Spot-kicks, a stalwart and a centurion
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Cristiano Ronaldo and Alessandro Del Piero star in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, which also features an impressive streak in Braga, an unwanted record in Cologne and some wayward penalties in Avellaneda.

101

league goals in 92 appearances is Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing Real Madrid tally, this after he reached the century mark on Saturday in record-breaking fashion. No player in the history of La Liga had previously accumulated 100 goals in such a comparatively small number of matches and, with 131 goals overall, Ronaldo has already entered the top ten in Real’s list of all-time leading scorers. Karim Benzema joined his Portuguese colleague in scoring a double in the 5-1 win over Real Sociedad and, in doing so, reached 39 Liga goals to surpass Zinedine Zidane as the division’s highest-scoring Frenchman. And with Gonzalo Higuain also on target, Real’s prolific trio of forwards are now just eight goals away from eclipsing Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry’s tally of 100 from 2008/09 and becoming the highest scoring triumvirate in La Liga history.

20

consecutive league campaigns have now witnessed an Alessandro Del Piero goal after the Juventus legend opened his Serie A account for the season in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Inter Milan. The strike, Il Pinturicchio’s 186th in the Italian top flight, secured a result that extended Juve’s unbeaten run to 30 matches, equalling the club record. It was also the Turin giants’ third successive win in the Derby d’Italia, the first time they have managed such a streak since 1996, when current coach Antonio Conte was among the players. Sadly, for Conte’s Inter counterpart on Sunday, this latest loss – the club’s eighth in the last two months – proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Claudio Ranieri, who had been sacked following his last defeat in Turin in 2009, suffered the same fate in the wake of this latest reverse, meaning that Inter have sacked two coaches in the same season for the first time since 1998/99.

13

straight wins have taken Braga to the SuperLiga summit for the first time in over two years. Os Arcebispos (The Archbishops) haven’t dropped points in the Portuguese top flight since last November, and are the only side, other than Porto, to manage such an extended run of SuperLiga victories over the past two decades. Braga, of course, have never won a national title; indeed, in the league’s 78-year history, only twice - Belenenses in 1946 and Boavista in 2001 - has the championship been claimed by anyone outside the traditional big three of Porto, Benfica and Sporting. Os Dragões (The Dragons) and As Águias (The Eagles) – one and two points behind Braga respectively – remain firmly in the hunt for this year’s crown, and between them this heavyweight duo have won each of the last nine Superliga titles.

11-1

is Borussia Dortmund’s aggregate score from their two encounters with Cologne this season - the highest they have ever recorded against a Bundesliga opponent. The 6-1 win on Sunday that topped up the overall scoreline was also Dortmund’s joint-highest away win, equalling a 6-1 victory in August 1994, when Cologne were again their opponents. It was a miserable weekend for Die Geißböcke (The Billy Goats), for whom Ilkay Gundogan's fourth goal for Dortmund was the 900th they have conceded at home in the Bundesliga, making them the first club to reach this undesirable milestone. They also conceded five goals in a single half of top-flight football for the first time in their 64-year history. Elsewhere, there was better news for Otto Rehhagel, who won his first away Bundesliga fixture since April 2000 as Hertha Berlin, with only two goals in their previous nine matches, won 3-1 at Mainz.

4

penalties were taken in Union de Santa Fe’s 3-0 win at Racing Club on Saturday – and all four failed to find the net. There was a remarkable symmetry to the spot-kicks, with the original efforts - one for each team - both saved ahead of a retake being ordered, and the second attempts struck well off target. Nor was this the only unusual statistic to emerge from the Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Peron, with the first of Union’s goals coming after just nine seconds, making it the fastest strike of the Clausura season. Not that it’s a record Matias Martinez will be particularly proud of, with the Racing Club defender breaking the deadlock with the first own goal of his top-flight career.