Argentina reasserting itself as South America’s club colossus and England’s record kings stalling at the starting gate highlight FIFA.com's latest stats review, along with implausible goal sprees in Bucharest and Montevideo.
per cent of Argentina’s ‘big five’ have now conquered the continent after San Lorenzo became the 25th club to win the Copa Libertadores in its 55th edition. The other four – Independiente (7), Boca Juniors (6), River Plate (2) and Racing (1) – have seized 16 titles between them. In the first final without a Brazilian side in ten editions, San Lorenzo followed up a 1-1 draw against Nacional in Asuncion with a 1-0 win in Buenos Aires. Ironically, Paraguayan midfielder Nestor Ortigoza scored the only goal from the penalty spot to sink his compatriots, while his team-mate Sebastian Torrico conceded just once in 630 minutes at El Nuevo Gasometro throughout the tournament. Argentina has now seized a record 23 Libertadores crowns – eight more than nearest rivals Brazil. Furthermore, Argentinian sides easily have the best success rate in finals (72 per cent) ahead of Brazilian (53 per cent) and Uruguayan (50 per cent) teams. Nicolas Olivera, who helped Defensor reach the semi-finals, finished as the five-goal joint-leading marksman – the first Uruguayan to achieve the feat since Ruben Sosa in 1999.
years after Manchester United last lost at home on the opening weekend of the English top tier, they suffered the same fate. Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law and Co were upset 2-1 by Ipswich Town en route to narrowly avoiding relegation in 1972/73, and that was the same scoreline Swansea City achieved on Saturday. Ki Sungyueng put the visitors ahead after a magnificent 29-pass move and, following a Wayne Rooney equaliser, Gylfi Sigurdsson secured victory with his eighth goal in 19 league games for the Swans – the Icelandic midfielder only managed the same total in 58 outings for previous club Tottenham Hotspur. It was United’s tenth Premier League defeat at Old Trafford in little over one year and four months – it had taken them almost seven years to accrue their previous ten losses. Louis van Gaal and pupils can take encouragement from another statistic, however: only three times in Premier League history has a team lost on the opening day and emerged as champions, and on each occasion it was the Red Devils.
J.League games without victory was what Cerezo Osaka moved on to by being edged in a nine-goal thriller at Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday. Takumi Minamino required just five minutes to post Cerezo’s first goal in five games, but they found themselves 4-1 down at the break, and despite a valiant fightback, which included Diego Forlan ending his three-and-a-half month goal drought, Kawasaki held on for a 5-4 win which elevated them second, one point behind Urawa Reds.
goals is what Claudiu Keseru incredibly scored to fire Steaua to a 6-0 victory over Pandurii Targu Jiu and break a club record that belonged to his coach. Constantin Galca had netted an unparalleled quintet for the Bucharest behemoths in a 5-0 reverse of Brasov in 1994, and the former Romania midfielder watched his 27-year-old striker find the target thrice in each half on Friday as Steaua made it four wins from four games to replace Petrolul Ploiesti at the Liga 1 summit. Keseru thus became the second man to score six times in a Romanian top-flight game after Marian Popa, who was Farul Constanta’s solitary marksman in a 6-3 reverse of Otelul Galati in 1993. “Honestly speaking, I don't know how that happened — it is hard to take it in,” said Keseru. “When I was playing in the French second division, I scored four goals in one match, but never anything like this." Following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Ludogorets in the first leg of their play-off for a place in the UEFA Champions League, Galca has now guided Steaua to nine wins and two draws from 11 matches since assuming their reins, while they remain unbeaten in 21 contests in all competitions.
goals in 14 minutes was what Racing Montevideo substitute Agustin Gutierrez scored to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at Danubio in their Apertura curtain-raiser. The reigning Uruguayan champions were seeking a seventh match unbeten against the uncrowned minnows, and appeared firmly on course for that as goals from Matias Castro and Fabricio Formiliano sent them into the closing stages at a two-goal advantage. However, Gutierrez pulled one back from the spot after 78 minutes, equalised in the last minute of normal time, and then bagged twice in extra time to complete a stunning 4-2 success. "Agustin is a dagger, a killer of goals", said coach Mauricio Larriera of his 21-year-old forward.” Curiously, the last time Racing won away to Danubio, they also recovered a two-goal deficit. On Sunday it was the turn of 35-year-old Nacional striker Ivan Alonso to net four times in a 5-2 win over Defensor, ensuring the sides’ last four meetings in the Apertura have produced an average of 5.75 goals per game.