Tomorrow Manchester City face Arsenal in the League and there’s the possibility that national goalscoring records could be broken once again. A few weeks back I calculated that if Erling Haaland maintained a goal a game ratio in the remaining League fixtures for Manchester City he would better Tommy Johnson’s 38 goal tally by a goal. Since then Haaland, who is already City’s seasonal record scorer in all competitions, has indeed kept up that ratio – in fact he has surpassed it – and has now broken another barrier: 30 League goals in a season.
To celebrate this I’ve put together a feature comparing every player who has scored 30 goals or more for City, plus those Premier League goalscorers whose achievements could be bettered by Haaland this season. Here goes….
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When Manchester City and Fulham these sides met on this day (6 April) at Easter 1928 City were fighting for promotion out of Division Two, while Fulham were desperate to avoid relegation. It was a Good Friday game and a crowd of 50,660 attended, though some reports claimed it was a 60,000 crowd (these were the days before Peter Swales though!).
The match was not as entertaining as other fixtures between the Blues and the Cottagers during this period, although the first few minutes suggested otherwise. The Daily Dispatch reporter explained: “Though they had a strong wind and sun against them, Manchester City opened the scoring in practically the first advance they made. Marshall taking a pass by Sharp almost from the flag on the half-volley and crashing it into the net.”
After 30 minutes Fulham went further behind when their left-back Barrett handled a shot from Marshall. Frank Roberts netted the resultant penalty. Ten minutes later McNab scored a consolation goal for Fulham.
In summary the Daily Dispatch claimed that the penalty – hotly disputed by Fulham – was the only significant difference between the sides (well it did end 2-1!).
Today (20 February) in 1926 Manchester City recorded an amazing victory. It was a fifth round FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace to Maine Road. The Blues, without a manager since November, were being managed by committee with director Albert Alexander senior making the final decisions. It’s an incredible thought that a director without ever being known as a player, could make these decisions but Alexander was a knowledgeable football man and had been with the club since formation in 1894.
By half-time the score was 7-0 to the Blues, but Palace would not give up and quickly pulled back four goals. City were knocked out of their period of complacency and soon found their goalscoring touch again. By the end it was 11-4 and, according to a number of spectators present on the day, Manchester fans rushed on at the final whistle and carried off the Palace ‘keeper shoulder high. Apparently he had played extremely well and, somehow, managed to keep the score down, although one cannot help wondering if he’d have been given such a reception had the scores been reversed.
Frank Roberts was the City star for this particular game, scoring a remarkable five, while Tommy Browell also earned a few plaudits with his hat-trick. With no management and such a miserable time in the League, no one could believe how City had been able to deliver such strong cup performances. Here’s film of the game:
On this day (17 January) in 1925 Manchester City’s Frank Roberts scored four as Liverpool were defeated 5-0 in Division One.
Roberts’ feat was remarkable because he was playing as centre-forward (a position he seemingly was not keen on playing) due to regular centre-forward Tommy Browell being struck down with influenza.
He normally played as City’s inside-right, his preferred position.
It was Roberts’ first outing as centre-forward that season and it was the first time he’d ever scored four in a game. It made him the League’s top scorer with 24 goals so far that season.
City’s opening goal had been scored by legendary, amateur footballer Max Woosnam in the opening minute. Sadly, accurate time keeping was not a feature of football then (some would argue that some referees still don’t have accurate time keeping but that’s for another day) and so we don’t know how few seconds this was actually netted in. Some reports say straight from the kick-off.
The Liverpool Echo talked of the game starting in a gale which worked against the Liverpool club (some local newspapers still make excuses for their teams). The Athletic News makes no such comment preferring, instead, to talk of City’s ‘lightening like movements’ and their approach being ‘the way to win’.
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City hadn’t had a manager since November and were struggling in the League when the Blues played a FA Cup fifth round tie against Crystal Palace on this day (20th February) in 1926. The tie, played at Maine Road turned out to be a fifteen goal thriller with City in rampant form.
By half-time the score was 7-0 to the Blues, but Palace would not give up and quickly pulled back four goals. City were knocked out of their period of complacency and soon found their goalscoring touch again.
By the end it was 11-4 and, according to a number of spectators present on the day, Manchester fans rushed on at the final whistle and carried off the Palace ‘keeper Callendar shoulder high. Apparently he had played extremely well and, somehow, managed to keep the score down, although one cannot help wondering if he’d have been given such a reception had the scores been reversed.
Frank Roberts was the City star for this particular game, scoring a remarkable five, while Tommy Browell also earned a few plaudits with his hat-trick. Browell had been ill for most of the week and had been unable to train.
With no management and such a miserable time in the League, no one could believe how City had been able to deliver such strong cup performances.
Remarkably, film of the game has survived and can be viewed here:
On this day (30th January) in 1926 managerless Manchester City faced Huddersfield Town in a FA Cup tie at Maine Road, watched by 74,799. The following article, for subscribers to GJFootballArchive.com, provides the background story to the tie and film of the game.
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