Friday 10 February 2012

Van Persie first to reach 20 goals

Arsenal striker set to finish season as Barclays Premier League top scorer

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has enjoyed a remarkably prolific 2011-12 season

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has become the first Barclays Premier League player to reach 20 goals for this season.

The prolific Dutchman, who leads the League's scoring charts, reached the milestone during the Gunners' 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Van Persie went on to score twice more, meaning the 28-year-old has now scored 22 goals in only 24 Barclays Premier League fixtures this campaign.

The Arsenal striker was also the first man to reach 10 goals and he did that while scoring a hat-trick too, in the 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October.

Van Persie's 22 goals put him six ahead of Newcastle United's Demba Ba (16), and seven away from Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (both 15).

None of those four have ever won the Barclays Golden Boot award for the top scorer in a season, with Man Utd's Dimitar Berbatov winning it with 20 last term and Man City's Carlos Tevez with 20 the year before.

The last man to score 30 goals in a Barclays Premier League season was former Man Utd forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who struck 31 in only 34 matches in the 2007-08 campaign.

Van Persie's rich vein of goalscoring form goes back to before the start of this season - during 2011 he scored 35 times in the Premier League, just one short of Alan Shearer's record for a calendar year in the competition.

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Key Points

  • Robin van Persie first to 20 League goals this season
  • Arsenal striker is well ahead of nearest rivals
  • Dutchman has 22 goals in 24 League matches