EPL

Premier League turns 30: The key records, facts and figures as the best league in the world approaches landmark

By Sports Desk August 05, 2022

The Premier League is approaching a landmark age: on August 15, the competition will be 30 years old, with that date ultimately ushering in a golden era for English football.

Although we may be 10 days away from that particular milestone, Friday sees the latest edition of the Premier League kick off with Crystal Palace and Arsenal contesting the opening game of the 2022-23 campaign at Selhurst Park.

As such, it only seems right to jump the gun a little and look back on the first 30 years of what many believe has become the greatest league in world football.

So, buckle up as Stats Perform takes you on a trip down memory lane…

Managing expectations

This is classic 'pub quiz' territory: which manager has presided over the most Premier League games?

You know it's either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, don't you? You probably end up going for the Manchester United icon because of his sheer longevity.

Alas, you'd be wrong.

Wenger took charge of 18 more Premier League games (828) than 'Fergie' before he brought his long Arsenal career to a close.

Nevertheless, Ferguson's 13 titles look unlikely to ever be matched. His closest rival in that respect is Pep Guardiola (four), with Wenger joined on three by Jose Mourinho.

Play on, player

Over the first 30 seasons of the Premier League, 4,488 players have appeared in the competition at an average of 149.6 debutants per campaign.

If we ignore the inaugural season for obvious reasons, the campaign with the most debutants was 2015-16 when 162 players made their Premier League bows.

Of the nearly 4,500 individuals to feature in the competition, Gareth Barry sits clear with the most appearances (653), the last of which came during the 2017-18 season with West Brom.

It's a record that will take some beating, but if anyone's got a chance of toppling him, it's his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner.

The 36-year-old, now of Liverpool, is fourth on the all-time list with 588 outings.

Forever young

Everyone loves a 'wonderkid'. The Premier League has seen more than its fair share over the years, and some got started very, very young.

Mark Platts was the first 16-year-old to ever play in the Premier League when he made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in February 1996.

When Matthew Briggs came along 11 years later and featured for Fulham at 16 years and 68 days old, you'd have been forgiven for thinking his record would stand the test of time.

It lasted 12 years until another Fulham player shaved 38 days off Briggs' record – that player was Harvey Elliott. Now at Liverpool, the young midfielder looks set for a glittering career.

The name of the game

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Wayne Rooney – when you think of Premier League goalscorers, these are probably the names that immediately spring to mind.

Well, you're wrong. You should be thinking about Andrew Johnson, Glen Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Roger Johnson et al.

Why? Because there are more players with the surname Johnson to have scored in the Premier League than any other surname.

There have been 21 of them to be exact, two more than the Williams clan.

Synonymous.

Get to the points

It's been a frustrating few (nine?) years for Man United fans, but don't worry, folks, if you just look at the big (massive) picture, it'll definitely all feel much better.

United still sit top of the overall Premier League table with 2,366 points, giving them a healthy 225-point cushion over second-placed Arsenal.

Manchester City may have won four of the past five league titles, a feat only United had achieved before them in the Premier League, but the real story is that they're way back on 1,629 Premier League points.

Yo-yo with the flow

To be fair, almost every single one of you knows what's coming here.

You guessed it, Norwich City's relegation from the last season makes them the yo-yoingest (yes, we've just made that up) club in Premier League history.

That was their sixth relegation to go with their five promotions to the top flight since 1992, taking them one clear of West Brom, who have the same number of ascensions but only five demotions to their name.

I love goals, goals, goals, goals

Of course, Shearer remains the Premier's League all-time leading scorer with 260, 52 more than Wayne Rooney in second.

But Harry Kane looks to be in with a chance of usurping both England greats – in fact, another solid season could take him beyond 200 as he begins the 2022-23 campaign on 183.

Kane also appears among the very best goalscoring combinations in the competition's history as he and Son Heung-min have linked up for 41 goals – that's five more than Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard as the next-best.

