Speed, streaks and silverware
© Getty Images

Historic feats litter FIFA.com’s latest stats review, with a landmark title for Guangzhou Yiyao featuring alongside CSKA Moscow’s 55-week unbeaten run and record-breaking goals in Argentina and Guatemala. We also reflect on a week to forget for fans of Everton, Arsenal and the Milan giants.

46

years after Jilin became the first and hitherto only newly-promoted team to conquer the Chinese top flight, Guangzhou Yiyao rewrote history last Wednesday by emulating them. The big-spending Guangdong outfit have been all but unstoppable over the last two seasons and clinched the 2011 Super League crown with four games to spare, fending off rivals with the same ease they displayed in coasting to last season’s second tier title. Earlier this month, Guangzhou suffered their first and, to date, only defeat of the season, having previously strung together a record streak of 44 matches unbeaten across their two title-winning campaigns.

11

hours and 21 minutes without a Premier League goal was the run that came to a long-awaited end for Andy Carroll in Saturday’s Merseyside derby. The £35 million-man struck the opener in a 2-0 defeat of ten-man Everton, who have now beaten Liverpool just once in the sides’ last nine league meetings. Jack Rodwell’s earlier dismissal, the 11th witnessed in the last 14 Merseyside derbies, was always likely to prove damaging for a Toffees side that had lost to Liverpool in each of the previous seven matches in which they had been reduced to ten men. Arsenal, meanwhile, endured an equally miserable time at North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, losing 2-1 to extend their winless away run to eight matches – the club’s longest of the Premier League era. As for Spurs, for whom Rafael van der Vaart scored the10,000th goal of their history, they can reflect with satisfaction on having won three of their last four league duels with Arsenal for the first time since 1974.

9

seconds were on the clock when Comunicaciones striker Transito Montepeque scored the fastest goal ever seen in Guatemala’s top flight since the short tournament format was introduced. Montepeque’s quick-fire opener, which eclipsed Hernan Sandoval’s previous record of 10.83 seconds, set Comunicaciones on the way to a 3-1 win over Heredia-Jaguares that took the victors to third in the Liga standings. A similar feat was achieved in Argentina, where Gabriel Hauche scored after only 52 seconds to set a new benchmark for the fastest goal in the Clásico de Avellaneda. This derby, between Hauche’s Racing Club and Independiente, has taken centre stage in Argentina since River Plate’s relegation put the Superclásico on ice, and Independiente – who fought back to draw 1-1 – continue to enjoy a historical edge, with 68 wins to Racing’s 47.

3

unanswered Napoli goals handed Inter Milan their biggest home league defeat in over a decade on Saturday. Not since they famously lost 6-0 to their Milan rivals on 11 May 2001 have I Nerazzurri suffered such a resounding loss in front of their own fans, and this latest reverse – Napoli’s first win at the San Siro since 1994 - left the 2010 European champions with the worst defensive record in Serie A. Inter are also the only top flight side in Italy still to register a goal on home turf, while the identity of the leading scorers at this stage is equally surprising, with Novara leading the way on ten. It was a bad weekend for both Milanese giants, with AC Milan beaten 2-0 by a Juventus side that, prior to Sunday’s meeting, hadn’t scored against them in Turin since 2008. Claudio Marchisio rewrote that particular statistic with the first brace of his career, continuing a fine start to the season that has seen the midfielder develop a reputation as a late specialist, scoring each of his three goals in the final ten minutes of play.

1

year, three weeks and two days have now passed since CSKA Moscow were last beaten away from home in the Russian Premier League. A 0-0 draw at Rubin Kazan on Sunday – their fifth straight draw on the road after five successive away wins - extended this streak, already a national record, to 20 matches. It also kept the capital club in the hunt for a first league title in five years, with the period since having witnessed the Premier League trophy’s longest-ever exile from Moscow. Defending champions Zenit St Petersburg remain two points clear of the former army team, whose last away loss came to Lokomotiv Moscow on 12 September 2010, and three ahead of another Muscovite outfit, Dinamo. CSKA will hope that their late title push is boosted by a return to scoring form for Vagner Love, their Brazilian talisman who is currently without a goal in his last ten league outings.