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 in the Parc des Princes ahead of Chelsea's game with PSG.
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Martin's Starting Stats
I was at Upton Park on Sunday to see Steven Gerrard take his goal total to eight in his last nine games, with seven penalties and one free kick. He has now scored 11 penalties in all competitions and 10 in the Premier League. That puts him one behind Andy Johnson's 11 Premier League penalties for Crystal Palace in 2004/05. The all-time record is held by Francis Lee with 13 league penalties in 1971/72 for Manchester City.
His first goal equalled Kenny Dalgish's Liverpool goals tally and his second took him to 173 goals in all competitions for Liverpool, one in front of Dalglish - and he was literally in front of Kenny, who was leading the applause at Upton Park. Gerrard has played 664 games for Liverpool now and goes equal with Ray Clemence on 470 league appearances.
Gerrard has now scored 111 league goals with 13 of them coming this season, along with nine assists. He took his 50th and 51st Liverpool penalties against West Ham and has scored with 42 of those. He finished the game with two goals, as he did in the FA Cup Final of 2006.
Liverpool remain unbeaten in 2014 with nine straight wins, equalling their winning run of March to May 2008.
They have now scored 90 league goals and in their 18 previous title-winning seasons they have only scored more goals than that on one occasion - they scored 92 goals 50 years ago in 1953/54 (which was a 42-game season). That season Roger Hunt got 31 and Ian St John scored 21; the SAS of their time!
They have had 13 penalties this season, 12 in the Premier League and two misses - Gerrard hit the post with his third at Old Trafford and Daniel Sturridge hit one over the bar at home to Everton.
This was their sixth Premier League double over West Ham and they have now scored 54 first-half goals, extending their Premier League best. They have scored in their last 23 Premier League games and 26 in all competitions. They have won their last five away games and taken 19 points from seven away games this year. The only blemish was a 1-1 draw with West Brom.
The top of the table changed hands for the 22nd time this season and March was a record-breaking month for Merseyside - it was the first time both Liverpool and Everton won every league match they played in a month. Does that set them up for an awesome April?
It takes two
I would like to ask what's the record for two players of the same teams combined Premier League goals tally? I.E Suarez(29) + Sturridge(20) = 49. How close is that to the records? Deano
MARTIN SAYS: With the help of Opta, I can confirm that Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have ALREADY broken the Premier League record for the most profitable strike partnership in a 38-game season - and they still have five games to play.
Before this season the best total in a 20-team campaign came from Sunderland duo Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips, who scored 44 goals between them in 1999/2000 - but Sturridge and Suarez have already gone five goals clear of that record. They are also seven goals better than the previous best Liverpool strike partnership in the Premier League - Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler scored 42 goals between them in 1995/96.
However, the SAS remain six goals shy of the all-time Premier League record, which was set by Newcastle pair Peter Beardsley and Andrew Cole in 1993/94. They scored 55 goals that term - but it was a 42-game season so they had four extra matches to do it in!
Best strike partnerships in a Premier League season:
|1993/94*||Newcastle||Peter Beardsley (21)|
Andrew Cole (34)
|1994/95*||Blackburn||Chris Sutton (15)Alan Shearer (34)||49|
|2013/14||Liverpool||Daniel Sturridge (20)|
Luis Suarez (29)
|1999/00||Sunderland||Niall Quinn (14)|
Kevin Phillips (30)
|1995/96||Liverpool||Stan Collymore (14)|
Robbie Fowler (28)
|1996/97||Newcastle||Les Ferdinand (16)|
Alan Shearer (25)
|2009/10||Chelsea||Nicolas Anelka (11)|
Didier Drogba (29)
|2001/02||Man Utd||Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (17)|
Ruud van Nistelrooy (23)
|1999/00||Man Utd||Andrew Cole (19)|
Dwight Yorke (20)
|1993/94*||Arsenal||Kevin Campbell (15)|
Ian Wright (23)
|2009/10||Man Utd||Dimitar Berbatov (12)|
Wayne Rooney (26)
|2012/13||Man Utd||Wayne Rooney (12)|
Robin van Persie (26)
|1994/95*||Tottenham||Teddy Sheringham (18)|
Jurgen Klinsmann (20)
Reds on the spot
Hi Martin, great column, I was just wondering who would be top or even bottom of the league if no teams had been given penalties because I see Liverpool have had a lot of penalties of late which have clinched three points for them. Thanks Marcel (United fan).
