A high-scoring final at Colombia 2011, surprise pacesetters in France and Germany, persistent problems at Arsenal and landmark achievements for a trio of Barcelona icons feature in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review.
trophies, the most recent of which came in the shape of the Spanish Supercopa last Wednesday, have established Xavi alongside Guillermo Amor as the joint-most successful player in Barcelona’s history. It proved to be an evening for equalling long-standing records, with Pep Guardiola drawing level with Johan Cruyff as the club’s most decorated coach by collecting his 11th piece of silverware since taking charge. And then of course, there’s Lionel Messi, who, not content with equalling records, broke one by scoring his seventh and eighth Supercopa goals to surpass Raul as the competition’s all-time leading marksman. Messi, with 13 goals in 15 appearances against Real Madrid, is now just one short of joining Cesar Rodriguez as Barça’s top scorer in El Clásico. Andres Iniesta, meanwhile, ended his long wait for a goal against Real, scoring against his club’s great rivals for the first time in 16 attempts.
years have passed since Borussia Monchengladbach’s last, brief flirtation with top spot in the Bundesliga, a position they reclaimed on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Wolfsburg. However, while Die Fohlen are unbeaten in their first three fixtures – their best start since going four matches without a loss at the beginning of the 1997/98 campaign – they will do well to remember that the last time they topped the table, at the start of season 98/99, they went on to be relegated. As for the current champions, Borussia Dortmund are now unbeaten at home over a year, with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nurnberg extending a run that stretches back 370 days to a 1-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in last season’s Bundesliga opener. Schalke also had reason to celebrate, having come from two goals down to beat Mainz 4-2, the first time they have overcome such a deficit in over a decade, since battling back to beat Unterhaching 342 matches ago on 19 May 2001.
goals were served up in Saturday’s FIFA U-20 World Cup final, establishing the Colombia 2011 decider as the highest-scoring of the tournament’s 34-year history. Uniquely, three of those goals came from one player, Brazil’s Oscar, who – having not managed a single goal in the preceding rounds – became the first player to score a hat-trick in the final. In doing so, the 19-year-old moved ahead of four players who had previously notched doubles, the most recent of whom was a certain Lionel Messi in 2005. Oscar’s opener, after just five minutes, preserved his nation’s record sequence of 634 minutes without conceding, set between 1985 and 1987, which Portugal had been within 15 minutes of surpassing. With their fifth U-20 title, Brazil also edged closer to Argentina’s record tally of six and continued South America’s dominance of a tournament which has now been won by a CONMEBOL nation in eight of the last ten editions.
straight wins have left Montpellier as outright Ligue 1 leaders for the first time in their history. La Paillade have scaled these new heights thanks to an unblemished start to the French season, their best since kicking off the 1992/93 campaign with an identical trio of victories. Theirs was not the only first in France over the weekend, with Marseille left to reflect on an unprecedented sequence of six successive top flight draws, this after being held at home by Saint-Etienne. One Ligue 1 streak that did come to a long-awaited end, however, was Paris Saint-Germain’s run of seven games without a win. A penalty from Nene, playing his 100th Ligue 1 match, secured Antoine Kombouare's side a 2-1 defeat of Valenciennes, their first domestic victory since beating the same opponents 3-1 on 30 April.
games played, no goals scored is a statistic that is haunting Arsenal fans for the first time in 42 years and the start of the 1969/70 season. The Gunners have failed to win either of their opening two matches for only the second time in the Premier League era, and are now without a win in their last five top-flight fixtures – the longest run of any of the division’s 24 teams. Their latest setback, a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, was a gloomy way for Arsene Wenger to mark his 850th match in charge. One table the Gunners are topping, however, is the disciplinary chart. Emmanuel Frimpong’s red card, Arsenal’s second in as many matches, was the eighth they have picked up since the start of last season, a tally that eclipses all of their Premier League rivals’.