A nightmarish match for Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters is the exception in a FIFA.com stats review that looks at more positive achievements from Barcelona, Bologna, Pakistan’s KRL and Nolan Roux of Lille.
seconds were on the clock when Roux scored the fastest goal of the Ligue 1 season on Saturday. However, while his early strike – the striker’s fourth in his last three appearances – beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s previous record-holder by five seconds, it wasn’t enough to inspire Les Dogues to victory, as Nancy battled back to claim their ninth draw of the campaign. There were milestones elsewhere in France too, with Brest’s Eden Ben Basat notching up Ligue 1’s 500th goal of 2012/13. And the most spectacular success story of the weekend was to be seen at Nice, whose 5-0 win over Valenciennes was their highest scoring win in the top flight since March 1989.
wins from their opening 19 La Liga matches have given Barcelona the best record ever seen at the halfway stage of the season. A 3-1 win away to Malaga left the Catalans 11 and 18 points clear of Atletico and Real Madrid respectively, and it will take a something of a football miracle to prevent the season concluding with a 22nd league title at the Camp Nou. Cesc Fabregas was among the scorers at La Rosaleda, and with 15 strikes and 17 assists now to his name in Barça colours, he has been involved in more goals than any other midfielder in La Liga since his move from Arsenal. It will come as no surprise that Lionel Messi also found the target for the ninth successive match, leaving him one short of a Spanish top flight record held by two former Barça stars, Mariano Martin (1942/43) and Ronaldo (1996/97).
unanswered goals were racked up by Bologna in a thumping victory over Chievo on Saturday. It was I Rossoblù’s second win by a four-goal margin this season, and you would need to go back half-a-century to find the last time they enjoyed two such successes in a single Serie A campaign. Bologna’s latest win was a lesson in efficiency, with their four goals coming from just five efforts on target. Elsewhere, there was a less welcome milestone for Serie A rivals Siena, who set a new club record by slumping to a sixth successive top flight defeat.
league titles in four seasons is the record of which Pakistan’s KRL can now boast after clinching their latest crown last week. The Rawalpindi outfit were impressive champions too, losing just one of their 30 Premier League fixtures and finishing with a goal difference of +50. That tally was largely indebted to the form of Pakistan international striker Kalle Mullah, who finished comfortably as the league’s top scorer with a haul of 23 goals. Fittingly, KRL concluded their campaign with a draw against PIA, a team whose record total of nine Pakistani titles could well come under threat by the league’s new dominant force.
own goals and a missed penalty: that was the sum total of a miserable afternoon’s work for Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters on Saturday. In the history of the Premier League, only two players – Jamie Carragher and David Proctor - had previously scored twice at the wrong end in a single match, and neither added to their misfortune with a wayward spot kick. Worse still for Walters, his collection of calamities proved costly for Stoke, who lost 4-0 to Chelsea – their heaviest home defeat in the top flight since Luton Town won by an identical margin in 1985. The Potters also surrendered the best home record in the division, having survived 17 matches and almost a year without defeat prior to the Blues’ arrival. The good news for Walters was that redemption has not been long in arriving. Last night, he put his weekend nightmare behind him by scoring twice – this time at the right end – as Stoke advanced to the FA Cup fourth round with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.