Has a team ever won a Premier League game with no shots on target?

win the match with no shots on target header

We saw this question and started trawling through past games to see if this anomaly has ever happened. The fact is if a team scores an own goal then you could win 1-0 without ever even having a shot on goal (deflected cross, from a corner, etc.)

After doing some extensive research (shots data only goes back to 2006) we can only find one instance of a team winning without a shot on target – Sunderland.

In 2006 Sunderland beat West Brom 1-0 with a Steve Watson own goal. Antony Le Tallac unsurprisingly had a shot going off-target that Steve Watson deflected into his own goal. This was on 72 minutes and was a terrible match!

The Sunderland manager, Mick Mcarthy, had this to say after that match –

I think today we’ve earned a very good three points – we said in the dressing room the game was there to be won.

“We had to work hard and dig in but it’s a justified three points – we never stopped fighting.

“The players are remarkable. Some teams would have thrown the towel in, these players have kept me in a job.

This is obviously a laughable quote – a justified 3 points without a shot on target!

Other matches

Sunderland was the only team to ever win without a shot on goal but there has been one other interesting game and 4 score draws.

In 2015 West Brom beat Arsenal 2-1. Tony Pulis Baggies had 1 shot on target, their first goal, and won the game courteously of a Mikel Arteta own goal. (You can see the “highlights” here)

FAQs

Can you win a football match without a shot on goal?

Yes, if the opposition scores an own goal from a cross or miss-placed pass.

Has a team ever won a Premier League match without a shot on target?

Yes, Sunderland beat West Brom in 2006 through an own goal. They did not have another shot on target.