Joy for one capital club, despair for another, landmark goals from two venerable veterans and a historic title win in Slovenia provide the focus for FIFA.com’s latest statistical review.
La Liga goals was the milestone reached by Raul on Saturday, taking him beyond Alfredo di Stefano and into third place in the Spanish top flight's list of all-time leading goalscorers. The Real Madrid captain, who has already made more appearances and scored more goals for Los Merengues than any other player, helped to earn his team a 2-1 win at Real Zaragoza and edged himself to within six league goals of another legendary Madridista, Hugo Sanchez. Telmo Zarra still leads the way on 251 and, sadly, Raul’s chances of closing the gap on the Athletic Bilbao icon have been seriously damaged by a season-ending ankle injury sustained just before he struck his landmark goal.
Colombian league goals was the new record set by America de Cali’s Sergio Galvan Rey in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Junior. Though born and raised in Argentina, and a product of Boca Juniors' youth system, the 36-year-old has spent almost the entirety of his professional career plying his trade in the Copa Mustang, even acquiring Colombian nationality. Already a legend from a spell with Once Caldas, his first club in his adopted country, that yielded a club record 171 goals, Galvan Rey has since cemented his reputation by adding 52 to his tally with Atletico Nacional before moving on America earlier this year. Slowly but surely, the record previously held by former Cafeteros international Ivan Valenciano came into sight, and was finally surpassed at the weekend when Galvan Rey popped up with a vital header to earn his side a point.
years of waiting came to an end for FC Koper on Saturday when the coastal outfit claimed their first-ever Slovenian league championship. The Kanarčki (Canaries), whose only previous success had come in the shape of two cup wins in 2006 and 2007, not only won the race for the PrvaLiga title; they strolled it. Closest challengers and defending champions Maribor, Slovenia’s most successful team, find themselves 15 points adrift as a season in which Koper have lost just three times in 32 matches reaches its conclusion. The prosperity of Nedzad Okcic’s side is all the more remarkable as they narrowly escaped a relegation play-off last campaign, only escaping by virtue of a better head-to-head record against their rivals for the drop, Drava Ptuj.
games and six months without a league defeat were the records that came crashing down for Roma on Sunday. In addition to surrendering this long unbeaten sequence, which had encompassed 18 wins and six draws, Claudio Ranieri’s crestfallen side also lost their grip on the Serie A leadership and have only three games remaining to wrest it back from Inter Milan. Roma hadn’t lost since a 2-1 defeat away to Udinese on 28 October, but despite playing host to a Sampdoria side whose last win in the capital had come in September 1996 and who hadn’t managed a goal at the Stadio Olimpico since December 2004, they somehow came unstuck. Ranieri himself may have seen the defeat coming, however. After all, the former Juventus coach has only beaten Sampdoria once in 17 attempts, drawing 13 and losing three of his encounters with I Blucerchiati.
goals in three games inside one English top-flight season is a feat that, since 1945, only two teams have managed. The first were Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1962/63, and the second, as of Saturday - 47 years later – are Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea. The title-chasing London outfit’s 7-0 victory over Stoke City on Sunday followed earlier 7-2 and 7-1 defeats of Sunderland and Aston Villa respectively, and left the Blues one point and eight goals better off than Manchester United with just two rounds remaining. Chelsea, who had never scored seven in a single Premier League game prior to this campaign, have been indebted to Frank Lampard for eight of their 21 goals against Stoke, Sunderland and Villa, and the midfielder’s latest brace took him beyond the likes of Jermain Defoe and Fernando Torres to fifth on the Premier League scoring chart. The England midfielder, who has 25 goals in all competitions and 20 in the league, boasts the remarkable record of having scored at least 20 goals in each of the last seven seasons.