Saturday’s Premier League action was so boring it was almost exciting – especially if you love stats.
We try to work out if this weekend included the dullest day in the competition’s history.
Elsewhere, Hull achieve a penalty record, Sunderland spend so long in the drop zone they’re receiving the post there and a look at how Arsenal’s north London dominance is older than Dele Alli.
If you weren’t across Saturday’s 15:00 BST games. you didn’t miss much.
Whatever you were up to, it was probably more interesting than sitting through four games with only two goals between them.
In defence of Saturday afternoon’s football, there was substantial drama at the death when a late Bournemouth winner at Sunderland and Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic’s stoppage-time penalty save against Southampton saw the Black Cats relegated.
But in terms of goals, it was insipid.
Was it the worst Saturday afternoon the Premier League has known in terms of goalscoring action?
On 21 August 2013, there were three goals from four games – close but no cigar.
On 24 November 2001, there were a yawn-inducing three goals in six games. In terms of goal-to-games ratio, it’s on a par with the Saturday just gone, but it probably takes the title by virtue of spreading its boredom across six whole games of football.
|Results from 3pm games on 24 Nov 2001|
|Bolton 0-0 Fulham||Chelsea 0-0 Blackburn|
|Leicester 0-0 Everton||Newcastle 1-0 Derby|
|Southampton 1-0 Charlton||West Ham 0-1 Tottenham|
And while we’re on the subject…
The evening game on Saturday was a relative goal-fest as Burnley won their first away game of the season, 2-0 at Crystal Palace.
But the result ended up strengthening the day’s bid for boredom – particularly for season ticket holders – as it was the first time in Premier League history that no home side scored a goal on a day with a least four games.
And the most bone-achingly boring team to follow right now could be West Brom, who have have failed to score in five consecutive games for the first time in their history after their 1-0 loss to Leicester.
Hull are the winners at conceding penalties
Hull are excellent at giving away penalties.
They’re so good at it that they’ve set a new record for conceding the most in one Premier League season.
Hull gave away their 12th spot-kick of the season when Alfred N’Diaye brought down Southampton’s Maya Yoshida in injury time on Saturday.
That’s bad news for Blackburn, who can no longer lay claim to being the clumsiest club in the box after conceding 11 in the 2006-07 campaign.
Who remembers the last time Arsenal were worse than Spurs?
May 1995 – Oasis’ Some Might Say had just been number one, Dumb and Dumber was fresh off being top of the UK box office charts and Pogs were all the rage in school playgrounds throughout Britain (kids, ask your cooler, older siblings about Pogs).
Oh, and it was the last time Tottenham had finished a season above Arsenal in the league – until now.
Spurs’ convincing 2-0 win over the Gunners means Mauricio Pochettino’s side will definitely end the season higher than their north London rivals for the first time in 22 years.
Spurs midfielder Dele Alli, who scored the opener on Sunday, hadn’t been born, while the man who made it 2-0, Harry Kane, was one year old.
In fact the average age of the Tottenham starting XI on Sunday was 3.5 years when Spurs were last the toast of north London.
Sunderland – address? Premier League relegation zone
First they brought round a toothbrush. Then they started putting food in your fridge. Before you know it they’ve taken over your sock drawer and are picking out new wallpaper for the dining room.
Sunderland have spent so long residing in the Premier League relegation zone that they moved in without us ever fully realising.
If you were to pick any day at random from Premier League history and look at the table, the odds are you will see Sunderland in the drop zone, kicking back with a pipe and slippers.
The Black Cats have spent 1,282 days of their Premier League existence in the bottom three, the most of any club – Southampton are next on 1,184.
Saturday’s loss to Bournemouth confirmed their current 10-year stay in the top flight will come to an end.
During that period, Sunderland have spent 816 days in the drop zone – Wigan are closest with 590 – so you could say it had been coming.
|Man City’s all-time top scorers|
|Eric Brook – 177|
|Sergio Aguero – 167|
|Tommy Johnson – 166|
|Colin Bell – 153|
|Joe Hayes & Billy Meredith – 152|
|Francis Lee – 148|
Sergio Aguero’s legacy at Manchester City will forever be entwined with a certain title-winning goal five years ago.
And while that late goal against QPR on that fateful day is by far the Argentina striker’s most memorable work, the 28-year-old has been banging out the hits for years now.
So much so that in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough, Aguero took his career goal total at City to 167 and move up to second on the club’s all-time scorers list.
He overhauled Tommy Johnson’s tally of 166, scored between 1920 and 1930, and is just 11 away from replacing 1930s’ poacher Eric Brook at the top of the pile.
Brook scored the second goal in a title-clinching win over Sheffield Wednesday in 1937, but reports the strike was greeted with the wireless commentator screaming “Broooooooooook” are unfounded.