Perl should have definitely trounced PHP. Oh well.
From what I recall reading, years ago, it was because Perl trounced PHP that PHP took over the web.
What I recall was that server operators were supposedly dealing with more problems caused by novice Perl programmers than by problems caused by PHP programmers. This lead them to decide that PHP's limitations were a benefit, not a liability. This then caused hosting providers to limit access to Perl by charging extra for it, or even just not allowing it's use.