Thursday 02 January 2014
With his goal against Hull City on New Year's Day, Luis Suarez became the player to reach the landmark of 20 Barclays Premier League goals by playing the fewest number of matches.
The Liverpool striker hit his 20th league goal after just 15 matches. The previous record-holder was Kevin Phillips, who required six more matches to reach the same tally, in the 1999/00 season for Sunderland. By scoring after 20 matchweeks, Suarez also beat Phillips' record by one.
Suarez also became the first Liverpool striker to reach at least 20 Barclays Premier League goals in successive seasons since Robbie Fowler did so in 1994/95 and 1995/96.
The Uruguay international's inability to get on the scoresheet against Manchester City or Chelsea in his previous two matches meant that he was able only to match the record of Andrew Cole in reaching 20 goals at the earliest calendar date. Cole also scored his 20th goal on New Year's Day when playing for Newcastle United during the 1993/94 season, but that was after 23 matches in a 42-match season.
Despite those two goalless appearances against Manchester City and Chelsea respectively, Suarez remains on course to usurp the record for the most goals scored in the Barclays Premier League during a 38-match season. This mark of 31 was set by Alan Shearer for Blackburn Rovers (1995/96) and equalled by Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United (2007/08).
Indeed, the overall record of 34 goals, set jointly by Shearer (for Blackburn in 1995/96) and Cole (for Newcastle in 1993/94) in a 42-match season, is under threat, with Suarez averaging a goal a match overall and 1.3 goals a match in the Barclays Premier League fixtures he has played so far.