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Premier League: Statistical feats involving the number 30 to mark anniversary

Only 11 times has a player scored 30 goals in a Premier League season

Tom White
Friday 12 August 2022 12:06 BST
Alan Shearer, left, accounted for three of the Premier League’s 11 30-goal seasons (John Giles/PA)
Alan Shearer, left, accounted for three of the Premier League’s 11 30-goal seasons (John Giles/PA) (PA Archive)

As the Premier League reaches its 30th anniversary, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the major statistical feats involving the number 30.

30 years, 30 goals

Only 11 times has a player scored 30 goals in a Premier League season, shared between nine different players with the league’s record scorer Alan Shearer accounting for three of them.

Andy Cole, 1993-94

Andy Cole was prolific for Newcastle (PA) (PA Archive)

Cole won the Golden Boot with 34 goals for Newcastle, edging out another 30-goal man…

Alan Shearer, 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96

Shearer finished three behind Cole on 31 before emulating his 34 goals, still a record for a Premier League season, the following term and adding another 31 in 1995-96.

Kevin Phillips, 1999-2000

The Sunderland striker became the first Englishman to win the European Golden Shoe.

Thierry Henry, 2003-04

Thierry Henry fired Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ to the title (Sean Dempsey/PA) (PA Archive)

Arsenal’s record scorer peaked with 30 goals in the centre of a run of five straight seasons scoring at least 24 in the league.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 2007-08

The season the Manchester United star blossomed from promising 22-year-old winger into all-conquering football supernova with 31 league goals.

Robin van Persie, 2011-12

The Dutchman’s final season at Arsenal saw him sign off in style before joining United.

Luis Suarez, 2013-14

The controversial Uruguayan increased his goal tally every year on Merseyside, eventually becoming Liverpool’s first 30-goal Premier League striker. He would not be the last.

Mohamed Salah, 2017-18

Mohamed Salah set a record for a 38-game season (Dave Thompson/PA) (PA Archive)

Salah put his short-lived spell at Chelsea firmly behind him, setting a record for a 38-goal Premier League season with 32 goals in his first year at Anfield.

Harry Kane, 2017-18

Kane was edged out by Salah for the Golden Boot in the first season since 1993-94 to feature two 30-goal players.

30 games and counting

Arsenal have two of the Premier League’s five unbeaten runs of 30-plus games, including a record 49 (Sean Dempsey/PA) (PA Archive)

There have been five unbeaten runs of 30 or more games in the Premier League’s 30 years, the record being Arsenal’s 49 between May 2003 and October 2004.

That run, encompassing their ‘Invincible’ title-winning season, was ended by Manchester United with a half-century on the line – sparking the famous ‘Pizzagate’ tunnel row in which United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was hit by the foodstuff in question, with Gunners midfielder Cesc Fabregas eventually claiming responsibility.

Liverpool came nearest to matching that with 44 on their way to the 2019-20 title, with the run starting in January of the previous season and only ending with defeat to Watford in the 28th game of their victorious campaign.

Chelsea are the other team to reach 40, between October 2004 and November 2005 in Jose Mourinho’s first spell at the club, while Arsenal have a second run of 30 which was matched by Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side won the 2018 title.

Manchester United surprisingly do not feature on that list but do have two 30-game unbeaten runs at Old Trafford – 35 between 1994 and 1996 and then 36 from Boxing Day 1998 to December 2000. Chelsea’s 86 games from March 2004 to October 2008 is the longest unbeaten home run, while there have been nine of 30-plus games in Premier League history.

Derby remain without a win in more than 30 Premier League games (Chris Radburn/PA) (PA Archive)

The only 30-game winless streak in Premier League history is technically ongoing, with Derby winning none of the last 32 games of their 11-point season in 2007-08. They were relegated and are yet to return, with this season’s drop to League One leaving them further away than ever.

Norwich, Watford and Fulham all have 30-game winless away runs but no team has gone 30 unbeaten away or 30 without a win at home.

Antonio leads scoring chart

Michail Antonio is the Premier League’s top-scoring number 30 (Clive Rose/PA) (PA Archive)

Having only last season switched to the number nine shirt, West Ham striker Michail Antonio has scored the most Premier League goals of any player wearing number 30.

Antonio made 159 appearances in that number, also a top-flight record, and scored 46 times – almost one-fifth of all goals scored by number 30s.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah enjoyed a prolific run while wearing 30 in the 30th Premier League season, 2021-22 – one of seven players to do so along with Kortney Hause (Aston Villa), Mads Roerslev (Brentford), Donny van de Beek (Everton), Joe Gelhardt (Leeds), Dimitris Giannoulis (Norwich) and Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham). Nketiah has moved to the Gunners’ famous number 14 shirt for the new campaign.

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