In this week’s stats review, FIFA.com throws the spotlight on landmarks for Francesco Totti, Barcelona and the Bundesliga, the penalty heroics of Carlos Arias and the return of Edgar Davids.
matches was the landmark reached by the Bundesliga on Friday, and Hoffenheim and Greuther Furth ensured that it was marked in some style. The two teams involved in this milestone fixture fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw, with Lasse Sobiech rescuing a point for Hoffenheim with the very last touch of the game. A historic weekend in the German top flight also witnessed the setting of a new record, with Bayern Munich becoming the first team to start a Bundesliga season with eight successive wins. Their 5-0 victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf, who had conceded just three times in their previous seven matches, was also Jupp Heynckes’ 300th success as a Bundesliga coach. Champions Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, are not faring so well, having surrendered their 17-match unbeaten run at home to a Schalke side that now leads their old rivals by five points.
Serie A goals have now been racked up by Francesco Totti, establishing the Roma captain as the third-highest marksman in the league’s history. The 36-year-old was on target as I Giallorossi came from 2-0 down to beat Genoa, moving beyond Jose Altafini and Giuseppe Meazza and edging closer to second-placed Gunnar Nordahl (225). Silvio Piola, with 274, holds the overall record. It proved to be a good weekend for the teams from the capital as Lazio beat AC Milan 3-2, their highest-scoring performance against I Rossoneri in 13 years. It extended to five matches Massimiliano Allegri’s winless run against I Biancocelesti since moving to the San Siro, and left Milan having lost five or their opening eight Serie A matches for the first time since 1941.
UEFA Champions League wins was the milestone reached by Barcelona last night, enabling them to join the competition’s only other centurions, Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Catalans also set a new club record sequence of 18 home European matches without defeat, and are within another two of equalling the Spanish record, held by Valencia. They did, though, leave it late against a stubborn Celtic side who had been on course to claim a point until the fourth and final minute of injury time. The Scottish champions had succeeded in keeping at bay Lionel Messi, who on Saturday scored a hat-trick against Deportivo La Coruna to move on to 59 goals in all competitions in 2012, surpassing his previous personal best of 58 in 2010. The little Argentinian also broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for most La Liga goals in a calendar year with his 44th of 2012, not to mention becoming the first Barcelona player in history to rack up 15 hat-tricks in the Spanish top flight.
penalties were saved by Carlos Arias on Sunday or, to be more accurate, the Oriente Petrolero goalkeeper saved the same penalty three times over. Impossible though this may seem, it came about because Arias – facing up to Gabriel Rios of Bolivian top flight opponents Universitario – pushed away the initial effort but was penalised by the officials for moving off his line before the ball was struck. History repeated itself at the second attempt, with Rios again denied by Arias before a retake was ordered for the self-same offence. Edgar Escalante then assumed penalty-taking duties, but he fared no better - and this time the goalkeeper’s intervention was adjudged to be legal. Arias duly emerged as the hero of a hard-fought 1-1 draw for his struggling side.
year, 11 months and 20 days after making what seemed to be the final appearance of his glittering career, Edgar Davids returned to competitive action on Saturday. The former UEFA Champions League winner has taken on the roles of manager, player and captain of fourth-tier English side Barnet, and he made an inspirational impact, leading the Bees to a 4-0 victory – their first of the season – against Northampton Town. There were also landmarks further up the divisions, and at the other end of the age scale, with Raheem Sterling – at 17 years and 316 days - becoming Liverpool’s second-youngest Premier League goalscorer behind Michael Owen, and the eighth-youngest in the division’s history. The following day, another emerging talent, German midfielder Serge Gnabry (17 years, 98 days), became the second-youngest player to turn out for Arsenal in the Premier League.