A 9-0, a 7-0, six sixes, eight fives and 37 fours lead a fearsome scorecard that all adds up to the most prolific top-flight season for more than half a century.
It hasn’t just been Erling Haaland filling his boots, with the overall average of 2.85 goals per game being the highest mark since a mammoth 3.03 in 1967-68, when 21 of the 22 teams scored at least 50 and the other, Sheffield United, had 49.
After 21 goals in three games on this week’s manic Monday, Mail Sport investigates what’s behind this season’s goal rush.
WORLD CUP HANGOVER
Wedge a 64-game tournament into four weeks with no break either side and players are always going to suffer. Teams have preyed on tired legs at the back, and although the goals-per-game figure is lower since Qatar at 2.83 — strikers are exhausted too — that would still be the highest over a full season since 1968.
A FIFPro survey of those who went to Qatar found 53 per cent of players were injured or felt at risk of injury in the second half of the season due to the congested calendar, and it is no coincidence those who did not go to the World Cup are hitting their stride now, with Haaland, Ivan Toney, Mo Salah, Martin Odegaard and Ollie Watkins all in fine form.
The 2022-23 season has been the most prolific top flight campaign for more than 50 years
Along with Erling Haaland, several Premier League stars like Harry Kane (left) and Ivan Toney (right) are enjoying superb campaigns, with both scoring 20 or more league goals
The increase in goals is likely a result from a bruising campaign that saw a winter World Cup
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Nottingham Forest, who spent 23 years outside the top flight, greeted their return last summer with a bigger net spend than every team in La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined. And so did 17 other Premier League clubs.
The financial might is so great, any top-flight team can attract a big name on a big salary and £40million is the new £20m.
The bottom half now contains huge star quality, with the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White (£42.5m), Matheus Nunes (£38m) and Lucas Paqueta (£34m) — not to mention the £550m spent by 11th-placed Chelsea, though they would probably rather you didn’t.
Any team can hurt anyone else, as shown by the bottom three. Only Blackpool (55 in 2010-11) and Middlesbrough (51 in 1996-97) have gone down in the Premier League era with more goals than Leicester’s 49, and Leeds (44) are not far behind with three games left.
Meanwhile, Southampton spent £149m this season, beat Chelsea home and away, drew twice with Arsenal, stopped Manchester City winning the Quadruple and drew at Old Trafford …and are rooted to the bottom.
There is now so much quality throughout the league, with struggling Nottingham Forest even signing the talented Morgan Gibbs-White for an astonishing £42.5m back in the summer
ERLING HAALAND’S HAUL
The most important addition to the Premier League’s goal threat, of course, is a 6ft 4in precision-engineered shadow haunting the nightmares of top-flight centre backs.
Never has the phrase goal machine fitted better than to Haaland, whose only comparisons come from a time when the best marksmen were named Dixie, Pongo, Ginger and Bert.
At five years old, the Norwegian held the standing long jump world record for his age and continues to make giant leaps, sealing the Premier League’s single-season goal record last week with No 35.
Long gone are the autumn whispers that the purest goalscorer this country had seen for decades might be holding Manchester City back. He has found the net more often than five top-flight teams this season.
Haaland is the the purest goalscorer this country had seen for decades, with the Norwegian having broken the Premier League record for the most goals in a single season last week
Is it possible to score 26 goals and fly under the radar? Harry Kane is having to find out in what may be his best season in a Tottenham shirt.
Toney has 20 and Salah 19, and there is no end to the number of players having their best year in front of goal while Haaland takes all the attention. Of the 20 with 10 or more goals, 14 players have hit a career high, with nine reaching double figures for the first time.
Players have been set free by the additions of innovative, forward-thinking coaches such as Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi and Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, who have joined the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Mikel Arteta and Thomas Frank to create the most attacking league in years and leave us all feasting on goals galore.
Despite Liverpool’s wider struggles this season, Mohamed Salah has still had a fine campaign
The addition of forward-thinking coaches like Erik ten Hag (left) and Roberto De Zerbi (right) has also helped bring even more goals to the Premier League