The honours handed out to Cristiano Ronaldo and Yaya Toure over the past week provide the focal point of a stats review that also focuses on a Petr Cech record and goals by the teenage duo of Domenico Berardi and M’Baye Niang
minutes of league football without a goal was the run that came to a long-awaited end for Niang on Friday. The highly rated AC Milan youngster, who is on loan at Monpellier after failing to score a single goal in 1,105 minutes of Serie A action with I Rossoneri, ended his drought with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Monaco. One player in Ligue 1 with no such worries is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede last Wednesday scored his third Paris Saint-Germain hat-trick of the season in a 5-2 Coupe de France win at Brest, and has now found the net 28 times in his last 19 competitive appearances for club and country.
clean sheets was the new Chelsea club record set by Petr Cech on Saturday, surpassing the benchmark laid down by Peter Bonneti between 1959 and 1979. Cech, who has won nine major trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge, has racked up 150 of those shutouts in the Premier League, leaving him just 20 short of the division’s all-time record-holder, David James. The Blues’ 2-0 win at Hull City also brought about a landmark for one of Cech’s team-mates, with Fernando Torres becoming the fourth Spaniard – after Pepe Reina, Mikel Arteta and Cesc Fabgregas – to make 200 Premier League appearances. Elsewhere, Luis Suarez scored his 21st and 22nd league goals of the season in Liverpool’s 5-3 win at Stoke City, becoming just the eighth player to break through the 20 threshold in successive Premier League campaigns. For Stoke, it was the first time they had conceded five or more goals at home in the top flight since a 5-1 defeat to the same opponents in March 1982.
goals in a single match against AC Milan was a feat that, before Sunday, no-one in Serie A’s 85-year history had ever managed. Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi was the player who rewrote history, and his age – 19 years, five months and 11 days – only made the feat all the more remarkable. Berardi, indeed, became the youngest player since the legendary Silvio Piola (18 years, 23 days) to score four times in an Italian top-flight encounter. The Sassuolo prodigy, who now has 11 goals in 14 Serie A appearances, single-handedly turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 win – the first time Milan have lost from such a position in 12 years. A consequence of the result was the dismissal of Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri, who became the fourth Serie A coach to be sacked since the turn of the year.
successive CAF African Player of the Year awards is the tally on which Yaya Toure now sits, having joined some elite company last Thursday. Before the Ivorian midfielder’s latest success, only Abedi Pele (1991-93) and Samuel Eto’o (2003-2005) had ever managed such a run of continental dominance. History was also made at the CAF ceremony by Mohamed Aboutrika, who collected the Africa-based player of the year award for a fourth time. No-one else has won that particular honour more than once. And there was reward too for Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho, adidas Golden Ball winner at last year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup, whose six goals in seven appearances at the global showpiece helped earn him the title of Most Promising Player of the Year.
FIFA Ballon d’Ors have now been won by Cristiano Ronaldo after his triumph on Monday, establishing the Real Madrid star as the most successful Portuguese in the award’s history. As well as moving past one-time winners Eusebio and Luis Figo, Ronaldo became the first player since his Brazilian namesake – who lifted the Ballon d’Or trophy in 1997 and 2002 – to reclaim the award five years after his first success. The former Manchester United forward was certainly a worthy winner, having enjoyed a remarkable year in which he notched up 69 competitive goals, ending 2013 as the highest scorer in the UEFA Champions League (15) and across the five major European top flights (38). There was also a notable achievement by Nadine Angerer, who at 35 became the oldest-ever winner of the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award.