In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals, wins. Yet in every week, in every league and in every single match, there are intriguing statistical sub-plots that help make the beautiful game the fascinating spectacle that it is.
That's why, starting from today, we at FIFA.com are kicking off a weekly look at the numbers behind the results, analysing football's biggest winners and losers in the week just past. This, the first of our round-ups, is sure to make enjoyable reading for fans of Luxembourg's F91 Dudelange and WAPDA of the Pakistani top flight, but fans of New Zealand's Canterbury United should perhaps look away now...
was the total number of goals scored in 16 Campeonato Nacional de Futbol matches in Cuba over the weekend, the highest of any of the 174 top flights analysed.
is the unbeaten streak currently being protected by Pakistan's WAPDA, who have still to taste defeat in season 2007/08. Remarkably, however, the Lahore outfit are still playing catch-up in the Pakistani Premier League, sitting two points behind defending champions Pakistan Army due largely to the fact that nine of WAPDA's 23 matches have ended in a draw. As for the team with the second-longest unbeaten streak in club football, that distinction belongs to the ever-impressive Inter Milan, who came from behind to beat Parma 3-2 at the weekend, preserving their seven-point advantage over Roma at the top of Serie A and extending their run without defeat to 19 matches.
is the number of successive wins that Luxembourg's runaway league leaders F91 Dudelange have chalked up since the beginning of the 2007/08 Fortis League season. So impressive has the southern outfit's form been, in fact, that Racing Luxembourg, their nearest rivals, lie fully 17 points behind in second place.
is the less welcome streak currently being endured at the other end of the spectrum by Olympique Moka. The Mauritian outfit currently languish eight points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table with a miserable record of two goals for and 37 against.
was the margin by which New Zealand Football Championship outfit and FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2007 participants Waitakere United defeated Canterbury United away in Christchurch on 20 January. The 9-1 result, which was the biggest winning margin of the past week, also helped equal their club record of six consecutive wins in the NZFC and set a new goal-scoring record for a match in the Kiwi top flight, eclipsing the previous eight-goal record that Waitakere themselves shared. And what was head coach Chris Milicich's post-match reaction? "We haven't played that well". Some people are clearly never satisfied. One can only imagine how Milicich's Canterbury counterpart must have felt.
is the number of goals averaged in the NZFC over the weekend, the highest of any the 174 leagues covered. Auckland City currently lead Waitakere by one point, with Team Wellington three points further back in third.
is the number of successive draws that Liverpool have chalked up in the Premier League in the wake of tieing 2-2 with Aston Villa on Monday. Manchester City, Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough have all taken a share of the spoils from the Anfield outfit since 30 December. It has proved a damaging sequence, allowing their Merseyside rivals Everton to seize fourth position, and had it not been for Peter Crouch's 88th-minute equaliser on Monday, the Villains would also have leapfrogged Rafael Benitez's faltering side in the standings.
was the number of goals scored by hat-trick heroes Benjamin Mwaruwari and Bart van den Eede of Portsmouth and Westerlo respectively at the weekend. The Zimbabwean striker claimed his treble in Pompey's 3-1 win over the English Premier League's bottom side, Derby County, and took his own tally for the season to 12. Van den Eede, meanwhile, scored a hat-trick in Westerlo's thumping 7-2 home win over FC Brussels.