New idols and hat-trick heroes
© AFP

Goals dominate FIFA.com’s latest stats review, from the high-scoring exploits of Real Madrid, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Mohamed Zidan, through trebles for Messrs Messi and Soldado, to a record-breaking defeat in Eindhoven.

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home Eredivisie matches over a 56-year period had passed without PSV ever conceding six goals. That was until Sunday, when FC Twente rewrote the record books by emerging from the Philips Stadion with a spectacular 6-2 victory. Yet this unlikely outcome merely continued a poor run against these particular opponents, with PSV – 21-time champions – now winless in their last ten competitive meetings with Twente. The result left both sides locked on 48 points, just one behind leaders AZ, although this record-breaking scoreline left Twente 12 better off in the goal difference stakes.

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goals in 25 matches, an average of 3.4 per game, have enabled Real Madrid to set a new La Liga record. Never before at this stage of a Spanish top-flight season had any club built up such a gargantuan goal tally, with Jose Mourinho’s side having boosted theirs further with a 5-0 victory over Espanyol - their biggest win in this fixture since April 1992. The result left the Barcelona outfit as the only Liga side not to have scored against Real since Mourinho took charge. Predictably, Cristiano Ronaldo was on target, scoring his 30th goal in just 25 league appearances this season. The Portuguese is now one of only two players, the other being Lionel Messi, who has scored 30-plus goals in successive Liga campaigns. Also among the goals was Kaka, who preserved his reputation as something of a lucky mascot for Mourinho’s side. The Brazilian has now scored in 17 top-flight matches for Real and, on each occasion, Los Merengues have gone on to take all three points.

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shots have been directed on target by Pavel Pogrebnyak in his first three appearances for Fulham - and all five have flown into the net. The Russian, with a goal in each of his opening two appearances, became only the third Cottagers player to score a Premier League hat-trick in the process of inspiring a 5-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. The result, which equalled Wolves’ worst-ever Premier League defeat – a 5-0 loss at home to Chelsea in 2003 - left the struggling Midlands club with only one win from their last 13 matches. At the other end of the table, meanwhile, Manchester City extended their record of successive home wins to 19, equalling the Premier League record set by their city rivals. Roberto Mancini’s side have also become the first team since Newcastle United in 1906/07 to win the first 14 home matches of an English top-flight season. As for United, they had a record of their own to celebrate, with Sir Alex Ferguson overseeing his 986th league match at the club to surpass Sir Matt Busby’s long-standing record.

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matches into his Mainz career, Mohamed Zidan has maintained his record of scoring in every appearance thus far. Not only is this the first time that the Egyptian has scored in five successive Bundesliga matches, but he is also the first player in any of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues to achieve this feat for a new club since Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed it for Barcelona in 2009. There were landmarks elsewhere in Germany too, with Borussia Dortmund extending their winning run in the Bundesliga to a club record eight matches, this in a game that also marked Jurgen Klopp’s 100th victory as a Bundesliga coach. Less impressive are the sequences that have been notched up by Hoffenheim, who have now drawn a Bundesliga record-equalling seventh successive match, and Wolfsburg, whose run of 11 matches without a win ranks as the worst in the club’s history.

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goals against Switzerland last Wednesday gave Lionel Messi the first hat-trick of his international career. It also took him into joint-fifth position in Argentina’s all-time scoring list alongside Daniel Passarella and Leopoldo Luque, just two behind fourth-placed Luis Artime (24), although still a distance behind the legendary trio of Diego Maradona (34), Hernan Crespo (35) and Gabriel Batistuta (56). The Barcelona star wasn’t the only hat-trick hero last week though, with Roberto Soldado also chipping in with a treble as Spain cruised to a 5-0 win over Venezuela. The Valencia star, without a goal in his last nine club appearances, became the first player to score three times for La Roja since Fernando Torres inspired a 5-0 win over New Zealand at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. Torres isn’t proving quite so prolific these days, of course, with Soldado having scored more times in 35 second-half minutes than the Chelsea striker has managed in his last 385 at international level.