·21 March 2023
·21 March 2023
10) Most goals in a Premier League season
The records in a 42-game and 38-game season respectively are 34 and 32; Haaland is on 28
It was in only the second and third ever Premier League seasons that a seemingly unassailable bar was set and then immediately equalled. Andy Cole scored 34 goals for Newcastle in 1993/94, holding off the challenge of Alan Shearer. But the Blackburn striker matched that tally the next year to deliver the only Premier League title of his career in the top-flight’s final 42-game season.
For more than two decades the 31 goals Shearer scored in the 1995/96 season was the benchmark across 38 matches. It was reached by Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez but not beaten until Mo Salah came along for Liverpool in 2017/18. Haaland needs five goals in 11 games to surpass the Egyptian, then two more to finally conquer Cole and Shearer.
9) Most matches scored in during a Premier League season
The record is 24; Haaland is on 17
Salah scoring just the one hat-trick for Liverpool in that remarkable 2017/18 season – sticking four goals past Watford in a 5-0 win at Vicarage Road – meant he broke an arguably more challenging record. It is one thing to stat-pad with substantial hauls against weaker teams but a whole other to vanquish every kind of side with no discrimination.
The brilliance of Salah’s feat was that he scored a single goal and no more in 18 games, netting in 24 matches overall. Haaaland has scored in 17 of Manchester City’s 27 games so it is perfectly reasonable to expect this record to be tested.
8) Most teams scored against in a Premier League season
The record in both a 42-game and 38-game season is 17; Haaland is on 15
Strikers tend to get two bites of the other 19 cherries in a Premier League season, yet the most opponents a player has scored against in any top-flight campaign since 1992 is 17. Again, Cole and Shearer achieved that tally in their seminal seasons.
Since then, Ian Wright (1996/97), Robin van Persie (2011/12) and Salah (2017/18, of course) have scored against all but two of the teams on offer in a season. Wright missed out Sunderland – whom he faced only once – and Man Utd, Van Persie could not check off Fulham or Manchester City, and Salah forgot Man Utd and Swansea on his list.
Haaland has scored against all but four teams, each of whom he has faced only once thus far: Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea and Brentford. His opportunities to right those perceived wrongs come on April 1, April 15, May 20 and May 28 respectively.
The record is five; Haaland is on four
Nice and easy. Shearer scored hat-tricks against Coventry, Nottingham Forest, West Ham, Bolton and Tottenham in his debut Premier League season for Newcastle. Haaland has trebles against Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Man Utd and Wolves. One more to equal the record; two to break it.
6) Most goals in all competitions in one season by a Premier League player
The record is 44; Haaland is on 42
Another hat-trick would be enough for Haaland to achieve one of his more remarkable debut season feats. Alongside his 28 goals in the Premier League, the Norwegian has 10 in the Champions League, three in the FA Cup and one in the League Cup. That puts him two behind the record all-competition marks of Salah in 2017/18 (32 in the PL, 10 in the CL, 1 in CL qualifying and 1 in the FA Cup) and Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002/03 (25 in the PL, 12 in the CL, 2 in CL qualifying, 4 in the FA Cup and 1 in the League Cup).
Both counting Champions League qualifying in their hauls with a serious face does make it far easier to stomach Haaland goal-robotting them into oblivion by April.
5) Most goals in a Champions League season
The record is 17; Haaland is on 10
While a quarter-final with Bayern Munich might ordinarily kill such hopes dead, Haaland has five goals in seven games – all defeats – against the Bundesliga giants for an inferior Dortmund team. Manchester City ought to be his great leveller.
Leipzig felt the full force of the Norwegian, who doubled his European goal tally for the season in a destructive hour at the Etihad. There will be no repeat of that performance but a smattering of goals in the last eight, one or two more to fuel Real Madrid’s transfer obsession for the next decade and a forlorn strike in an overthought final defeat will take him past Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted 17 times to see La Decima over the line in 2013/14.
4) Most consecutive Premier League matches scored in
The record is 11; Haaland is on 1
Hands up: this one is a reach. Haaland would need to score in every remaining Manchester City game to break the record Jamie Vardy set in November 2015. But then Haaland scoring in every remaining Manchester City game is hardly an unreasonable prospect and the heat of an intense title race could finally coax some decent form out of him.
And it would be great fun to ramp up the Jimmy Dunne discourse again if we’re being completely honest.
3) Most combined goals and assists in a Premier League season
The records in a 42-game and 38-game season respectively are 47 and 44; Haaland is on 33
That selfish sod Haaland has only directly set up five Premier League goals while having 28 laid on a plate for him. Bernardo Silva was the beneficiary of a lovely Norwegian flick against Newcastle at the start of March; Ilkay Gundogan converted a delightful driven cross against Aston Villa in February; two stunning passes sent Phil Foden on his way to a Manchester derby hat-trick in October; and Gundogan again benefitted from some glorious hold-up play against Bournemouth in August.
Haaland will likely need to pitch in a little more and help his teammates out because he cannot rely on goals alone to catch Shearer or Cole, who both scored 34 goals and assisted 13 in their aforementioned record-shattering 42-game campaigns, nor even 38-game leader Thierry Henry. The Frenchman scored 24 goals and assisted 20 in 2002/03 yet that was still not enough for Arsenal to win the league. Haaland could well post similarly daft individual numbers while missing out on the grand trophy to the Gunners.
2) Most goals in an English top-flight league season by a non-British or Irish player
The record is 33; Haaland is on 28
The first non-British or Irish player to win a purely anachronistic Golden Boot in an English top-flight league season remains the gold standard for foreign scoring excellence. George Robledo hit 33 goals in the 1951/52 First Division for a Newcastle side which contrived to still finish eighth. The FA Cup was a fine consolation prize and it just so happened that the Chilean netted the only goal in the final against Arsenal too. No player has come to these shores and usurped the Chilean since, giving Haaland another previously insurmountable obstacle to stride past backwards while blindfolded.
1) Most goals in a debut English top-flight season
The record is 38; Haaland is on 28
The most goals scored in a debut Premier League season remain the 30 plundered by Kevin Phillips for Sunderland in 1999/2000. And while football was not invented in 1992, this record belongs to the Black Cats regardless.
Sunderland had been challenging for the First Division title with semi-regularity after the First World War, but Dave Halliday was intended to help them take that next step. And to his credit, the striker did his bit: he scored at least 35 goals in each of his four league seasons with the club, starting with 38 in a productive debut campaign. Yet Sunderland did not win their next title until 1936, seven years after Halliday left for Arsenal.
Halliday is still one of just two players to finish as the outright top scorer in both England and Scotland’s top divisions, alongside the earlier David McLean. He is also the quickest player ever to reach 100 goals in England’s top flight, taking 101 games. Haaland will have his eye on breaking that 38-goal barrier first, then focus on the century if he sticks around long enough.
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