21 December 2011
This article was regularly updated until the Premier League’s 20,000th goal was scored … BUT IT’S OVER NOW PEOPLE. GO HOME
8.56pm. GOAL! And that’s it. Marc Albrighton of Aston Villa (v Arsenal) scored the 20,000th goal in Premier League history.
Thank you and goodnight.
** Goes to lie down in dark room **
8.44pm: GOAL! Ryan Giggs scores 19,999.
8.38pm: Two goals to go. Thank goodness. Can’t stand much more excitement.
Tear in the eye reading Brian Sears’ email. “We’re all wearing anoraks now,” he writes.
Oh yes siree. Read some of Brian’s brilliant work here.
And while we’re at it, we should point out that football wasn’t invented in 1992. We know that!
8.29pm: Email just in from our brilliant stats man Brian Sears, who is monitoring things from his anorak cupboard. But we’ll have to come back to that.
GOALS! West Brom get another. 19,997.
Three to go. Then Man Utd’s second makes it 19,998. Two to go.
8.24pm: GOAL! Make that four to go. Johnson for Man City makes it 19,996.
Remember: £20,000 charity cash at stake.
And Jordan, Ethiopa and Colombia have joined the party. As in readers following this sensationally interesting page. Pull up a chair. Sit down. Not long now.
8.22pm: GOALS! Two more. Demba Ba for Newcastle is 19,994, then Nicklas Bendtner, wing mirror wrecking boy, nets for Sunderland, 19,995.
Five. To. Go.
8.18pm: GOAL! At the Etihad. Aguero. That’s 19,993. Seven to go.
And my goodness, have we gone global now?
Oh yes siree.
Malaysia, Ghana and the Czech Republic all tuning is as we type. And Lebanon. And Germany. And four people in Bristol.
And one in the Cayman Islands. If you’re that person, do please email and let us know what the weather’s doing. Please. Seven to go …
8.12pm: RVP has now scored 34 goals in the calendar year. That’s not bad at all. Will he score the 20,000th in the Premier League? The excitement is containable.
8.09pm: Pheeeewwwww! WE got goals, people. It’s going to happen tonight. Eight goals to go. West Brom’s was by Peter Osaze Odemwingie, born in Tashkent, raised in Russia, plays for Nigeria. And makes his living at the highest ground in England.
8.06pm: GOALS! West Brom have scored at Newcastle, 19,991, and so have Manchester United versus Fulham. Wellbeck for 19,992.
8.02pm GOAL! Robin Van P for the Arse. 19,990. Ten goals to go. Thank goodness.
7.58pm: The Liverpool players’ shirts in support of Suarez appear to be polarizing opinion. Liverpool fans on one side. Most others on the other, including, it has to be said, former LFC stalwart Mark Lawrenson. Who’s on the radio with Jason Roberts, who also finds the gesture inappropriate.
Now. Someone. Please. Score. A. Goal.
7.52pm: The Premier League is a global game, as we think we’ve mentioned before. And thanks to the joys of live Google analytics, we know that at this very minute readers are watching this stream of consciousness gubbins as far afield as Malawi, Iceland, Romania, Israel, New Zealand and Croydon.
Now somebody give us a goal.
Seven 0-0s in not what we want tonight.
7.47pm. And we’re off. Action underway across the country. Goodness how terrifically exciting it is waiting for this utterly arbitrary milestone.
7.42pm: The 17,000th Premier League goal was scored by Rory Delap. And James Milner. In other words, someone was really paying attention and they’re not sure whether Delap for Stoke (v Chelsea) or Milner (Villa v Sunderland) got that one on 17 January 2009.
What we do know is that Ashley Cashley ‘I nearly swerved off the f***in’ road’ Cole scored the 18,000th goal, for Chelsea against Sunderland in January 2010.
And Nani scored the 19,000th for Manchester United against Stoke on 4 January this year.
And that’s it. We’re up to date. 19,989 before this evening’s games kick off in three minutes or so.