As for high-scoring matches, there have been three Premier League games that have finished with a nine-goal margin – two were achieved by Man United (9-0 v Southampton in February 2021, and v Ipswich Town in March 1995) and Leicester City managed it in October 2019, also crushing Saints 9-0.

Do call it a comeback

Your team's trailing 2-0, you're despondent and bereft of hope. But then, out of nowhere, you've got a goal back. Then the equaliser. And then, just when you'd convinced yourself "this draw feels like a win", a third goes in, and it's pandemonium.

There are few more satisfying situations in football than when you team produces such a turnaround – the despair you were feeling earlier only makes your full-time jubilation that bit more intense.

The biggest such turnarounds that led to wins all involved teams coming back from three goals down. Leeds United, Wimbledon and Wolves have all managed it in 4-3 victories, while Man United beat Spurs 5-3 from 3-0 down.

No team have done so since Wolves in October 2003, although Newcastle United certainly deserve a special mention – they are the only team to find themselves 4-0 down and avoid defeat. Their 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011 remains a Premier League classic.

Stop the clock!

Here's another for the pub quiz enthusiasts: who scored the quickest goal in Premier League history?

Netting just 7.69 seconds into an April 2019 game between Southampton and Watford, Shane Long opened the scoring to break a 19-year record that had been set by Spurs defender Ledley King.

To put that into context, it'd take you longer to read that sentence. It was also quicker than Usain Bolt's world-record time in the 100 metres (9.58 seconds).

The latest goal ever is maybe a less notable record, but it nonetheless belongs to Bruno Fernandes, who in September 2020 scored a penalty after 99 minutes and 45 seconds to seal United a dramatic 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – yes, that's the game when the Seagulls hit the woodwork a record five times.

As for the quickest hat-trick, that was scored by Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, with his first and third goals separated by just two minutes and 56 seconds.

Related items

  • Judge stands alone atop AL history with record-breaking 62nd home run, Braves clinch NL East Judge stands alone atop AL history with record-breaking 62nd home run, Braves clinch NL East

    Aaron Judge stands alone at the top of home run history in the American League after breaking Roger Maris' 61-year single-season homer record with his 62nd blast in the New York Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

    Judge, who had hit just one homer in his previous 13 games coming in, blasted a 1-1 slider off Rangers' pitcher Jesus Tinoco over the left-field fence for a lead-off homer to break the mark.

    The Yankees outfielder's home run was his 62nd of the season, surpassing Maris' 61-homer mark from 1961, which he had matched last Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    The blast came in the Yankees' penultimate game of the regular season, with Judge's 62 homers sitting seventh for most in a single season in MLB history.

    Ahead of Judge are only three players, all from 1997 to 2001; Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1999 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (66 in 1998, 64 in 2001, 63 in 1999).

    The home run means 11 of Judge's past 14 blasts have come on the road. Gerrit Cole also made franchise history, reaching 257 strikeouts for the most in a single season for the Yankees.

    The Yankees were beaten after the Rangers added two fifth-inning runs, with the visitors having won the first game in the double header 5-4 when Judge went one-for-five with a single.

    Braves complete turnaround to clinch NL East

    Following their sweep over the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves clinched their fifth straight National League (NL) East title with a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.

    William Contreras drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning with an infield single, earning the reigning world champions a first-round bye as the NL second seed. The achievement comes after the Braves had trailed the Mets by 10-and-a-half games in June.

    Jake Odorizzi had seven strikeouts across five innings, while Kenley Jansen recorded his 41st save with a perfect ninth inning. Ronald Acuna Jr hit a second-inning single to give the Braves an early lead.

    AL seeds locked in as Verlander stars for Astros

    The Seattle Mariners locked in the number five seed in the AL playoffs with a 7-6 walkoff win over the Detroit Tigers, highlighted by back-up catcher Luis Torrens pitching the 10th inning.

    Entering extras ahead of the postseason, the Mariners shuffled their deck, with Torrens becoming the first position player other than Shohei Ohtani to earn a win since John Baker in 2014 for the Chicago Cubs. Abraham Toro's sacrifice fly allowed Carlos Santana to score the walkoff run.

