Siblings, stalwarts and sequences
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In our latest review of the week’s standout stats, FIFA.com focuses on record-breaking runs in Glasgow and Milan, twin brothers on target in Argentina, a thriller in Lyon, and yet another Ryan Giggs milestone.

900

Manchester United appearances was the landmark reached by Giggs on Saturday, 7,666 days after his debut for the club in March 1991. The evergreen Welshman marked the occasion in style too, scoring a stoppage-time winner – the first time he has done so for the Red Devils – as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side clinched a vital 2-1 win at Norwich City. It was a day on which United’s veterans once again proved their incalculable worth, with Paul Scholes also among the goals as he and Giggs found the net in the same Premier League match for the first time in over five years. History was made the following day too by Emmanuel Adebayor, who marked his 28th birthday by becoming the first player to score in a North London derby for both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur since Jimmy Robertson in the 1960s. The Togolese striker and his Spurs team-mates ended up on the receiving end of an amazing defeat though, as the Gunners overturned a two-goal deficit for the first time against their old rivals, eventually running out 5-2 victors.

20

consecutive domestic wins, the longest run in the club’s history, have now been strung together by Celtic as the Glasgow giants close in on the Scottish Premier League title. Victories over Dunfermline Athletic and Motherwell in the past week have taken the Bhoys past the previous benchmark, set when Jock Stein’s European Cup-winning Lisbon Lions racked up 18 straight league and cup wins in 1966. The current run, coupled with a ten-point penalty for administration-afflicted Rangers, has left Celtic 20 points clear of their eternal rivals, who just three months ago were leading the table by 15 points. Key to Neil Lennon’s side’s revival has been a defensive record showing 15 clean sheets over this 20-match winning run, with 600 minutes having passed in all competitions since the Hoops’ goal was last breached.

8

goals were shared by Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain in a dramatic encounter at the Stade Gerland on Saturday. Thrilling though the match was, it merely continued a season of high-scoring encounters in Ligue 1, which had already witnessed three other eight-goal spectacles - Sochaux 2-6 Rennes, Montpellier 5-3 Dijon and Lille 4-4 Nice – as well as Bordeaux’s 5-4 win away to Lille earlier this month. Indeed, not since season 1977/78 has the French top flight witnessed so many games featuring eight goals or more. PSG’s hero on Saturday was Guillaume Hoarau, who played an entire match for the first time this season and rewarded the capital club with a stoppage-time winner, rounding off his first Ligue 1 brace in over 23 months.

5

straight defeats have now been inflicted on Inter Milan, the first time that such a run has befallen the club since captain Javier Zanetti joined 17 years ago. Not since April 1994 have I Nerazzurri endured such a miserable sequence of results, with their latest conquerors, Napoli, completing a home and away ‘double’ against the Milan giants for the first time since 1967/68. Inter have also failed to score in four successive Serie A fixtures for the first time since 1987, with 471 minutes of football in all competitions having passed since their last competitive goal. The consequence of all this is that the 18-times champions are facing up to arguably the worst season in their history, having already lost 11 league matches, breaking the club record of ten set way back in 1947.

2

twin brothers, Rogelio Gabriel Funes Mori and Ramiro Funes Mori, were on target for River Plate in their 4-1 victory over Sportivo Desamparados de San Juan on Sunday. Not since Daniel and Ermindo Onega managed the same feat 44 years ago against Chacarita have two siblings found the net for Los Millonarios, and Ramiro’s goal was doubly momentous as it was his first league strike for the Buenos Aires giants. Joining these inseparable twins on the score-sheet as River secured a third straight win was David Trezeguet, who has made a significant impact at the Monumental despite fitness issues curtailing his involvement thus far. Indeed, despite playing just 74 minutes for his new club, and with all but one of his six brief appearances having come from the bench, the former France international has found the net three times – an average of one goal every 24.6 minutes.