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Clean Sheet King Christensen scores historic first ever Chelsea goal

42 and 1

Chelsea FC v Malmo FF: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Before last night’s game, Malmö FF manager and Danish footballing legend Jon Dahl Tomasson sang the praises of Chelsea center back Andreas Christensen, revealing how the 25-year-old has become a national hero back home thanks to his performances under Thomas Tuchel as well as on the international stage with Euro 2020 semifinalists Denmark.

“Andreas Christensen is one of the best defenders around [and] making the grade in the Premier League. He’s had a great journey and has done tremendously well.

“The way he’s playing and the way he’s been playing here under the new manager, he’s been a great inspiration for a lot of Danish people.”

-Jon Dahl Tomasson; source: Independent

Nice to see the good people of Denmark recognize their Clean Sheet King — now with 42 (!!) of them in his last 52 appearances for club and country. No, that’s not a typo. 42 in 52. Absolutely ridiculous.

But last night was also notable for something much more rare — something that in fact had never happened before. Andreas Christensen finally scored a senior competitive Chelsea goal! At long last!

We’ve always said he’d never go 137 games without scoring!

While that makes Christensen the 742nd different goalscorer in club history, is he also the player — not including goalkeepers, obviously — who has gone the longest before scoring his first goal for the club?

I could not find an answer to this question, so I did some research. I didn’t quite look at all 150 or so players who have made more appearances than Christensen in their Chelsea careers, but I did check with the most likely candidates to have gone longer.

And it would appear that Christensen is indeed the player who has gone longest before scoring his first senior competitive Chelsea goal. Even those who were famous for rarely scoring (Barber, Mikel, Makélélé, Hinton, Pates, etc.) had all found the back of the net much, much sooner from the start.

Fun fact: the non-goalkeeper with the most games without ever scoring is George W. Smith, a full back in the 1920s, who’s 19th on the all-time appearances list with 370, and managed a grand total of zero goals. Incidentally, the 1920s also saw the only goalkeeper to have ever scored for Chelsea, a man named Ben Howard Baker — from the penalty spot.

In any case, for further trivia, here are the players I looked at (thanks largely to the ever-useful and wonderful Chelsea: The Complete Record book, and also Wikipedia and Transfermarkt):

  1. Andreas Christensen (137 games)
  2. Claude Makélélé (94 games)
  3. Jack Harrow (scored twice in 1919-20 season; about 88 games)
  4. Erland Johnsen (about 80-81 games)
  5. Colin Pates (scored on final day of 1981-82 season: about 74-75 games)
  6. John Harris (scored halfway through his second full season: about 65-70 games)
  7. Ashley Cole (67 games)
  8. George Barber (scored the ONLY goal of his 294-game Chelsea career around game No.65)
  9. Gary Locke (64 games)
  10. Paulo Ferreira (62 games)
  11. César Azpilicueta (55 games)
  12. Chopper Harris (scored in his first full season: about 40 games)
  13. Eddie McCreadie (scored in his first season: about 30 games)
  14. Steve Clarke (scored at the start of his first full season: about 20-22 games)
  15. Mikel (15 games)
  16. Marvin Hinton (scored in his first season: about 10 games)