1 Man City
27/10/2010: Stoke 1-1 Man City
24/03/2012: Stoke 1-1 Man City
15/09/2012: Stoke 1-1 Man City
29/08/2010: Sunderland 1-0 Man City
01/01/2012: Sunderland 1-0 Man City
26/12/2012: Sunderland 1-0 Man City
10/11/2013: Sunderland 1-0 Man City
Strangely, the last three home meetings between Man City and Stoke have all ended as 3-0 wins for the home side. Indeed, of their five Premier League meetings in Manchester, four have ended as 3-0 wins for Man City with the other being a 2-0 win.
Using your head
There seem to have been quite a few headed goals this weekend, although Crystal Palace may need to do some practice in that department during training this week. Which team has the most headed goals this season though and who is the all-time highest headed goal scorer? I have a feeling the last one would be Duncan Ferguson but may be wrong. Andrew (Liverpool)
MARTIN SAYS: This is no problem for our friends at Opta, who have given us all of the data you need. I can tell you that Southampton have scored the most headed goals this season with six headers - which is one more than both Liverpool and Manchester City with five apiece. Three sides are yet to score a header in the Premier League this year and those sides are Tottenham, West Ham and Stoke - which is a contrast to what we've seen from Stoke under Tony Pulis in previous years.
Headed goals in the Premier League this season:
|West Bromwich Albion||4|
|West Ham United||0|
Eight players have scored two headed goals this season. They are Steven Caulker, Daniel Sturridge, Alvaro Negredo, Luis Suarez, Gareth McAuley, Steven Fletcher, Jay Rodriguez and Christian Benteke.
To answer your other question, Duncan Ferguson scored 36 Premier League goals with his head and is sixth on the all-time list of Premier League headed goalscorers. You may not be surprised to hear that Alan Shearer is top of the list with 46 headed goals, which is one ahead of Dion Dublin who scored 45 of his 111 Premier League goals with his head. Les Ferdinand and Peter Crouch are the only other players to have scored 40 Premier League headers and Crouch needs six more to match Shearer's record.
Alan Shearer (46)
Dion Dublin (45)
Les Ferdinand, Peter Crouch (40)
Dwight Yorke (38)
Teddy Sheringham, Duncan Ferguson (36)
Tim Cahill (31)
Robbie Fowler (28)
Andy Cole (27)
Speaking of Dion Dublin, I played with him in a veterans game in Hong Kong in 2007 (I'm sure he wouldn't like being referred to as a veteran though) and we both scored two in a 4-0 win. If memory serves right then mine was the only header.
First to five
Dear Martin. Mathieu Flamini has already got a suspension for picking up five yellow cards and he hasn't even played for us in every game this season. Is this the quickest that anybody has picked up five yellow cards in a Premier League season?Ian Sparry (Arsenal fan)
MARTIN SAYS: Flamini has picked up five yellow cards in his first eight Premier League appearances this season, but he is not the fastest to pick up five bookings. Incredibly, we have seen a player pick up five yellow cards in his first five games of the season - and indeed the first five games of his Premier League career!
The man in question was former Newcastle defender James Perch who got booked in each of his first five Premier League games for Newcastle in 2010/11. He played in all of their opening games of the season against Man Utd, Aston Villa, Wolves, Blackpool and Everton and got booked in all of them. He missed a Capital One Cup game against Chelsea as a result and only got booked once more that season.
Below are the players to have picked up five bookings in less than eight appearances in a Premier League season:
Fastest to five bookings:
James Perch (2010/11)
Chris Morris (1995/96), Billy McKinlay (1996/97), David Tuttle (1997/98), Paul Williams (1997/98), Don Hutchison (2000/01)
Ken Monkou (1994/95), Uwe Rosler (1994/95), Frank Sinclair (1995/96 and 2001/02), John Hartson (1996/97), Igor Stimac (1996/97 and 1998/99), Mark Hughes (1998/99), Gerry Taggart (2000/01), Danny Mills (2003/04), Robbie Savage (2005/06), Marouane Fellaini (2008/09), Eric Lichaj (2012/13)
Dear Martin. Love the column. Every team in the Premier League has kept a clean sheet with just 11 games of the season gone. Is this the earliest in the season whereby every team has kept a clean sheet at least once? Makil
MARTIN SAYS: Sunderland and Crystal Palace were the only two sides without a clean sheet before this weekend and both succeeded at the 11th time of asking. However, this is not the earliest we've seen all 20 Premier League teams record a shut-out.
Back in 2002/03 all of the teams in the Premier League had recorded a clean sheet after just six games. After matchday 5 there were three sides looking for their first clean sheet of the season, but Chelsea beat Newcastle 3-0, Birmingham beat Aston Villa 3-0 and West Ham drew 0-0 with Man City to complete the set in the fastest time in Premier League history.
The longest wait we've had came in 2011/12 when Blackburn did not record a clean sheet until the 28th game of the season. It was not until a 2-0 win over Wolves on March 10 that Rovers finally stopped their opponents from scoring in the league. They were unsurprisingly relegated.
You may be interested to hear that last season, the final team to keep a clean sheet was Southampton, who did so at their 13th attempt. This year they have already enjoyed seven clean sheets in their first 11 games!
Final team to keep a clean sheet in each Premier League season:
|Team||Season||Game to Keep First Clean Sheet|
|West Ham United||1998||11|
|West Ham United||2003||6|
|West Bromwich Albion||2005||9|
|West Ham United||2007||11|
|West Ham United||2009||13|
Saints for Europe?
Martin. Thanks for all the good work in your commentary and website column. It struck me that my team Southampton have averaged two points per game in the first 11 games of the season and I was wondering if any team has ever had such a record and failed to get into Europe? Tim O (Saints fan)
MARTIN SAYS: I can tell you that before this season, we have seen 58 teams pick up 22 points or more from their first 11 games. That includes 15 sides who went on to win the Premier League that season.
All 58 of those sides finished inside the top half and only five of them finished outside the top six. The lowest final position from a team with 22+ points at this stage was 10th, which is where Wigan finished in 2005/06. They picked up a remarkable 25 points from their first 11 fixtures, but their form tailed off and they ended up in mid-table.
Since 2008/09 every team with 22 points at this stage has gone on to finish in a European spot and only one - Newcastle in 2011/12 failed to get into the Champions League.
Teams with 22+ points after 11 Premier League games: