Goal rush Gunners

Behind the Numbers - 400 Premier League home games

This week our statistician Josh James looks at a club record broken at the weekend.

Arsenal scored 16 goals in three matches against Reading this season, breaking the club record for most goals against a team during a single campaign.

The previous record had stood for more than 100 years, set against Loughborough Town way back in 1899/1900 when the Gunners (then Woolwich Arsenal) were in Division Two.

"The 12 goals scored at the Madejski is also a record for most goals scored by Arsenal at a single away stadium in a season, beating the 10 scored at Anfield in 2006/07"

That season Arsenal scored 15 goals against Loughborough in just two matches, including the Club's all-time record league win - a 12-0 home victory on March 12, 1900.

Arsenal had six different scorers in that game, including Ralph Gaudie who scored a hat-trick. Interestingly, this most famous and long-standing of Arsenal records would not have stood, had the original game not been abandoned after 75 minutes on Boxing Day, with the Gunners 4-0 up.

The rearranged game was played just nine days after the away fixture (a 3-2 win) meaning that not only were all 15 goals v Loughborough scored in one season, but in a single month.

In the modern era, the club record for most goals in a season before this year was the 14 plundered against Everton, during three games, in 2004/05.

The goals started to flow in the very first fixture of the season, the Gunners kicking off the defence of their league title with a 4-1 win at Goodison Park.

In November the teams met again in the Carling Cup fourth round, this time at Highbury. Despite falling 1-0 behind a young Arsenal side responded to triumph 3-1. Then, in the final home game of the season, Arsène Wenger's men dismantled the Toffees 7-0. It was the last time Arsenal wore the famous red and white at Highbury (they sported a one-off redcurrant kit the following campaign).

What made these three results even more impressive was that this was the season Everton broke into the Premier League's top four. They finished fourth, three points ahead of Liverpool, though with a minus goal difference.

The Gunners' 14 goals against Everton were scored by 10 different players: Robert Pires 3, Arturo Lupoli 2, Dennis Bergkamp 2, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie 1, Patrick Vieira 1, Edu 1, Mathieu Flamini 1, Robin van Persie 1, Jose Antonio Reyes 1 and Freddie Ljungberg 1.

"Ten different scorers against one team in a single season remains a club record"

Improbably, despite playing 135 minutes, Thierry Henry was not among them.

Ten different scorers against one team in a single season remains a club record.

The other time Arsenal scored 14 goals against one side was way back in 1934/35, against Leicester City. Again the goals came in three games - an 8-0 home win in Division One, a 5-3 victory in the return match on the penultimate day of the season, and a 1-0 away win the FA Cup fourth round.

George Allison's side won the league that year (completing a hat-trick of titles) and it was also the season in which Arsenal scored 11 times in two league games against Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal goals against single opposition in a single season (all competitions)

Team Season Goals Games
Reading 2012/13 16 3
Loughborough Town 1899/1900 15 2
Everton 2004/05 14 3
Leicester City 1934/35 14 3
Brighton 1979/80 13 5
Leeds United 2003/04 13 3
Liverpool 2006/07 13 4
Middlesbrough 2003/04 13 5
Grimsby 1947/48 12 2
Ashford United 1893/94 12 1
Aston Villa 1930/31 11 4
Blackburn Rovers 1932/33 11 2
Blackpool 1930/31 11 2
Darwen 1931/32 11 1
Derby County 2007/08 11 2
Leicester City 1930/31 11 2
Stoke City 1949/50 11 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1934/35 11 2
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2003/04 11 3

Arsenal's 16 goals against Reading this term actually came in three and a third games (300 minutes) as they include the three goals scored in extra-time in the Capital One Cup fourth-round match in October.

That made it seven goals in all for Arsenal in that match, and five more came when Arsène Wenger's team returned to the Madejski Stadium for the Premier League match in December.

The 12 goals scored at the Madejski is also a record for most goals scored by Arsenal at a single away stadium in a season, beating the 10 scored at Anfield in 2006/07.

Saturday's 4-1 win at Emirates Stadium completed the series against Reading, meaning that just a quarter of the 16 goals were scored at home. This compares to 71 per cent of the goals v Everton in 2004/05 and 80 per cent of the goals v Loughborough in 1900 coming at home.

"Arsenal scored, on average, once every 18 minutes 45 seconds against Reading this season, and took a shot every 209 seconds"

Overall there were 24 goals in the three matches with Reading (an average of eight per game), with 15 different players on target for the two sides - Laurent Koscielny scored for both teams.

Arsenal's 16 goals (17.4 per cent of the team's total this season) were scored by eight different players, including hat-tricks for both Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla. Arsenal scored, on average, once every 18 minutes 45 seconds against Reading this season, and took a shot every 209 seconds.

Olivier Giroud was the only player who appeared in all three games for the Gunners, who used three different goalkeepers in the fixtures (Damian Martinez, Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski).

Saturday's victory also extended Arsenal's all-time 100 per cent record against the Royals. It's now 12 wins from 12 meetings, starting with a 1-0 FA Cup win in 1935. The aggregate score for the 12 games is Arsenal 37, Reading 12, at an average of more than four goals a game.

Reading are the only side against whom Arsenal have a 100 per cent record (six meetings or more).

Arsenal all time record v Reading

Date Competition Score Venue
February 16, 1935 FA Cup 1-0 A
January 1, 1968 League Cup 1-0 H
February 5, 1972 FA Cup 2-1 A
January 10, 1987 FA Cup 3-1 A
November 29, 2005 League Cup 3-0 H
October 22, 2006 Premier League 4-0 A
March 3, 2007 Premier League 2-1 H
November 12, 2007 Premier League 3-1 A
April 19, 2008 Premier League 2-0 H
October 30, 2012 League Cup 7-5 A
December 17, 2012 Premier League 5-2 A
March 30, 2013 Premier League 4-1 H

Arsenal stats v Reading, 2012/13

Minutes played 300
Goals scored 16
Goalscorers 8
Goals conceded 8
Shots 86
Shots on target 32
Corners 29
Average possession 67 per cent
Total passes 2,136

The nine goals scored against Reading in Premier League fixtures this season is also the most Arsenal have notched against any one team so far this term, although it's short of the Club's Premier League record.

"Arsenal have scored at least eight goals against a single opponent in each of the past 11 seasons"

The most goals Arsenal have scored against one team for the home and away fixtures combined in the Premier League era remains at 11 - against Everton in 2004/05 and Derby County in 2007/08.

The Everton matches are covered above, while the games against Derby in 2007/08 were notable for featuring two hat-tricks, both scored by Emmanuel Adebayor. It's the only time in Premier League history a player has scored home and away hat-tricks against the same team in a single season.

Arsenal have scored at least eight goals against a single opponent in each of the past 11 seasons, and have netted at least five goals against one team in each of the Premier League seasons to date.

In the Premier League as a whole, the most goals one team has scored against another in a campaign is 12 (recorded twice). If Arsenal notch five against Newcastle on the final day of the season, they will equal this record.

Arsenal Premier League goals against single opposition, season-by-season

Season Team Goals
1992/93 Crystal Palace, Coventry 5
1993/94 Ipswich Town 9
1994/95 Ipswich Town 6
1995/96 Leeds United 5
1996/97 Chelsea 6
1997/98 Barnsley 7
1998/99 Middlesbrough 7
1999/2000 Middlesbrough, Leeds United 6
2000/01 Manchester City 9
2001/02 Fulham, Leicester City 7
2002/03 Southampton 8
2003/04 Leeds United 9
2004/05 Everton 11
2005/06 Fulham, Middlesbrough 8
2006/07 Blackburn Rovers 8
2007/08 Derby County 11
2008/09 Blackburn Rovers 8
2009/10 Everton, Portsmouth 8
2010/11 Blackpool 9
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers 10
2012/13 Reading 9

Premier League goals against single opposition in a single season

Team v Opposition Season Goals
Blackburn Rovers v Nottingham Forest 1995/96 12
Tottenham Hotspur v Wigan Athletic 2009/10 12
Arsenal v Everton 2004/05 11
Arsenal v Derby County 2007/08 11
Liverpool v Ipswich Town 2001/02 11
Manchester City v Norwich City 2011/12 11
Manchester United v Ipswich Town 1994/95 11
Manchester United v Nottingham Forest 1998/99 11
Manchester United v West Ham United 1999/2000 11
Manchester United v Newcastle United 2002/03 11
Manchester United v Newcastle United 2007/08 11
Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday 1994/95 11

All stats correct as of April 3. With thanks to Opta

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