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Premier League rules the roost

Spain proved once again that they are the top footballing nation.

In the Euro 2012 final against Italy earlier this month, they opted for a different kind of game compared to previous matches but still left enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.

Two of the scorers in the final, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, both play for Chelsea.

A couple of weeks earlier, the same Spanish duo collected an-other prestigious medal when the Blues lifted the Champions League trophy in Munich.

Torres and Mata were among 80 players from the English Premier-ship who took part in the Euro Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine.

That compares with the 48 who played in Germany, 33 in Spain and 31 in Italy.

Records in the English game in season 2011-12:

Newcomers Swansea pay a club record fee of £3.5m for striker Danny Graham from Watford.

West Bromwich Albion capture striker Shane Long from Reading for a club record fee of £7m.

Stoke City break their club record fee twice in a matter of days − £8m for Wilson Palacios and £10m for Peter Crouch, both from Tottenham.

At Rugby Park, Kilmarnock’s 4-1 win over Hibernian marks the first Premier League victory for the Killies since the previous March.

Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Arsenal is their first away against the Gunners in 11 years.

The 8-2 massacre of Arsenal by Manchester United at Old Trafford is the Londoners’ worst defeat since 1892 when the Gunners lost 0-8 away to Loughborough Town in Division Two.

Manchester United’s 37-year-old winger Ryan Giggs scores in the 1-1 draw at Benfica, breaking his own Champions League record as the oldest scorer in the competition. The Welshman has now overtaken Raul (ex-Real Madrid) as the only player to score in 16 seasons of the tournament.

After their defeat at Blackburn (3-4), Arsenal only manage four points in five matches − their worst start to a season for 58 years.

Swansea’s 3-0 victory over West Brom at the Liberty Stadium is the Welsh side’s first win in the top flight in 28 years.

At the Reebok Stadium, Bolton go down 1-2 to Norwich, their ninth straight defeat in 10 home games.

Best opening, run

In the 3-1 win against Chelsea at Old Trafford, Man. United claim their fifth consecutive home win to set records for best opening and winning run under Alex Ferguson.

The draw obtained by Stoke at the Britannia Stadium against Manchester United is the first in 27 years.

The last time Manchester City opened a league season with seven wins and a draw, after their 4-1 home victory over Aston Villa, was way back in 1897-98.

The 6-1 defeat of Manchester United by Manchester City in the derby at Old Trafford is the worst Premier League loss for the club and the heaviest defeat for Ferguson in his 54-year career as a player and manager.

Newcastle’s unbeaten sequence of 13 Premier League matches is their longest top-flight run for more than 61 years.

At Wembley England break a 43-year jinx, defeating Sweden 1-0 (Barry) in a friendly international.

Terry Butcher becomes the first Englishman to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.

Chelsea suffer successive home league defeats (Arsenal 3-5, Liverpool 1-2) for the first time in the Roman Abramovich era, leaving them 12 points adrift of Manchester City at the apex.

Welsh side Cardiff City topple Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at home to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time since 1966.

Stoke create a milestone in Europe, going past the group phase of the Europa League for the first time in their history. They stayed unbeaten in their first nine matches in Europe.

At Goodison Park, Stoke win 1-0 against Everton for their first win in the league at this venue.

The opening season record of 14 games without defeat for Manchester City is halted by Chelsea who win 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

At Wembley Stadium, Liverpool edge out Cardiff 3-2 on penalties, following a 2-2 draw, to win the League Cup for the eighth time in their history.

Ryan Giggs chalks up a record club appearance of 900 and scores the winner in the 2-1 win over Norwich at Old Trafford.

Kilmarnock shock Celtic 1-0 at Hampden Park to lift the League Cup for the first time in their history.

Steve Gerrard’s hat-trick, the first by a Liverpool player against Everton since Ian Rush in November 1982, comes on his 400th league appearance for the club, defeating the Blues 3-0 in a league match.

Reds’ poor record

Liverpool’s 2-1 home defeat to Wigan leaves the Reds with just five home Premier League wins from a total of 15 – their worst home record since 1953.

In a poll for the last two decades, Alex Ferguson and Ryan Giggs are named as the top manager and player while the best goal award goes to Wayne Rooney.

Chelsea reach the Champions League final for the second time in their history after a 2-2 at the Nou Camp against Barcelona for an aggregate win of 3-2.

The Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year award goes to Arsenal’s Robin van Persie who made it a double after winning the PFA accolade.

Fulham’s 1-0 win away to Liverpool is the Cottagers’ first ever victory at Anfield.

At Stamford Bridge, Newcastle shock Chelsea 2-0 to claim their first win at the Blues’ den since 1986.

Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup final for their fourth success in six years. With seven FA Cup titles, Chelsea joined Liverpool in fifth place in the all-time winners’ list.

Manchester City score twice in stoppage time to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 and win the English title for the first time in 44 years. Roberto Mancini’s team pipped rivals Manchester United thanks on a better goal difference.

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