Scorers, streaks and strolls
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FIFA.com’s latest stats review features big wins for an Asian trio in Azerbaijan, the ending of one streak in Germany, the prolonging of another in England, and prolific goalscoring from Michael Mifsud and Cristiano Ronaldo.

152

appearances, 152 goals: that is Ronaldo’s Real Madrid record after he topped up his tally with a penalty in Monday’s 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano. The strike maintained Ronaldo’s habit of scoring in Monday night matches; his first-ever goal came on Monday 7 October 2002, and is one of ten scored in the seven matches he has played on that day of the week. Real’s win at Rayo also yielded another milestone for Iker Casillas. It was the 31-year-old’s 462nd La Liga appearance for Los Merengues, taking him to third on the club’s all-time list behind Manuel Sanchis (524) and record-holder Raul (550).

31

matches without defeat was the mammoth run that came to an end for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. In losing in the Bundesliga for the first time in 369 days, the reigning champions fell just five short of the division’s all-time record, set when Hamburg survived 36 matches without defeat between 1982 and 1983. Perhaps fittingly, it was Die Rothosen themselves who ensured the preservation of that record, and ended a four-match losing streak in the process. The 3-2 victory proved to be a lesson in efficiency, with Thorsten Fink’s struggling side scoring with all three of their efforts on target.

20-0

was the aggregate score racked up by Asia’s three representatives in their opening matches at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup over the weekend. Brazil, Gambia and Uruguay were seen off in style by Japan, Korea DPR and China PR respectively, with several records falling in the course of these lop-sided wins. Japan’s 5-0 triumph, for example, was their biggest-ever win over Brazil in any competitive fixture, at any age level, male or female. The North Koreans, for their part, equalled the record scoreline for a FIFA women’s tournament match by putting 11 unanswered goals past Gambia in Baku. Even more surprising was the emulating of that impressive benchmark within a couple of days, and this time the African representatives were on the right side of the thrashing, with Nigeria beating hosts Azerbaijan by an identical margin.

10

goals were served up by Maltese rivals La Valetta and Hamrun Spartans on Monday, and six of them came from one player: Michael Mifsud. The 31-year-old, captain of Malta’s national team, scored four times inside the opening 14 minutes as La Valetta maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with an 8-2 win. The capital club are aiming for a third successive national title, while their star striker is already on nine goals for the season, five clear of his nearest rivals. Both La Valetta and Mifsud are sure to face a tougher examination on Saturday though when they travel to face joint-leaders Hibernians, who have matched their old rivals stride for stride with five wins from as many matches at the start of the season.

0

wins from their first five league matches is a position that, before Sunday, Liverpool hadn’t found themselves in for 101 years. A 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United left Brendan Rodgers’ side having made the club’s worst start to a top flight campaign since 1911/12, and has them languishing in the relegation zone. Being reduced to ten men didn’t help Liverpool’s cause, but Reds fans will also be concerned that their side have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 league matches. That defensive fragility allowed United to come from behind to win at Anfield for the first time in the Premier League era, and end their opponents' ten-match unbeaten sequence in home matches against Manchester opposition.