    That result meant the Tampa Bay Rays were locked for the third AL Wild Card spot, not helped by a 6-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox where Xander Bogaerts delivered a fifth-inning grand slam.

    Meanwhile, the Houston Astros go into the postseason as the AL top seed after a 10-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies where Cy Young Award favourite Justin Verlander had 10 K's and kept the opposition hitless until the ninth inning.

  • 'It's a big relief' - Judge blown away after surpassing Maris' AL record with 62nd home run 'It's a big relief' - Judge blown away after surpassing Maris' AL record with 62nd home run

    History-maker Aaron Judge admits finally breaking Roger Maris' American League single-season home run record is a "big relief" after launching his 62nd blast against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

    Judge's lead-off homer for the New York Yankees surpassed Maris' 61-year record, having matched the mark last Wednesday, going five games without a homer leading up.

    The Yankees outfielder's 62nd home run for the season came in their penultimate regular season game, putting him seventh all-time for homers in a single season.

    Judge had already exceeded Babe Ruth's mark from 1927 of 60 home runs in a season, before getting past Maris with 61 from 1961.

    "It's a big relief," Judge said. "I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ball game, you know? But it's been a fun ride so far.

    "Getting a chance to do this, with the team we've got, the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family whose been with me through this whole thing, it's been a great honor.

    "Getting a chance to have my name next to someone as great as Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, those guys, is incredible."

    Judge's pursuit of his 62nd home run has felt like a circus with the anticipation surrounding him every time he was at bat, from both the dugout and the stands.

    The outfielder's teammates gathered at the home plate after his historic home run to congratulate him, before receiving a standing ovation from the Texas crowd.

    "Pretty surreal," Judge said. "Just like in Toronto, it was pretty awesome, having their support. I think, in Texas, they were a little more excited, they could finally exhale.

    "At home, in the dugout, I can see right in and see all the guys sitting at the top steps. Here on the road, they are behind me, so I didn't see the 40-plus people sitting in the dugout.

    "To finally see them run out on the field, and get a chance to hug them all, that's what it's about for me."

    Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, who made his own history with a franchise record 257th strikeout in a single season, was glowing in praise of Judge.

    "Even just to tie the record, let alone break it is a bit surreal," Cole said. "And obviously, on a night like tonight, it's just like, 'Woah'… It's hard to put into words."

    Judge has hit the most home runs in a single season of any center fielder in MLB history, previously 56 held by Hack Wilson (1930) and Ken Griffey Jr (1997 and 1998).

    The Yankee's latest blast means he is 16 homers ahead of the MLB's next best, Kyle Schwarber with 46. Judge's 16-homer lead is the largest since Jimmie Foxx's 17-homer margin over Ruth from 1932.

    Judge's 62 home runs have totaled a distance of 25,520 feet which is nearly five miles, and a single-season record since Statcast started tracking that in 2015, exceeding teammate Giancarlo Stanton's 2017 mark of 24,641 feet.

  • Barcelona confirms Christensen ankle ligament sprain in Inter defeat Barcelona confirms Christensen ankle ligament sprain in Inter defeat

    Barcelona's injury woes have worsened with defender Andreas Christensen suffering a ligament sprain in his ankle in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League defeat to Inter.

    Christensen was substituted out of the game in the 58th minute after struggling for a few minutes with the issue and Barcelona have since confirmed the left ankle injury.

    The club said further tests would be carried out on Wednesday to ascertain the full extent of the injury.

    Christensen's injury comes ahead of tough games, taking on Celta Vigo in La Liga this weekend, before the reverse fixture with Inter on October 12 and the Clasico against Real Madrid on October 16. The Blaugrana take on Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga after that.

    The ex-Chelsea defender was replaced by veteran Gerard Pique, who will likely come into starting calculations.

    Christensen has started three LaLiga matches and all three of Barcelona's Champions League matches this term.

    The 26-year Denmark international joins Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo on the sidelines at Camp Nou due to injury.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.