This is shaping up to be a record goal-scoring season in the Premier League.
Peter Crouch may be the front-runner for goal of the season but he ensured his first honour this term would come thanks to the net rippling after a far less auspicious finish last night.
The former Tottenham striker put the ball past team-mate Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal to score the 1000th goal of this Premier League campaign – luckily for him Cameron Jerome was on hand to score the 1001st goal to earn the Potters a point against Everton.
The league is on course for another record-breaking season in terms of goals scored; last season’s record tally of 1063 goals looks sure to be breached with 22 games of the season remaining.
So what where have the deluge of goals come from in the mad-cap league season so far? GMF breaks down all the stats and facts you need to know about this free-scoring season.
Highest and lowest scorers
Both Manchester United and Manchester City have set a blistering pace in the Premier League that no other team have been able to live with – their combined tally of 174 goals this season equates to 17.3 percent of all the goals scored in the Premier League.
United have averaged around 2.26 goals a game while City trump that by scoring on average around 2.44 – at the other end it comes as no surprise that it is quite a different story.
Surprisingly it is Stoke that have scored the fewest goals this season, 34, which is less than all the relegation candidates and yet they sit comfortably in 13th.
Liverpool are serial offenders when it comes to creating chances but not putting them away – the Reds have managed 43 goals from their 631 shots this season.
Although Liverpool are doing their level best to reduce the ratio, the 1001 goals this season have come from 5,192 shots on target, meaning a goal for every 5.1 shots on goal.
Home and away records
QPR hold the unwanted record for leakiest defence on the road, with Mark Hughes’ men shipping 38 goals for their 13 defeats, three wins and two draws away from Loftus Road.
United lead the way at home and have let in just 14 goals at Old Trafford, while Liverpool have lost just four times at Anfield, conceded just one goal more than their fierce rivals but have picked up just 24 points in front of their own fans.
The Reds are one of just three teams alongside West Brom and Bolton to have scored more goals on their travels than at home, while both Aston Villa and Wolves have scored exactly the same figure (19) home and away.
High scoring matches
This year fans have been treated to a whole host of captivating games, starting with Manchester United’s 8-2 demolition of Arsenal right up to last weekend with Swansea’s 4-4 draw against Wolves.
The Swans’ game at on Saturday gave the Premier League it’s fastest strike of the campaign so far, with Andrea Orlandi’s effort finding the back of the net after just 24 seconds.
United’s 8-2 win holds the record for most goals scored in a match and most goals scored by a single team.
However Arsenal can at least share their shame with QPR and Blackburn in being the three teams to have recorded the largest losing margin this season.
QPR’s 6-0 defeat against Fulham in October and Blackburn’s 7-1 loss against Arsenal means the Gunners don’t shoulder that unwanted record alone.
This hasn’t been a vintage year for defences with the record amount of goals scored in a single season about to breached.
Manchester United hold up their end of the bargain, leading the way with 18 clean sheets this campaign, while Norwich’s defence has remained unbreached just twice all season – Paul Lambert’s side are on course to break the record for least clean sheets in a season, three, currently held by Derby and Birmingham (set in 2007/08)
Wolves have proved themselves the most hospitable team this season, with their defence parting kindly for their rivals to put 79 goals past them this season – still ten off the record for a 38 game season held by Derby. Their goal difference is an impressive -41, with Terry Connor’s men being pipped by Derby (-69) once again.
Premier League strikers have set themselves apart this season. Led by Robin van Persie, the likes of Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero have tormented defences up and down the land this season.
However it was one of their forward-brethren that had fallen on hard times that enable the strikers-club to break a record this season; Fernando Torres’s hat-trick against QPR was this season’s 19th – equaling the best previous tally in 1993/4 when there were 22 teams and 82 more games in a season.
Van Persie and Rooney, the league’s two leading scorers on 28 and 26 goals respectively are fast running out of time to match the record of 34 set by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer in consecutive seasons between 1993 and 1995, although once again both had four extra games each to do so in.
The Arsenal striker may count himself unlucky not to be closer to that total however – he’s hit the woodwork ten times this season, the joint highest total across Europe’s top five leagues.
Marc Albrighton found himself at the centre of attention in Aston Villa’s 2-1 defeat against Arsenal as he struck the 20,000th goal in the Premier League’s history.