Ask Norman: Goals, own goals and hat-tricks
Norman Hubbard is Soccernet's resident anorak. If you have any questions on football facts, statistics or trivia, please send them to email@example.com and he'll try to answer as many as possible.
Ryan Giggs has scored in every single season of top-flight football he has played. Are there any team/teams in particular that he has scored against every single season? asked Alvin from Singapore
Giggs has indeed scored in 21 successive seasons of top-flight football, including all 19 years of the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, he hasn't scored against the same club every year. His most frequent victims have been Tottenham and Middlesbrough, who have both conceded ten goals to the winger, followed by Southampton and Everton (seven each). In contrast, he has taken on Crystal Palace 11 times without finding the net; every side he has faced more often, he has scored against at least once.
Which club has beaten Manchester United the most? asked Ellie Sworo
That distinction falls to Arsenal, who have won 77 of their 209 games against United, putting them way clear of Everton (62 victories) and Liverpool (60). That breaks down as ten Premier League victories, 47 in the old Division 1, nine in Division 2, four in the Charity Shield, five in the FA Cup and two in the League Cup. However, lest Arsenal appear United's bogey team, it is worth mentioning that the men from Manchester have won more (86) than they have lost.
Which team has scored the most number of goals and which player has scored the most hat-tricks in the Premier League? asked Benny E L Zulu from Lusaka, Zambia
The leading scorers are Manchester United, who have managed 1,388 goals, including Dimitar Berbatov's treble against Liverpool on Sunday.
The man with the most hat-tricks in the Premier League is, perhaps not surprisingly, the man with the most goals. Alan Shearer's 260 Premier League goals included 11 hat-tricks, including a five-goal haul against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. After him, Robbie Fowler has nine trebles and Thierry Henry and Michael Owen eight apiece.
Has there ever been a match in the Premier League when two players scored a hat-trick for their respective team in the same game? asked Fuad Hassan
There is one instance of players on different sides scoring a hat-trick. It came in December 2007 at the JJB Stadium (as it was then called). Marcus Bent struck three times for Wigan and Roque Santa Cruz managed a 16-minute hat-trick for Blackburn in a 5-3 win for the home side. It was also Steve Bruce's first win in his second spell as Wigan manager.
In addition, there is one match where two players from the same side have both scored a hat-trick: Arsenal's 6-1 win over Southampton in May 2003 when the home side's goals were shared equally between Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires.
Being a Red Devil since the Bryan Robson days, I was wondering whether the ten own goals contributed by opponents in the 2009-10 season is the highest number for a team in a season. And in tribute to Jamie Carragher (who scored two own goals against Manchester United in a game), who holds the record as the top own goalscorer? asked Adzwan Tigana from Malaysia
Manchester United eventually benefited from 12 own goals last season, which was double the previous record. Three of them came courtesy of Portsmouth players in the same match, February's 5-0 win at Old Trafford.
As you mentioned, Jamie Carragher managed two own goals in United's 3-2 win at Anfield in September 1999. In total, he has six Premier League own goals, giving him a share of a record with Aston Villa's Richard Dunne and the former Chelsea and Leicester defender Frank Sinclair. The latter's achievements included two 90th-minute own goals in the first week of the 1999-2000 season, costing Leicester three points. Dunne, incidentally, also holds a share of another unwanted record: his eight red cards is the most in Premier League history, though equalled by Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson.
To return to the subject of own goals, Middlesbrough defender Bobby Stuart apparently managed to beat his own goalkeeper five times in the 1934-5 season. As he only scored twice at the right end in his Boro career, he was only prolific in the wrong goal.
Would you be kind enough to tell me how many Premier League goals Chelsea's Ivorian striker Didier Drogba has scored for the club? asked Akanimoh Patrick from Nigeria
Including his strike against Blackpool on Sunday, September 19, Drogba has 89 Premier League goals. Only Frank Lampard (106) has scored more in the Premier League era for Chelsea.
Now that Spurs have qualified for the Champions League, I would like to know some of Spurs' records in Europe. I know that we were the first British winner of a European trophy - the Cup Winners' Cup (in 1963). Who has made the most appearances and scored the most goals for them in Europe? asked Kah Leong
Martin Chivers, a member of the side that won the Uefa Cup in 1972, is Spurs' record scorer in Europe by some distance. He managed 22 goals in continental competition, nine more than his team-mates Martin Peters and Alan Gilzean, plus Mark Falco, a UEFA Cup winner a dozen years later.
The man who appeared most often for Spurs in Europe is the player with most games for the club in total: Steve Perryman's record 854 games included 64 in either the UEFA Cup or the Cup Winners' Cup.