FIFA.com’s latest stats review highlights a milestone for Real Madrid and personal ones for two of their players, a high-scoring contest in France, Joleon Lescott’s scoring success against Aston Villa and a dream start to Roy Carroll’s Olympiacos career.
league goals at the Bernabeu is the total Real Madrid reached when Cristiano Ronaldo put them 3-1 up against Levante on Sunday. Los Merengues trailed until the 27-year-old Portuguese successfully converted his 21st successive penalty in La Liga, and his landmark goal at the 1947-opened stadium, en route to a 4-2 success, gave him his 13th hat-trick for the club since his move from Manchester United in the summer of 2009. Real have now come from behind to win five times at home, and six times overall, in the Spanish top flight this season – the only occasion on which they fell behind and failed to emerge victorious was in a 1-0 loss at Levante in September. Iker Casillas also made another personal milestone at the final whistle, equalling Manolo Sanchis’s record of playing 437 full matches for the capital giants in La Liga. The 31-time Spanish champions have now won seven consecutive matches since a December loss at home to Barcelona, whose 3-2 loss at home to Osasuna on Saturday left them having dropped seven points from a possible 18 and ten behind the leaders. Furthermore, following Round 22 of 38, Pep Guardiola’s team have now dropped three more points than they did during the entire 2009/10 campaign and the same as they did when seizing a third straight title last season.
years after Lille last conceded five goals at home in Ligue 1, Bordeaux subjected them to the same fate with a 5-4 victory on Sunday. However, when Angers won 5-1 in Villeneuve-d'Ascq in November 1974, Les Dogues were fighting against relegation and in the midst of a run of seven losses in eight outings, while this time around Rudi Garcia’s defending champions were chasing the Ligue 1 title and a fourth clean sheet in five attempts at the Stade Lille-Metropole. The latter hope was ended when Nicolas Maurice-Belay fired the visitors ahead on two minutes, and although the 26-year-old midfielder was on target again, it was another brace-scoring Bordeaux player who seized the headlines. Indeed, Nolan Roux’s 90th-minute goal appeared to have snatched Lille, who were at a three-goal deficit with just 25 minutes remaining, a 4-4 draw, but Ludovic Obraniak popped up deep into stoppage time to condemn the club he represented until last month to defeat. It was the Poland international’s third goal in as many games for Bordeaux, and first double since inspiring Lille to a 3-1 win over Boulogne-sur-Mer two years ago to this month. The nine goals made it the high-scoring match in the French top flight since Lille beat visiting Lorient 6-3 in December 2010.
shots is what Inter Milan registered on Sunday – the most any team has posted in a Serie A game this season – yet it was insufficient to produce a goal as the struggling giants lost at home to rock-bottom Novara. Milan-born forward Andrea Caracciolo was the match-winner with his seventh career goal against I Nerazzurri – more than the 30-year-old has scored any other side – to give I Biancoazzurri their first away success of the season and newly-appointed coach Emiliano Mondonico his first win at the San Siro in 14 attempts. Inter have now lost four of their last five outings in all competitions, failing to score in each of those defeats, while their five-game winless run is their worst since March 2004.
goals against Aston Villa is what makes Joleon Lescott the defender to have scored the most times against a single club in Premier League history. The 29-year-old centre-back was born in Birmingham in 1982 – the year in which the Villa upset Bayern Munich in the European Cup final – and he grew up supporting them. However, Lescott scored thrice against his boyhood idols for Everton, and netted his second for Manchester City against Villa to earn a 1-0 away win on Sunday. The result kept Roberto Mancini’s men two points clear of second-placed Manchester United in the title race, and left Alex McLeish’s team without victory at Villa Park for seven matches – the club’s worst home run since 1987. But while one City player improved a personal scoring sequence, another extended an individual drought. Indeed Sergio Aguero, who has struck 18 goals in 22 games for the club in either Manchester or London, has now failed to make the score-sheet in 12 appearances outside those two cities.
touches as an Olympiacos player was what Roy Carroll had made prior to saving a penalty from Rubin Kazan’s Bebras Natcho yesterday that helped his new side put one foot in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. David Fuster fired the Greek champions ahead on 71 minutes, but five minutes later their goalkeeper Balazs Megyeri was sent off for hauling down Gokdeniz Karadeniz inside the box. Olympiacos coach Ernesto Valverde consequently summoned Carroll, who was signed from OFI Crete last month, from the bench for his debut, and the former Manchester United man immediately dived south-west to superbly repel Natkho’s penalty. The visitors hung on for a 1-0 win and fifth successive clean sheet in all competitions, amid temperatures as low as minus 13 in Moscow.