Records reached, fortunes changed
© EFE

In this week’s statistical review, FIFA.com looks at the record-equalling exploits of Martin Palermo and SuperSport United, while paying tribute to Palermo coach Delio Rossi and reflecting on a reversal in fortunes for Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.

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matches as a coach was the milestone reached by Delio Rossi on Sunday, and the Palermo boss is unlikely to forget the landmark. After all, it is not every day that your team cruise to a 2-0 victory over Juventus in Turin; a win that ended Alberto Zaccheroni’s six-game unbeaten streak since taking charge of La Vecchia Signora. Then again, perhaps Zaccheroni should have seen this one coming. He has now lost each of his last four showdowns with Rossi and, in five attempts, has never beaten Palermo, taking just two points from a possible 15. Rossi, meanwhile, has now racked up 221 wins, 185 draws and 194 defeats over a 16-and-a-half-year career in the dugouts of Salernitana, Foggia, Pescara, Genoa, Lecce, Atalanta, Lazio and now Palermo.

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years ago, the legendary Roberto Cherro retired as Boca Juniors’ record goalscorer, having struck 218 times over a 13-year Xeneizes career. Many players since have tried - and failed - to reach this mammoth tally, but last night Martin Palermo’s patient pursuit was rewarded when he equalled Cherro’s record with his 218th Boca goal in a pulsating 4-4 draw with Velez Sarsfield. Palermo has been chasing Cherro for some time, and he must have wondered if this quest was set to continue when his first-half penalty was saved by German Montoya. El Loco was not to be denied, however, and following an outstanding assist from partner in crime Juan Roman Riquelme, he reached the 218-mark just a few minutes later. Palermo’s joy was ultimately tinged with disappointment, though, as Boca allowed a 3-1 lead to slip to continue a disappointing run that has seen them draw five of their seven Clausura matches so far.

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years without a win in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and four games against English opposition without scoring a single goal. This was the historical burden with which Inter Milan entered last week’s round of 16 game with Chelsea. Nor did the fact the game was being held at the San Siro offer any comfort: under Jose Mourinho, Inter had won just one of their seven home Champions League matches. However, despite all this, and the fact that the Blues arrived with the longest unbeaten streak in the Champions League – 14 matches – it took just three minutes for the tide to turn. That was when Diego Milito ended the club's barren run against English opposition with the joint-fastest goal Chelsea have ever conceded in the Champions League.

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consecutive Premiership titles was the achievement celebrated by South Africa’s SuperSport United last Wednesday, equalling a record set by Mamelodi Sundowns a decade ago. Sundowns had been the Pretoria outfit’s sole remaining challengers, but a 2-0 defeat at bottom club Jomo Cosmos left them four points behind with just one game left to play. SuperSport themselves also suffered a shock defeat, going down 2-1 at home to Bidvest Wits, but this result was at odds with a consistent season that has seen them outstrip the points hauls from their previous two title-winning campaigns.

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goal every 23 minutes is the rate at which Roman Pavlyuchenko has been scoring for Tottenham Hotspur recently. The revitalised Russian striker has endured a largely disappointing spell in north London since making a £14m move in 2008 and, prior to last week, had started just two matches all season, both in the League Cup. Pavlyuchenko has proved to be something of a cup specialist though, and after three goals in two late substitute appearances against Leeds United and Wigan Athletic, he started against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup, scoring a brace that took his tally in English cup competitions to 12 in 13 games. His reward was a first Premier League start of the season against Everton on Saturday, during which he spent more time on the pitch – 82 minutes – than he had in Spurs’ entire league campaign to that point. And, once again, he scored, continuing an incredible recent run that has encompassed six goals in just 137 minutes of football.