MARTIN SAYS: I can tell you that Liverpool have scored 10 times from the 12 penalties they have been awarded this season and have conceded three goals from the four penalties they have given away at the other end. Opta have calculated that they would be seven points worse off were it not for those goals and would drop from first to third in the current Premier League table.
In contrast Chelsea would only be one point worse off if penalties were removed from the standings. They have been awarded seven penalties this season, but only scored directly from six of them. They have not conceded a Premier League penalty this season and under these criteria would be three points clear at the top of the table. Manchester City would be second, two points worse off having scored six penalty goals and conceded one.
Opta have recalculated the Premier League table for you below and as you can see, the table doesn't change too much. The same teams are in the top seven and the bottom three with Liverpool the only side dropping down as a result of these criteria.
Premier League table if penalty goals were removed:
Tumbling from the top
Hello Martin, Amazing work here in this column!! I look forward to it every week :) Despite being a Liverpool fan and enjoying my team's success at the moment, I have a question about Arsenal. They have led the Premier League table for 18 weeks this season, including 12 consecutive ones, and they are at risk of being outside the top four. So my question is: has any team in the history of the Premier League lead the table for this long and still finished outside the top four? Thank You!! Ahmad_lfc
MARTIN SAYS: I can tell you that Arsenal have spent 128 days on top of the Premier League this season and, according to Opta, no side in the history of the Premier League has spent that many days on top without finishing in the top four. In fact, in each of the last 11 seasons, every side that has spent more than seven days on top of the Premier League has ended up in the top four at the end of the season.
Going further back, there are three sides that have spent more than 50 days on top of the Premier League without finishing in the top four. In 2001/02, Leeds United spent 59 days in first place and finished fifth; in 1994/95 Newcastle were top for 86 days and finished sixth, while in 1998/99 Aston Villa managed to spend 115 on top of the table and only finished sixth. However, back in those days finishing fourth did not give you a Champions League spot.
In fact, only four sides have spent more days on top of the table than Arsenal without winning the Premier League. Arsenal themselves spent 189 days on top in 2002/03 and 156 days on top in 2007/08 - and on each occasion they failed to take the title. Manchester United lost out to Arsenal in the 1997/98 title race, despite being on top for 189 days - but remarkably Newcastle were top for 211 days in 1995/96 but memorably lost out to Manchester United.
Thanks to Opta, here are the sides that spent the most days on top of the Premier League in each season without winning it:
|Season||Team||Days on top without winning league|
|1993/1994||Everton, Ipswich, Liverpool||1|
|2005/2006||West Ham, Charlton||7|
Letting in five
People were criticising Liverpool's shaky defence at the same time Arsenal were letting goals in for fun, and I was trying to recall the last time Liverpool let in more than four goals in the Premier League era, and I can't recall us ever doing so. Then it had me thinking could it be that we are the only Premier League team that has never let in more than four goals? I know Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Man United have all let in at least five at some point, there's one for you to rack your brains with! Carl, Morecambe
MARTIN SAYS: Our clever friends at Opta have looked into this and we can tell you that you're wrong. Liverpool HAVE let in five goals in a Premier League game, but only once.
That occasion was all the way back in December 1992 when they lost 5-1 away at Coventry City. The goals came from Brian Borrows (2), Mick Quinn (2) and Kevin Gallacher - so four of the goals came from Liverpool-born players (Quinn is now very publically a Red). Meanwhile, Liverpool's only goal came from my Sky Sports colleague Jamie Redknapp - who was subsequently sent off!
Only one of the 46 teams to have played in the Premier League has never let in five goals in a game. That team is Sheffield United, who played three seasons without conceding more than four in a match.
Like Liverpool, I can tell you that Cardiff, Swansea and Watford have only conceded five goals only once - but Liverpool have obviously played many more seasons than those clubs.
Of the other teams you mention, Arsenal have conceded 5+ goals on five occasions, City have done so on eight occasions, Chelsea have done it just twice and Manchester United have conceded five on five occasions.
