Groans, glory and goals galore
© AFP

A title triumph for Porto, a goal-laden encounter in Colombia, the end of Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten home record, Wayne Rooney’s quick-fire hat-trick and some even speedier striking from Dejan Stankovic feature in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review.

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matches over nine years, one month, ten days and four separate clubs: this was the incredible unbeaten home league record that came to an abrupt and unexpected end for Jose Mourinho on Saturday. Manolo Preciado succeeded where 107 different coaches had tried and failed, and did so with a Sporting Gijon side that had arrived at the Bernabeu with just one away win to their name all season. Given that Real had won all 22 of their previous home matches under Mourinho, racking up an aggregate score of 46-6 in La Liga business alone, it was understandable that few gave Preciado’s team a prayer. Yet despite Los Merengues raining in no fewer than 32 shots during the match – more than in any previous league match this season – a solitary goal from Miguel de las Cuevas enabled Gijon to become the first team since Beira Mar in February 2002 to claim league points on Mourinho’s patch. Fortunately for Real, they were back to their devastating best at the Bernabeu last night, with ex-Arsenal forward Emmanuel Adebayor – the scorer of eight goals in nine North London derbies – returning to haunt Tottenham Hotspur with a brace in his side’s 4-0 win.

25

seconds were on the clock at the San Siro last night when Dejan Stankovic scored the fifth-fastest goal in UEFA Champions League history. The 32-year-old took his place behind Clarence Seedorf (21 seconds, AC Milan-Schalke, 2005), Alessandro del Piero (20, Juventus-Manchester United, 1997), Gilberto Silva (20, Arsenal-PSV, 2002) and the current record-holder, Roy Makaay, who found the net after just ten seconds of Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid in 2007. Yet despite Stankovic's spectacular strike providing the perfect start, and the fact that Inter had never before lost a Champions League match after opening the scoring, they ultimately slumped to one of the worst results of their European history. Opponents Schalke, in fact, racked up their highest-ever number of goals in a Champions League match, while Inter equalled their record number of goals conceded, going down to a shock 5-2 defeat. In the history of European competition, eight teams have lost the first leg 5-2 at home and, unsurprisingly, none have progressed, leaving Inter on the brink of becoming the first holders to exit in the last eight since their city rivals in 2003/04.

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wins, two draws and no defeats is the tally that enabled Porto to become only the second team to clinch the Portuguese championship without tasting defeat. Previously, the Benfica team of 1972/73 had been the only side to manage this feat, although the Lisbon giants also survived the 1977/78 campaign without losing, yet still missed out on the title on goal difference. Porto clinched this latest championship, their fifth in the last six seasons and 25th overall, at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz – the first time they had secured the title at the home of their southern rivals since 1940. Benfica had been protecting an 11-match unbeaten run at home but met their match in a Dragões team undefeated in the league since 28 February 2010, a 34-match streak that represents their longest since of a sequence of 53 between October 1994 and March 1996.

14

minutes was all that Wayne Rooney needed to turn a calamitous defeat into potentially decisive victory for Manchester United on Saturday. The 25-year-old's was the third-fasted Premier League hat-trick by a United player, falling just short of the record of ten minutes shared by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (against Nottingham Forest in 99) and Teddy Sheringham (versus Southampton in 2000), and was also the first treble scored away from home in England’s top flight since Rooney himself at Portsmouth in November 2009. Furthermore, Rooney’s second goal at Upton Park was his 100th for United in the Premier League, making him only the third Red Devils player to reach this particular milestone after Ryan Giggs (105) and Paul Scholes (102). Javier Hernandez, meanwhile, confirmed his status as English football’s most prolific substitute, coming off the bench to score for the fifth time this season, a tally no other Premier League player can match.

11

goals, including nine in an incredible first half, were served up in Colombia on Sunday as Atletico Huila crashed to a 7-4 home defeat by Deportes Tolima. The title-chasing visitors raced into a 6-3 half-time lead, scoring six goals in the space of 29 minutes, and ended the match with six different players on the score-sheet. Yet it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Ibague outfit, who conceded three penalties over the course of an amazing game, only two of which were converted. While this incident-packed win took Tolima to second in the Colombian standings, remarkably it wasn’t the highest-scoring match of the past week. That title instead belongs to a 13-goal spectacle produced by Aruban outfits Britannia and Sporting, although the latter side are unlikely to treasure the honour, given that 12 of those goals flew into their net.