Giallorossi glee, Gunners blues & Australian twos
© Getty Images

A crop of pleasing numbers for Roma and their No10, Bayern Munich’s impregnability in the Bundesliga, and embarrassment for Arsenal feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, along with a trend in the A-League.

28

years after Arsenal bowed out of both English cups to lower-league opposition, they suffered the same fate at the weekend. The Gunners, while first in the top flight in 1984/85, were beaten 3-2 at second-division Oxford United, whose goals came from John Aldridge, Billy Hamilton and Dave Langen, in the third round of the League Cup. Later that same campaign, Don Howe’s team lost 1-0 away to York City in the fourth round of the FA Cup, courtesy of a penalty by Keith Houchen, who would go on to score a spectacular diving header to help Coventry City upset Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the same competition in 1986/87. On home soil, however, Arsenal had not suffered defeat for 34 matches in the FA Cup heading into their hosting of second-tier Blackburn Rovers, who secured victory thanks to Colin Kazim-Richards’ solitary goal. It was the first time the London giants had lost to lower-league opposition during Arsene Wenger’s 17-year reign, while they became the eighth Premier League side to be eliminated from the FA Cup by a team from a lower division this season.

16

matches is how long Roma had gone without keeping a clean sheet against Juventus, before a 1-0 victory arrested that statistic and got the capital side their first win in seven attempts in Serie A. Saturday’s result also subjected the Turin giants to just their second defeat in 31 outings on their travels, and was their first loss at the Stadio Olimpico since February 2004. Francesco Totti’s 25-yard thunderbolt settled the outcome – it was his first goal against Juve at the Stadio Olimpico since 2007 but tenth past Gianluigi Buffon in just nine encounters between the former Italy team-mates. It moved the iconic Giallorossi captain on to 224 goals in Serie A, just one shy of Gunnar Nordahl, who sits second on the all-time chart behind 274-goal Silvio Piola. Roma have now scored in each of their last 32 home league matches.

6

of the last nine Antigua and Barbuda Premier Division seasons have finished with Hoppers, who have never won the title, as runners-up. Hoppers appeared to be cruising down the final straight, but unexpected slip-ups in their final two home matches left them requiring victory at league leaders Old Road on the final day. Ultimately, despite the visitors dominating possession, it ended 1-1 to seal Derrick Edwards’ side’s defence of their crown.

4

hours: that is the staggering time Bayern Munich had surpassed without having a shot on target registered against them in the Bundesliga until Wolfsburg’s Diego forced Manuel Neuer into making a save in the 77th minute of their meeting on Friday. The Germany goalkeeper ultimately kept his fifth successive clean sheet in that 2-0 away win, and has now only leaked seven goals in 22 league games. Neuer also moved on to 519 minutes without conceding in the Bundesliga, with Timo Hildebrand having set the 884-minute record for Stuttgart in 2003/04. Mario Mandzukic scored a stunning bicycle kick against his former club to make it six goals in his last five league appearances and 15 in 19 overall, keeping him level with Stefan Kiessling at the summit of the scoring chart. Elsewhere, Schalke’s Max Meyer became the ninth-youngest player in German top-flight history at the age of 17 years and 151 days.

2

is the number of goals the victorious team has scored in each of the last eight A-League matches. Five of those ended in 2-1 wins, with the other three in 2-0 successes. Among the triumphant teams were Sydney FC, who earlier this season suffered a 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Central Coast Mariners and propped up the standings. The Sky Blues, with Alessandro Del Piero in fine form, beat Adelaide United 2-1 on Saturday to make it five home victories on the bounce, breaking their club record of four set in 2006. The result also lifted Frank Farina’s Sydney to fifth and left them in with a strong chance of making the play-offs.