10 of the craziest Premier League facts: Part 1

Image result for premier league trophy
The Premier League trophy

Since its inception 25 years ago, the Premier League has gone on to become the most entertaining league if not the best one in the world. From the all-conquering Manchester United teams under Sir Alex Ferguson to Arsenal’s Invincibles to Leicester’s stunning against-the-odds victory in 2015/16, the Premier League has seen it all.

Yet the league still manages to provide countless more surprises. Among the “Big 5 leagues” which include countries like England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France, the Premier League generates the highest revenue with around 5.8 billion Euros in the 2016/17 season.

Therefore, for all the Premier League fans, here are 10 crazy facts:

#10 Set-Piece Hattricks

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Le Tissier (celebrating): Southampton's greatest ever

'Set pieces' in footballing terms are used to refer to free-kicks and penalty kicks. So, when Wayne Rooney in 2011 and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier in 1995 scored their hattricks, they had done so in a unique manner. Both players scored their goals entirely from set pieces.

Le Tissier opened his scoring via a free kick and completed his hattrick scoring twice from the penalty spot but still, he was unable to prevent his side from losing 3-4 to Nottingham Forest.

Rooney, on the other hand, managed to come out on the winning side in the famous 8-2 defeat of Arsenal at Old Trafford in 2011. Curling in two beautiful free kicks, United’s record-breaking scorer calmly slotted from the spot to complete his hattrick and rub salt into Arsenal’s wounds.

Also read: 10 greatest Premier League players of all time

#9 The match with no corners

Chelsea v Wigan Athletic - Premier League
From the game without corners

Wigan 0-6 Chelsea 2010: The game got etched into the Premier League history books. One might ask what’s so remarkable about the result.

Chelsea tanking Wigan was quite expected but doing so without earning any corners is even more remarkable. Wigan may have felt their only chance of gaining something out of the game would be through set-pieces, however, there were none!

In the Premier League’s 25-year history, it remains the only game not to have witnessed a corner. Poor Wigan fans.

#8 The game where no one wanted to come off

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Van Nistelrooy tearing Fulham apart

During the 2002/03 season, title-chasing Manchester United welcomed Fulham as they were on their way to the Premier League crown. United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners that day as Ruud Van Nistelrooy netted a hattrick.

As the game wore on, both managers were expected to make substitutions in a bid to provide rest to some of their key players. However, it never materialized, and the game ended with ‘zero’ substitutions. As the match petered out in training ground style, neither manager felt the need to send out a sub.

This Premier League matchup remains the only time when managers used ‘zero’ subs.

#7 Most points from a losing position

Image result for alan shearer 2001/02
Shearer had a big role to play during Newcastle's comebacks


That’s the number of points won by Newcastle United from losing positions in the 2001/02 season on their way to a 4th place finish. That’s the most number of points won from losing positions in the history of the Premier League. Considering, Newcastle finished with 71 points that season, without their comeback abilities, the Magpies would have just stayed clear of relegation finishing 17th.

Newcastle fans would have had bad memories of the number 34 as it was the same number of points they accumulated when they got relegated at the end of the 2008/09 season. How times change.

#6 The Premier league’s most attacking goalkeeper

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League
Paul Robinson: Always handy inside the penalty box

Paul Robinson, who had a successful career in England’s top flight with spells at Leeds, Spurs and Blackburn Rovers was by far the Premier league’s most attacking goalkeeper.

The 41-cap England International has not only scored a Premier League goal but also has most assists by a keeper (5). He has also won a penalty in the opponent’s penalty box.

Robinson’s only goal came when he took a free-kick from 95 yards against Watford, as it sailed over a helpless Ben Foster’s head back in the 2007/08 Premier League season. A real 11th outfield player!

#5 West Ham’s negative goal difference woes

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The hammers could never stop conceding more than they scored

West Ham have been Premier League regulars with the 2017/18 season being their 21st season in the top flight. They have had some memorable seasons in the Premier League finishing as high as 5th in the 1998/99 season.

One surprising fact of their Premier League stay has been their consistency in finishing the season with a negative goal difference. In fact, it is only in the 2015/16 season that the Hammers managed to score more than they let in, that too for the first time since the 1985/86 season.

Considering their poor start to the 2017/18 season which is highlighted by their position in the league table, another season of negative goal difference seems to be on the cards.

#4 Sebastien Bassong’s relegation curse

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Bassong has a total of 6 relegations in is locker to boast about

The Premier league’s most cursed player in terms of relegations, Sebastien Bassong would want to wish for better fortune. The Cameroonian defender has been relegated a record 4 times with three different Premier League teams, more than any other player.

The teams which he took down include Newcastle (2009), Wolverhampton (2012) and Norwich (2014 and 2016). In fact, removing Bassong’s three forgettable years at Tottenham, the defender has faced relegation in 4 of the remaining 5 premier league seasons.

Bassong’s relegation woes have accompanied him from the very beginning of his career having been relegated twice with his boyhood club Metz in 2006 and 2008.

What a poor chap!

#3 Only two players have scored PL penalties with both feet

Everton v West Ham United
Bobby Zamora (l) could strike with both feet with equal intensity

“Ambipedal- the term used for those players who can use both feet with equal ease.”

Step forward Bobby Zamora and Obafemi Martins, Premier League’s only two players to have scored a penalty with either foot.

Zamora is considered to be a left-footer, however with his side Fulham 3-1 up against Newcastle in 2012, the striker decided to take a penalty with his right foot and scored.

Obafemi Martins has long been considered to be ambidextrous player. During his three year stay at Tyneside, Martins scored 2 penalties one each with his right and left foot.

#2 The player who has played for the most number of Premier League clubs

Southampton v Everton
Marcus Bent

Englishman Marcus Bent holds the record for the most number of Premier League clubs on his CV. Astonishingly, Bent played for 8 Premier League clubs during his career.

Bent represented Crystal Palace during the 1997/98 season before getting relegated in the following season. It took Bent another 5 seasons to play in the Premier League helping Blackburn win promotion in 2001. But the striker’s stay did not last much longer as he shifted to Ipswich in the same season.

As Ipswich got relegated in 2002, the striker joined Leicester on loan for the 2003/04 season. After a successful loan spell, Everton decided to splash the cash on the striker. He played a couple of seasons at Goodison Park before joining Charlton Athletic in 2006.

As Charlton got relegated from the Premiership, Bent joined Wigan on loan for the 2007/08 season. The nomadic striker got his final move in the Premier League when he joined a record 8th Premier League club Wolverhampton in 2010.

#1 Three PL players got sent off without touching the ball

Manchester United v Reading
Reading's Dave Kitson receiving straight red as Evra lies on the floor

Andres Johansson (2004), Kieth Gillespie (2007) and Dave Kitson (2007) have something in common. The three players hold the unwanted record of getting sent off without even touching the ball.

On as a late second-half substitute in the last game at Highbury, Johansson, then of Wigan brought down Freddie Ljungberg inside the box subsequently being sent off just 88 seconds into his arrival.

Sheffield United’s Keith Gillespie was technically sent off after zero seconds during a Premier League game against Reading in January 2007. After replacing Derek Geary early in the second half, Gillespie elbowed Stephen Hunt in the face and duly saw red before the game had even been restarted.

Finally, Dave Kitson, on as a second-half substitute against Manchester United at the Theatre of Dreams, lunged in to stop a Patrice Evra clearance completely mistiming the tackle leaving the referee with no choice other than to show red. All this took place 37 seconds after Kitson came on.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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