One of the fastest goals in Spanish football history and a lightning hat-trick in Serbia feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, along with success for Cliftonville and Sampdoria and a new crop of milestones for a 25-year-old Argentinian.
years after Cliftonville last scored eight times on their travels, they repeated the feat on Saturday. Tommy Breslin's men visited Ballymena United, who were looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches, having only beaten their opponents 2-1 at home in the sides’ first meeting of the Irish League. However, doubles apiece from Liam Boyce and Stephen Garrett propelled Cliftonville to an astonishing 8-0 victory that moved them seven points clear at the summit. The result was the joint-second-biggest victory – and the biggest away win – in the 132-year history of Northern Ireland’s oldest club. Cliftonville’s most emphatic success of all time was the 10-1 defeat they handed Saint Malachy's in 1886.
goals in the UEFA Champions League is what Lionel Messi reached by hitting a brace in Barcelona’s 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow, moving him joint-second, alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy, on the competition’s list of all-time top scorers. Interestingly, the aforementioned Dutchman had only netted 12 times in the Champions League when he was 25 years and 149 days old – the age at which the little Argentinian was on Tuesday. Raul is the leading marksman in Champions League history, on 71 goals, but by scoring in Moscow Messi did equal the Spaniard’s record of finding the target in 19 different cities in European club football’s showpiece event. The Barça No10 also become the first man to score more than one goal in 15 Champions League matches, ending Raul’s co-ownership of the landmark. Meanwhile Xavi made his 124th Champions League appearance, moving him level with Clarence Seedorf in joint-fourth on the all-time list, behind Raul (142), Ryan Giggs (131) and Iker Casillas (126).
seconds is all it took Jose Antonio Reyes to thump home the fifth-fastest goal in La Liga history on Sunday. Not one of the Sevilla attacker’s team-mates had touched the ball before he capitalised upon an error by Betis goalkeeper Adrian San Miguel to score in the fixture for the first time in over nine years. The only men to register a quicker goal in the Spanish top flight are Joseba Llorente (for Valladolid after seven seconds in 2008), Dario Silva (for Malaga after eight seconds in 2000), Carlos Diarte (for Valencia after ten seconds in 1977) and Mariano Armentano (for Osasuna after ten seconds in 2001). Reyes’ deadlock-breaker also made him fastest all-time marksman in the Seville derby, smashing the previous 35-second record set by Pepe Mel – the current Betis coach – in 1990/91. Reyes ended up with a brace, as did Federico Fazio, as Sevilla avoided going five league derbies without victory for the first time ever. Furthermore, Ivan Rakitic’s stoppage-time strike, which sealed the 5-1 success, ensured Los Rojiblancos scored five goals against their arch-enemies for the first time in almost 70 years.
straight losses was the sequence Sampdoria extinguished by inflicting a 3-1 defeat on arch-rivals Genoa, who lost for the sixth successive time since 1992. Gigi Del Neri, who had been the last man to guide Samp to victory in the Derby della Lanterna in April 2010, has now lost all five matches since assuming the Rossoblu reins. The result elevated Sampdoria from the relegation zone and dropped Genoa to rock-bottom.
goals is what Spartak Zlatibor Voda substitute Aleksandar Noskovic scored in the last 11 minutes to turn a deficit into a 3-1 victory over Jagodina in the Serbian Superliga on Saturday. The 23-year-old midfielder had only been on the pitch eight minutes when he volleyed home an 83rd-minute equaliser from close range. Noskovic then produced an exquisite flick to put the hosts ahead in stoppage time, before completing his hat-trick by carrying the ball from the halfway line and slotting it home. It was a turnaround result that enhanced Spartak’s turnaround season. Indeed, after losing their first four matches, Petar Kurcubic’s team have gone unbeaten in their subsequent nine, taking 16 points from a possible 18 to leap into fifth.