7.33pm: The 12,000th goal was scored by the fence creosote wizard, Shearer (for Newcastle v Spurs, 2003), and the 13,000th by Fred Kanoute (Spurs v Boro). The 14,000th was also for Spurs by Defoe (v Birmingham) and the 15,000th was by Moritz ‘15,000’ Volz. Freakily, the 16,000th goal was scored by Defoe against …. Birmingham. Whoda thunk it?
7.25pm: The 11,000th Premier League goal was scored by Jay Jay Okocha, for Bolton against Blackburn on 7 December 2002. A video of some of his Bolton highlights and other stuff (to dramatic music) is linked here.
7.19pm: Via Twitter, Dean Strachan asks if there is any truth in Alan Green’s suggestion that Venky’s didn’t know relegation was possible from the Premier League.
They knew. But I suspect they did not (and perhaps still don’t) fully appreciate the extent of financial ramifications, the loss of income, the choice to be made on selling players (to cut losses) and keeping them (to maintain best chance of going up).
7.16pm: But back to the 20,000th Premier League goal countdown.
We’ve mentioned the 1,000th already. The 2,000th to 10,000th were scored respectively by Micky Quinn (for Coventry, 1994), Klas Ingesson (Sheff Wed v Everton, 1994), Alan Shearer (Blackburn v West Ham, 1995), Andy Townsed and Chris Sutton (dead heat for Villa and Blackburn on 7 December 1996), Nathan Blake (Bolton, 1997), Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal v Villa 1998), Gus Poyet (Chelsea v Sunderland, 1999), Nicky Butt (Man Utd v Derby, 2000) and Les Ferdinand (Spurs v Everton, 15 December 2001).
7.12pm: Various emails from concerned Blackburn fans, including on why Avram Grant is currently in India. But none that can really be printed, as they’re not on the right side of the libel line and involve lurid suggestions about his free time.
6.50pm: Do feel free to email random thoughts on goals or issues of the day to firstname.lastname@example.org. And we might publish any that stray on the right side of the law.
6.44pm: The first ever goal in the Premier League was scored by Brian Deane for Sheffield United against Manchester United on 15 August 1992.
6.35pm: There are seven Premier League games this evening. Three of them kick off at 7.45pm. That’s Aston Villa versus Arsenal, Manchester City versus Stoke, and Newcastle versus West Brom.
Then four others kick off at 8pm. That’s Everton versus Swansea, Fulham versus Manchester United, QPR versus Sunderland, and Wigan versus Liverpool.
Have a look at the table linked here to see how prolific (or not) each team has been in the Premier League this season.
At each club’s current rate of scoring, we’d expect 19 or 20 goals in total tonight.
Manchester City have scored a staggeringly goal-tastic 50 times already, in 16 games, at a rate of 3.13 goals per game.
At the other end, Wigan and QPR have scored only 15 goals each in 16 games, or 0.94 goals per game.
But let’s not believe attack is the best form of defence. Blackburn, bottom of the table, have scored more than Liverpool, aspiring for the top.
Wednesday 6.26pm: At the start of play in the Premier League this evening, the total tally of goals since the Premier League started in 1992-93 will stand at 19,989.
That means 11 more goals are needed to reach the 20,000th, as we first reported last month.
The milestone means what? Not a lot, of course. England has had league football since 1888. Before telly even.
But landmarks like this are fun, no?
The Premier League has seen some magnificent goals in its time. The one linked here, by Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal at Newcastle in March 2002, is widely considered to be among the best, possibly the best.
Having said that, Matt Le Tissier scored some crackers, in the Premier League and before it started.
In the video linked in the previous sentence, Le Tiss’s goal v Blackburn (4min 10sec) was his own personal favourite, while this stunning pair against Newcastle weren’t too shabby.
[NB: Premier League killjoys who don’t appreciate the benefits of good PR for their league may have these links removed. They run the world’s most popular football competition and do many things exceptionally well, but common sense occasionally eludes them. I mean, jeepers! How hard would be it to run a feature on their own website giving a flavour of some of the brilliant goals of the last 20 years? Answer: very easy. Have they done it? No. Doh!].