Runs, records and more Messi magic
© AFP

This week, FIFA.com’s stats review reflects on records attained and avoided in Chile, England, Germany and Sweden, while also highlighting Lionel Messi’s latest exploits and Flamengo's return to form.

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matches without victory – Flamengo’s worst-ever sequence in the Brasileirao – was the run that Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s men ended with a 2-1 comeback win over America Mineiro on Saturday. The Rio de Janeiro giants had lost five and drawn five since a 1-0 victory over Coritiba on 6 August left them top of the Brasileirao and unbeaten after 15 rounds, and the winless streak looked set to continue after Kempes put the visitors ahead. However, Deivid equalised just past the hour, before the usually prolific Thiago Neves scored his first goal in 13 games with two minutes remaining. The victory was Flamengo’s first in four attempts without Ronaldinho, who has scored 13 times in 22 outings, in this year’s Brasileirao; they previously drew 1-1 with Ceara and lost to 4-1 and 3-1 to Atletico Goianiense and Bahia respectively. The result lifted O Mengão, who had lost three and drawn one of their previous four home fixtures, to sixth, eight points behind leaders and arch-rivals Vasco da Gama.

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own goals, the most recent of which arrived in the 90th minute of Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw at Queen’s Park Rangers on Sunday, have strengthened Richard Dunne’s reluctant hold on this particular English Premier League record. The Irish defender, whose last three goals have all come at the wrong end to leave him two clear of Jamie Carragher, also shares in another unsavoury Premier League record, with his tally of eight red cards matched only by Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson. Dunne’s latest own goal also left Villa as only the third team in Premier League history - after Ipswich Town in 1992/93 and Fulham last season - to draw five of their opening six fixtures. There was better news for Peter Crouch, whose first goal for Stoke City enabled him to become only the sixth player to score in the Premier League for six different clubs, emulating Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand, Marcus Bent, Nicky Barmby and Craig Bellamy. There were also notable goalscoring milestones over the past week for Robin van Persie, who scored his 99th and 100th Arsenal goals, and for Manchester City’s Owen Hargreaves, who found the net for the first time in 1,256 days.

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games, 12 goals and ten assists: that is Lionel Messi’s incredible record thus far in season 2011/12. With eight goals and five assists to his name in La Liga alone, the Barcelona talisman has already been involved in more goals than 18 of the division’s 20 teams. Since the start of last season, Messi has an average of better than a goal-a-game for Barça, having found the net 65 times in 64 competitive appearances. Furthermore, his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid left the 24-year-old on 127 La Liga goals from 182 appearances, taking him beyond Mario Kempes (126 in 222) as the second-highest scoring Argentinian in the league’s history. Messi still has some way to go, however, before he can reach countryman Alfredo Di Stefano’s imposing tally of 228.

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straight wins at the start of their Clausura campaign have enabled Universidad de Chile to set a new national record. The Santiago outfit, who won their 14th national title in this year’s Apertura, are enjoying a sensational run of form, having lost just one of their last 29 matches, and none of their last 14. Their flawless start to the Clausura has witnessed 24 goals scored and just three conceded, with their latest win – a 3-0 victory over O’Higgins on Sunday – taking them beyond the previous record eight-match sequences of Cobreloa and Colo Colo in 1978 and 2007 respectively.

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different teams have now tasted title glory in Sweden in as many seasons after Helsingborgs clinched their first Allsvenskan championship since 1999 on Sunday. Never before has Sweden’s top flight seen such a sequence, with Djurgardens, Elfsborg, Gothenburg, Kalmar, AIK and Malmo all having been crowned champions since 2005. Longer streaks exist elsewhere in Europe – the most protracted of which involving 11 different clubs winning the Dutch title between 1942/43 and 1953/54 – but this Swedish sequence is the most prolonged since France had seven separate champions between 1991/92 and 1998/99.

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months and four days after their last Bundesliga victory, Hamburg finally returned to winning ways on Friday – and narrowly missed out on equalling a long-standing club record. Failing to beat Stuttgart would have extended to 14 matches Die Rothosen’s winless streak, matching a similarly miserable sequence the club endured back in 1967. As it was, they came from behind to win 2-1 in Rodolfo Cardoso’s first match in charge, although the caretaker coach will be aware that his predecessor, Michael Oenning, also won his first match – and failed to repeat the feat in any of those that followed. One club with no such worries are Bayern Munich, for whom Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen yielded a ninth consecutive clean sheet (number ten came last night against Manchester City) and extended to 568 minutes their run without conceding in the Bundesliga.