The Premier League’s fast starters – Sheff Utd & Luton make history

30 January 2024 0 By Total Football News

Luton Town's Elijah Adebayo celebratesElijah Adebayo went on to score his first Premier League hat-trick after netting just 18 seconds into Luton’s win over Brighton

If you are the sort of football fan who likes a pre-match drink or a catch-up on the concourse then Tuesday was a nightmare – as two teams scored in the opening 20 seconds of a Premier League game on the same day for the first time.

Incredibly, Luton were 2-0 up against the Seagulls inside three minutes as Chiedozie Ogbene scored almost immediately after the restart, the ball hitting the net after 137 seconds.

That was not the fastest 2-0 lead in Premier League history, although it was the second quickest. Here is the story behind the Premier League’s fast starters.

Fleet Foxes

Leicester City made the best start in Premier League history in April 1998 up the M1 at near-neighbours Derby County, with Emile Heskey and Muzzy Izzet putting Martin O’Neill’s side 2-0 up in the second minute.

Incredibly the Foxes were 4-0 up after 15 minutes, Heskey adding a second before Ian Marshall made it four.

That was the end of the scoring as a shell-shocked Derby belatedly shut the floodgates. County would end the season a few weeks later one place above Leicester, both sides just missing out on Europe in ninth and 10th.

Luton’s exploits on Tuesday night are just one example of several sides taking a two-goal lead in the third minute – though it is the second fastest two-goal advantage in Premier League history.

Arsenal needed two minutes and 44 seconds to go 2-0 up at Newcastle in 2011, a game made memorable by the home side coming from 4-0 down to draw 4-4.

Theo Walcott and Johan Djourou hit the very early goals but two penalties from Joey Barton and a screamer from Cheik Tiote – who sadly died at the age of just 30 – gave the Magpies a stunning draw.

Bolton needed a second more to score twice against Portsmouth just before Christmas in 2008, Matthew Taylor flipping the ball up and volleying in before Ricardo Gardner added another cracking volley. Peter Crouch replied for Pompey but Bolton held on to win, with both sides now in the top two in League One.

And more recently Scott McTominay became the first player to score twice in the first three minutes of a Premier League game as Manchester United thrashed Leeds 6-2 in 2020.

Short wait for Long

Fast as they were, Adebayo and Brereton Diaz are some way short of scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history. In fact, they haven’t even scored the fastest goal this season, with Burnley forward Jay Rodriguez scoring after 15 seconds against Sheffield United last month.

Adebayo is 19th on the list with Brereton Diaz 24th.

Shane Long7.692018-19Southampton
Philip Billing9.112022-23Bournemouth
Ledley King9.822000-01Tottenham
Alan Shearer10.522002-03Newcastle
Christian Eriksen10.542017-18Tottenham
Mark Viduka11.902000-01Leeds United
Dwight Yorke12.161995-96Aston Villa
Chris Sutton12.941994-95Blackburn Rovers
Kevin Nolan13.482003-04Bolton Wanderers
James Beattie13.522004-05Southampton