FIFA.com’s latest stats review reflects on a trophy-winning week for Al Ahly, Stromsgodset, BATE Borisov and Zalgiris Vilnius, with the defensive excellence of Lille also coming into focus along with the durability of a Stoke City stalwart.
consecutive Premier League starts was the milestone reached by Stoke forward Jonathan Walters at Swansea City on Sunday. No-one in the division currently boasts a longer uninterrupted run than the Republic of Ireland international, who marked his century with the opening goal in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Also on target was Stephen Ireland, whose first-half effort was the midfielder’s first goal in the Premier League in 680 days. Elsewhere, David Moyes clinched his 1,000th league point in his 634th match as a manager with a 1-0 win over Arsenal, a match in which Patrice Evra became just the third French player – after Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry – to reach 250 Premier League appearances. For the Gunners, it brought their impressive early season run to an end, with United the first team to stop the Londoners scoring since Moyes’ Everton, 16 games ago on 16 April.
years without a top-flight title was the run that came to a long-awaited end for Norway’s Stromsgodset on Sunday. The Gulskogen outfit, who last won their national title in 1970, secured the crown on the final day of the season with a 4-0 win over FK Haugesund, maintaining their one-point advantage over record champions Rosenborg. Only one Norwegian team can claim to have waited longer in between titles, with 44 barren years have separated SK Brann's 1963 and 2007 triumphs. There was also joy for Haugesund, who secured third place and will now compete in Europe for the first time since 1980.
CAF Champions League titles have now been won by Al Ahly after the Egyptian giants boosted their already-record tally on Sunday. A 2-0 second leg win over South Africa’s Orlando Pirates enabled the Egyptians to retain the trophy and extend their advantage over old rivals Zamalek, who have five African crowns, in the all-time standings. The victory also ensured that Ahly qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup for a fifth time, equalling the record set earlier this year when Auckland City guaranteed their place at Morocco 2013. Next month's global showpiece is likely to be the career swansong of Mohamed Aboutrika, who emerged as the hero of Sunday’s win with the crucial opening goal and was later mobbed by adoring supporters after being substituted. The 35-year-old has been the most successful player in African football over the past decade, winning five Champions League titles in the space of eight years. Aboutrika has also been his club’s top scorer in this season’s competition, with Sunday’s strike his fifth over the course of their campaign.
consecutive Belarusian titles have now been racked up by BATE Borisov, who retained their crown with two games to spare on Saturday. The nation’s record champions - with ten titles overall, three clear of Dinamo Minsk - BATE have been typically dominant this season, scoring more goals (58) and conceding fewer (23) than any of their rivals. There was a less predictable outcome in Lithuania, though, where Zalgiris Vilnius clinched their national championship despite failing to win any of their final five league matches. Despite stumbling towards the finishing line, and concluding their campaign with a 3-1 home defeat by Suduva Marijampole, the capital club held on to top spot after nearest challengers Atlantas Klaipeda could only draw with Banga Gargzdai. It left Zalgiris to celebrate their fourth Lithuanian championship and first since 1999.
consecutive clean sheets is the run that is currently underpinning Lille’s title challenge in France. Les Dogues have racked up 11 shutouts overall, the best record in any of Europe’s traditional top five leagues, with Roma their nearest challengers on nine. It is now almost two months since Lille conceded on league business, and they are closing in on the division record of 12 successive clean sheets set by Bordeaux in 1993. It was also a memorable week for a man who has made a career out of such statistics, with Mickael Landreau making his 600th Ligue 1 appearance in Bastia’s 1-0 win over Rennes. This latest shutout was the 221st of the 34-year-old’s distinguished career, which began 6,251 days ago with his debut for Nantes at the age of 17. At the other end of the park, meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to prove unstoppable. The Swedish striker scored a hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 win over Nice and now has 14 goals in his last eight appearances for club and country.