In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals wins. Yet 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, each week, FIFA.com takes a look at the numbers behind the results.
There is joy and despair in equal measure in this week's review, with free-scoring Arsenal and miserly Feyenoord celebrating while Bayern Munich and Athletic Bilbao commiserate. We begin, however, with the emergence of a new star in Belgium.
days after turning 16 and signing his first professional contract with Anderlecht, Romelo Lukaku became the week's youngest scorer when he grabbed his first goal of his senior career. The talented teenager, who has reportedly attracted interest from Real Madrid and several English clubs, opened his account with the second goal in Les Mauves' 2-0 win over Zulte Waregem on Saturday. This latest step in Lukaku's fledgling career will only increase the sense of expectation that has built up around a player whose scoring average at youth level was better than a goal every game. The Antwerp-born youngster, who is of Congolese descent, is now aiming to preserve his team's unblemished start to the Jupiler League season as Anderlecht attempt to stop Standard Liege claiming a third successive championship.
- that is the surprisingly low percentage of Spanish Super Cup winners who have emerged triumphant from the subsequent La Liga campaign. The fact that only four of the tournament's 23 previous winners have followed up the achievement with league success is an average that Barcelona will be looking to improve on after securing the trophy on Sunday. By seeing off Athletic Bilbao 3-0 to seal a 5-1 aggregate win, the Catalan giants claimed their eight Super Cup, establishing themselves as the competition's joint-most successful team alongside old rivals Real Madrid. Josep Guardiola also became only the third man to lift the trophy as player and coach, following in the footsteps of Víctor Munoz and Bernd Schuster. As for Athletic, their long, 25-year wait for silverware goes on.
goals in their first two domestic matches saw Arsenal smash a 14-year-old Premier League record and set an impressive new benchmark. In following up their 6-1 opening day win at Everton with an equally comfortable 4-1 win over Portsmouth, the Gunners surpassed the previous record of nine goals from Liverpool's first two matches in season 1994/95. However, despite the impressive scoring form of players such as Cesc Fabregas and Abou Diabi, Arsene Wenger's side fell just short of the club's all-time record, set when George Allison's side opened their 1934/35 campaign with 11 goals in two games. The best-ever start to an English top flight season was made in 1889/1890 by Preston North End, who racked up 13 goals in their opening couple of matches.
clean sheets in as many games have secured a new club record for Feyenoord and taken the Rotterdam club to the top of the Eredivisie for the first time since December 2007. It's now over 10 years since De Stadionclub won the Dutch title, and while they started season 2009/10 as underdogs, the solidity of their defence against Vitesse, NEC, Heracles and Roda has forced some pundits to rethink their predictions. Never before, certainly, have Feyenoord begun the season with such an impressive sequence of shut-outs, with their previous best start - three-in-a-row - having been secured in seasons 1990/91 and 2007/08.
wins from their first three matches has given Bayern Munich their worst start to a Bundesliga season in 43 years. It is, in fact, only the second time in the club's history - the first having been in season 1966/67 - that the Bavarian giants have failed to collect maximum points from any of their opening three league fixtures. Piling more misery on to Bayern and their disgruntled fans is the fact that only two clubs in the history of the Bundesliga have gone on to win the title after such a poor start: Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund in 1992/93 and 1995/96 respectively. However, while Louis van Gaal may be under pressure, he may well choose to point out that he led AZ to the Dutch title last season - after starting the Eredivisie campaign with two successive defeats.