Flamengo came from nowhere to end their title drought, goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt scored against Juventus for the third time, Grenoble won at long last and a homegrown marksman ended a Brazilian monopoly in Japan. Add to the mix a host of notable milestones at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and you have FIFA.com’s latest weekly stats review.
days after their last Ligue 1 win, Grenoble’s long wait came to an end when they eked out a tense and much-celebrated 1-0 victory over Toulouse on Sunday. The narrow triumph, which was GF38’s first win of the season, witnessed the struggling south-eastern club collect maximum points for the first time since beating Le Havre 1-0 way back on 26 April. A solitary Nicolas Dieuze goal ten minutes from time was enough to raise hopes of an unlikely escape act from the Ligue 1 relegation zone, although Grenoble remain anchored to the bottom of the table, three points adrift of Le Mans and ten points from safety.
career goals was the milestone reached by Andrey Arshavin in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Stoke City, a match packed with all manner of Gunners landmarks. As well as the Russain completing his century in a more advanced, central attacking position, the Emirates Stadium – staging its 100th match since opening its doors in 2006 - also played host to Arsene Wenger’s 500th match in charge of the London outfit. Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, has now played in exactly half of those games under the esteemed Frenchman, although the midfielder’s 250th Arsenal appearance was marred slightly by a missed penalty.
goals ensured that Jubilo Iwata’s Ryoichi Maeda became the J.League’s first Japanese top scorer in seven years. Brazilians had monopolised the award ever since Naohiro Takahara topped the upper flight’s scoring chart in 2002, with Ueslei, Emerson, Araujo, Magno Alves, Juninho and Marquinhos all enjoying a year in the limelight in the intervening years. That, however, was until Maeda’s impressive scoring exploits – which came despite his club’s 11th-placed finish - ensured the long-serving Jubilo star was able to end the reign of South American imports by claiming his place at the summit.
years on from their last top-flight triumph, Flamengo ensured a happy ending to one of the most extraordinary seasons in their glittering history. O Mengão, Brazil’s most popular club, looked certain to continue their drought as recently as late August when, with 21 of the 38 rounds played, they were languishing 13 points off the pace in 14th position. The fact that, on Sunday, they were able to bring the title back to Rio de Janeiro for the first time in eight years, ending a run of five consecutive Paulista successes, was due to a late surge that witnessed Andrade’s side lose just once in their final 17 matches. Key to this fairy tale triumph was Adriano, a resurgent striker who finished joint-top scorer in the Brasileirao with 19 goals to revive his career and boost his chances of a place in Dunga’s squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
German players have managed to score in the UEFA Champions League for three different clubs: Michael Ballack, Torsten Frings and, as of Tuesday, Hans-Jorg Butt. The fact that a goalkeeper has been able to take his place in this list of goalscorers is remarkable enough, of course, yet even more incredible is that all three of the 35-year-old’s goals have come against the same club: Juventus. The Italian giants are certainly well and truly sick of the sight of the veteran keeper, who has now scored from the spot against them for Hamburg in 2000, Bayer Leverkusen two years later and, of course, Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s memorable Turin triumph. Butt’s most recent goal, his first for Bayern’s top team and 31st overall, helped Louis van Gaal’s side come from behind to secure a 4-1 win that consigned Juventus to a group-stage exit for the first time since season 2000/01.