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Newcastle striker Martins sets the latest benchmark: Sportsmail's guide to supersubs
Published : 12 May 2009 12:45:43
The term 'supersub' can be over-used, but Obafemi Martins' performance against Middlebrough last night merits the phrase. It was three points or bust for Newcastle United and the striker popped up with a goal when the Magpies needed it most. Here is Sportsmail's guide to the men who have made their name by coming off the bench... Obafemi Martins The Nigeria striker shrugged off a groin strain to put Newcastle ahead 55 seconds after coming on against Boro. With the score poised at 1-1 - a result neither side wanted - and just 20 minutes left at St James' Park, Alan Shearer went all out for the win. Martins responded with a vital strike that saw Newcastle climb out of the bottom three on goal difference and may have condemned Gareth Southgate's side to the Championship. Fellow substitute Peter Lovenkrands also scored Newcastle's third goal to put the game beyond the reach of the Teessiders. David Fairclough The striker scored seven goals in 14 league appearances - nine of them as a substitute - in his debut season to help Bob Paisley's Liverpool to the 1975-76 Division One title. Fairclough came off the bench 61 times in 153 appearances for Liverpool, most memorably against St Etienne in the European Cup quarter-final second leg in March 1977. It was 2-2 on aggregate when Fairclough replaced John Toshack in the 74th minute and he duly scored the winner to earn Liverpool a semi-final spot. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Sir Alex Ferguson called Solskjaer 'the best substitute ever' and it's easy to see why. The former Norway international scored Manchester United's winner in the 1999 Champions League final - three minutes into injury time after coming on in the 81st minute. Solskjaer also holds the record for the most goals scored by a substitute in an English league game, putting four past Nottingham Forest in United's 8-1 rout at the City Ground in February 1999. He was only on the field for 19 minutes. 'Scored four, didn't he?' remarked Forest boss Ron Atkinson, 'Good job they didn't put him on earlier...' Ronny Rosenthal Nicknamed 'The Judge' for the amount of time he spent on the bench, Rosenthal's finest moment came in an FA Cup fifth-round replay against Southampton in 1995. Tottenham were 2-0 down at half-time but the Israel international came on and scored a hat-trick, including a 25-yard screamer in extra-time to put the Saints out of the Cup. Better than this miss for Liverpool against Aston Villa in 1992, then: Perry Groves George Graham's first signing played for Arsenal 212 times, including 90 appearances as a substitute. Groves was a sub in the Gunners' improbable 2-0 victory at Anfield, which gave Arsenal the 1988-89 Division One title. Roy Essendoh A striking crisis led Wycombe Wanderers manage Lawrie Sanchez to advertise for a striker on the club website. A Teletext worker picked it up, bunged it on the television news service and Essendoh's agent urged him to apply. Ten days later the six foot striker came on as a substitute and scored his first goal in league football with the winner against Leicester City in the 2000-01 FA Cup. Wycombe were in the semi-finals for the first time in their history and Essendoh was enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. But they were edged out 2-1 by Liverpool at Villa Park. Oh, the wonders of technology.... Tore Andre Flo Another former Norway striker with a knack of coming on and hitting the back of the net, Flo made 163 appearances for Chelsea - 69 as a substitute - and scored 50 goals. As the Chelsea sides during his time at Stamford Bridge could call upon Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli and Mark Hughes, Flo was often resigned to a place on the bench, but he still made valuable contributions. Mark Robins The goal-sniffer kept Alex Ferguson in a job with his winner against Nottingham Forest in the 1989-90 FA Cup and was called a 'lucky charm' by his manager. In six years with Manchester United Robins started 19 league games but came on as a substitute in 29 more matches, scoring 11 goals. He also played seven games in the League Cup - without starting a single one. Federico Macheda The 17-year-old substitute's 90th-minute winner against Aston Villa in April made him a household name overnight. He is also included for his mention in a particularly naff (and, probably, hastily concocted) chant: 'Kiko Macheda, Kiko Macheda. He is our super sub, at the world's best football club. Kiko Macheda.' Nicklas Bendtner A strange inclusion, perhaps, but the Arsenal striker holds the record for the fastest goal by a substitute in league football. It took Bendtner just 1.8 seconds to score against Spurs on December 22, 2007 as a deft header helped Arsenal to a 2-1 win. It was the Dane's first Premier League goal and his first touch of the match. 'I said to Vic [Akers], our kit man, to get me on for the corner and I'll score for you,' explained Bendtner. Easy, really.