Emphatic victories made it a week to remember for fans of Tottenham Hotspur and Werder Bremen, while the securing of silverware sparked celebrations for Real Salt Lake and Brazil’s beach soccer stars. As always, FIFA.com takes a closer look closer at the numbers behind the stories.
goals in six matches, an average of nearly eight per game, goes some way to explaining why Brazil, for the fourth year running, have been crowned kings of beach soccer. This huge haul at the recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Dubai left A Seleção comfortably clear of beaten finalists Switzerland (31) and bronze medallists Portugal (32) in the scoring stakes. Yet with the goals spread evenly throughout their squad, none of the Brazilians could compete with the competition's top scorer, Dejan Stankovic. The Swiss star scored accounted for over half of his team’s goals, scoring 16 times in just six appearances to finish three clear of Madjer, with a tally twice that of his nearest Brazilian challenger.
matches, no wins: that was the worrying position in which Real Salt Lake found themselves in the early stages of the 2009 Major League Soccer season. Fast forward eight months, however, and the unfashionable Utah outfit find themselves US champions for the first time in their short history. RSL’s steady ascent, which culminated in Sunday’s dramatic MLS Cup win over star-studded LA Galaxy, was all the more remarkable as they only just sneaked into the end-of-season play-offs as the competition’s last wild card entry. Indeed, Jason Kreis’s side finished the regular season with a negative record, having racked up 12 defeats to just 11 wins. None of that matters now of course, with Salt Lake’s new heroes having become the eighth different club to land the MLS title in the US top flight's 14-year existence.
unanswered goals against Freiburg gave Werder Bremen the week’s biggest away victory, and the biggest by any visiting team in the Bundesliga this season. Worryingly for Freiburg, they are beginning to make a habit of such defeats, with last season’s biggest away win also having come at the Badenova-Stadion in the shape of a 5-0 triumph for Bayer Leverkusen. In fact, Werder themselves merely emulated an identical 6-0 win away to Freiburg in December 2004. Yet Die Grün-Weißen fell just short of equalling their biggest-ever away victory: a 7-0 triumph at Borussia Monchengladbach on 30 April 1966.
goals from Jermain Defoe propelled Tottenham Hotspur to the week’s biggest win: a 9-1 trouncing of Wigan Athletic. This remarkable feat gave the England striker a share in a Premier League record as he became only the third player to score five times in a single match. The last, ten years and two months ago, was Alan Shearer in Newcastle United’s 8-0 drubbing of Sheffield Wednesday, four years after another former England international, Andy Cole, had become the league's first quintuple scorer as Manchester United put nine unanswered goals past Ipswich Town. Despite Spurs’ best efforts, that Cole-inspired Red Devils rout remains the most resounding win in Premier League history, although the London club did set a new club record, with Sunday’s scoreline their biggest-ever top flight win and best overall since beating Bristol Rovers 9-0 32 years ago.
clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea and Lyon – have now qualified from the group phase in all seven seasons since the current UEFA Champions League format was introduced in 2003. The Gunners completed this trio last night with a comfortable 2-0 win over Standard Liege, and Real Madrid could yet make it a quartet if they succeed in advancing from Group C. Arsenal’s opener, from Samir Nasri, was the 20th goal scored by a French player in this season’s Champions League, maintaining France's status as the competition’s highest-scorers, just ahead of Brazil (18). Standard, meanwhile, fielded a team with an average age of 22 years and 352 days, the youngest line-up sent out in a Champions League match in five years.