Keepers and Chiefs grab the headlines
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The respective goalkeepers of Liverpool and Twente make this latest statistical review courtesy of contrasting milestones, while the troubles of Olimpia and cup conquests of Kaizer Chiefs also feature.

198

matches is all it took Pepe Reina to break Ray Clemence’s record for reaching 100 clean sheets for Liverpool in the fewest outings, when Aston Villa suffered a 3-0 reverse at Anfield on Monday. The former England No1 required 217 games to join the century club in the 1970s, while another legendary Reds goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar took 235 to reach the milestone. Reina, 28, who recorded a club-best 11 successive shutouts in 2005, is currently on the longest run of consecutive minutes in the Premier League: a figure of 11,700 that dates back to the end of the 2006/07 season.

40

years and 48 days was the age at which Sander Boschker became the second-oldest debutant in UEFA Champions League history last night, when he kept goal for Twente in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. The oldest was deep-lying forward Tasos Mitropoulos, who was 109 days into his forties when he made his solitary appearance in the competition for Olympiacos against Rosenborg in December 1997. Boschker, who is nine days Edwin van der Sar’s senior, also usurped the Manchester United keeper as the Champions League’s oldest Dutchman and eighth-oldest player against Spurs, while David Weir became the tournament’s joint-oldest outfield player, alongside ex-AC Milan centre-back Alessandro Costacurta, by taking to the field for Rangers away to Bursaspor aged 40 years and 211 days.

10

years is the unprecedented period over which Olimpia, Paraguay’s oldest and most successful club, have now gone without a domestic title. The 38-time national champions finished the Clausura 2010 fifth on Sunday, 17 points behind first-placed Libertad. Olimpia, the only team to have appeared in the Copa Libertadores final in every decade since its inception, have now failed to reach the continental finals since 2004.

7

years to the month since their last victory over Inter Milan in Serie A, Lazio repeated the trick on Friday evening. Since their previous success in the fixture, when a rare Luciano Zauri goal sealed a 2-1 home win that extended I Biancocelesti’s unbeaten run against I Nerazzurri to 15 matches on 21 December 2003, the Rome heavyweights had lost eight and drawn five league matches with their Milanese counterparts heading into their meeting at the Stadio Olimpico. However, Giuseppe Biava put the hosts in front with their first goal against Inter in 444 minutes, and second-half goals from Mauro Zarate and Hernanes sealed a 3-1 triumph. The result left Lazio second in Serie A, three points shy of AC Milan following 15 rounds, and with an impressive 17 more points than they had at the same stage last season.

7

of the last 13 editions of the Telkom Knockout, South African football’s major cup competition, have now been won by Kaizer Chiefs. A Sthembiso Ngcobo double and a trademark Siphiwe Tshabalala strike clinched the Glamour Boys a 3-0 win over fierce rivals Orlando Pirates in the final on Saturday, with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune finishing the competition having kept clean sheets in all of his side’s four matches. It was also a day to remember for Tinashe Nengomasha, who earned his sixth appearance and fifth victory in the Telkom Knockout final, equalling the unsurpassed figures of his former Chiefs midfield partner Thabo Mooki.

5

successive Chelsea-Everton games at Stamford Bridge have ended in stalemate following Saturday's 1-1 draw. Didier Drogba, who had hit ten goals in his previous nine Premier League games in early October, ended his eight-game drought to put Carlo Ancelotti’s team ahead, but substitute Jermaine Beckford struck a late equaliser. The result was the Toffees’ sixth consecutive away match without defeat, equalling their all-time Premier League record. Meanwhile, Saturday’s 2-2 tie between Wigan Athletic and Stoke City means that each of of the teams’ five encounters in the competition have ended all square.