Below I have detailed every team to have played in the Premier League and noted how often they have conceded 5+ goals:
|Team||Conceded 5+ goals how many times?||Last time conceding 5|
|Arsenal||5||22-Mar-14 v Chelsea|
|Aston Villa||9||23-Dec-12 v Chelsea|
|Barnsley||4||10-Jan-98 v West Ham|
|Birmingham||5||23-Apr-11 v Liverpool|
|Blackburn||10||04-Feb-12 v Arsenal|
|Blackpool||2||05-Feb-11 v Everton|
|Bolton||11||02-Oct-11 v Chelsea|
|Bradford||3||13-May-01 v Leeds|
|Burnley||4||03-Apr-10 v Man City|
|Cardiff||1||22-Mar-14 v Liverpool|
|Charlton||5||09-Dec-06 v Tottenham|
|Chelsea||2||29-Oct-11 v Arsenal|
|Coventry||7||21-Oct-00 v Chelsea|
|Crystal Palace||6||14-Feb-05 v Arsenal|
|Derby||12||28-Apr-08 v Arsenal|
|Everton||10||15-Aug-09 v Arsenal|
|Fulham||7||22-Mar-14 v Man City|
|Hull City||5||07-Mar-10 v Everton|
|Ipswich||5||11-May-02 v Liverpool|
|Leeds||4||16-Apr-04 v Arsenal|
|Leicester||6||31-Jan-04 v Aston Villa|
|Liverpool||1||19-Dec-92 v Coventry|
|Man City||8||11-May-08 v Middlesbrough|
|Man Utd||5||19-May-13 v West Brom|
|Middlesbrough||11||18-Oct-08 v Chelsea|
|Newcastle||14||27-Apr-13 v Liverpool|
|Norwich||12||04-Dec-13 v Liverpool|
|Nottingham Forest||7||06-Feb-99 v Man Utd|
|Oldham||3||29-Dec-93 v Man Utd|
|Portsmouth||4||24-Mar-10 v Chelsea|
|QPR||3||18-Aug-12 v Swansea|
|Reading||3||17-Dec-12 v Arsenal|
|Sheff Weds||8||19-Sep-99 v Newcastle|
|Southampton||12||15-Sep-12 v Arsenal|
|Stoke||5||12-Jan-14 v Liverpool|
|Sunderland||12||07-Apr-14 v Tottenham|
|Swansea||1||17-Feb-13 v Liverpool|
|Swindon||6||07-May-94 v Leeds|
|Tottenham||16||29-Jan-14 v Man City|
|Watford||1||04-Dec-99 v Wimbledon|
|West Brom||7||19-May-13 v Man Utd|
|West Ham||12||23-Jan-13 v Arsenal|
|Wigan||6||26-Dec-11 v Man Utd|
|Wimbledon||10||02-Oct-99 v Sheff Weds|
|Wolves||8||18-Mar-12 v Man Utd|
One from Woods!
Our final question is a guest question from former England goalkeeper - and current Manchester United goalkeeping coach - CHRIS WOODS, who spoke to me at a game recently and asked me to look at British clean sheets records. He mentioned that Fraser Forster set a new Scottish league record this year - but Chris was wondering if he still holds the record for clean sheets in consecutive matches in all competitions without missing any games. He says he gets asked about it all the time!
We've looked into it and I can tell you that Chris Woods went 1,196 minutes without conceding a goal across 12 games from November 1986 to January 1987. The record ended when he conceded to Adrian Sprott in his 13th game - a 1-0 Scottish Cup defeat to Hamilton.
Fraser Forster managed to go 1,256 minutes without conceding a goal earlier this season, but this record ONLY APPLIES TO LEAGUE MATCHES. He kept clean sheets in 10 games in a row between December and February, but conceded in his 11th game - a 2-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Aberdeen - and therefore did not come close to Woods' record in all competitions.
Forster broke Aberdeen's Bobby Clark's record of 1,155 minutes without conceding a goal in league matches in Scotland. Like Woods, he went 12 straight games without conceding - all in the league as Aberdeen didn't play any cup games between October 31 and January 9. However, Woods beat him by 44 minutes.
In England, Edwin van der Sar went 1,311 minutes without conceding in the league while at Manchester United in 2008/09. He also kept clean sheets against Southampton in the FA Cup and against Inter Milan in the Champions League in that period, but missed nine Manchester United games in the Champions League, Carling Cup, FA Cup and World Club Cup and did not appear in more than three consecutive Manchester United games during that stretch.
So Woods holds the British senior record for clean sheets in the post-war era - but we still have some question marks over a goalkeeper called Charlie Shaw, who played in goal for Celtic in the 1913/14 season and apparently played 13 straight games in all competitions without conceding a goal. It has been reported that he played 1,287 minutes without conceding - but we have been unable to verify that data. Perhaps some of you wise readers could help us!
So Chris, in terms of keeping clean sheets in a run of consecutive matches you're out in front at the top level of British football, certainly in the post-war era - and we're working on Charlie Shaw!