Goalscorers once again dominate FIFA.com’s latest stats review, with the feats of Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, Kris Commons and Mario Balotelli featuring alongside the title celebrations of New Zealand’s new record champions.
goals for club and country have now been racked up by Ronaldo after he bolstered his already impressive tally in Real Madrid’s 5-2 win over Real Mallorca. Goals for Los Merengues account for the lion’s share of that total (189), with the others spread across Manchester United (118), Sporting (5) and Portugal’s national team (38). Ronaldo’s was the first of three strikes in a six-minute spell that saw Real come from behind against their visitors from the Balearics, the first time they have managed such a quick-fire trio since 2004. The goals on that occasion came from Luis Figo, David Beckham, Michael Owen and included a brace from the club’s other legendary Ronaldo.
Chelsea goals was the landmark reached by Frank Lampard on Sunday. The England midfielder’s latest effort, the opener in a 2-0 win over former club West Ham United, took him to within two of equalling the Blues’ all-time record goalscorer, Bobby Tambling. It also boosted his Premier League tally for the season to 12, making 2012/13 Lampard’s best since he contributed 22 to the club’s title-winning 2009/10 campaign. The 34-year-old had been rested for Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Steaua Bucharest in the UEFA Europa League last week, a result that enabled Chelsea to become one of three English teams – an all-time high – to make the competition’s quarter-finals. The picture is not so rosy in the UEFA Champions League, though, where the country will go unrepresented in the last eight for the first time since 1995/96.
seconds were on the clock when Kris Commons fired Celtic in front against Aberdeen on Saturday with the fastest goal in Scottish Premier League history. Ironically, the assist for this lightning-quick strike was provided by the previous record-holder, Antony Stokes, whose goal for former club Hibernian against Rangers in 2009 was beaten by 0.2 of a second. But Commons did not settle for making an early impact. He also set up the decisive goal in a 4-3 victory with just 12 seconds of stoppage time remaining, when his free-kick led to Georgios Samaras’s dramatic overhead-kick winner. Elsewhere in Scotland, there was also joy for St Mirren, who beat Hearts 3-2 at Hampden on Sunday to win the Scottish League Cup for the first time in their 136-year history.
goals is the impressive tally with which Mario Balotelli has emerged from his first six Serie A matches in the colours of AC Milan. Not since Andriy Shevchenko made an identical start to life in Italy in 1999/00 has any player had such an explosive impact at I Rossoneri, with Balotelli responsible for both of Milan’s goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Palermo. That brace included a trademark penalty, maintaining his 100 per cent record from the spot over nine attempts in both Italy and England. The Palermo-born striker also maintained his fine record against his hometown team, with five goals past I Rosanero establishing them as his favourite victims.
straight NZFC titles have now been won by Waitakere United, establishing them as the competition’s most successful team. Their latest championship was the club's fifth overall, edging them beyond the four won by Auckland City, the team beaten 4-3 in Sunday's dramatic grand final. It took extra time to separate these city rivals, with Alan Pearce’s 100th-minute goal the decisive moment in a memorable encounter that looked to have been won by an 89th-minute Chris Bale strike for ten-man Auckland before Roy Krishna, the league’s top marksman, restored parity with the final seconds of the 90 ticking away. The game’s seven goals established it as the highest-scoring grand final thus far, although the fixture does have a well-earned reputation for producing plenty of goals. In the nine NZFC grand finals thus far, the net has bulged 42 times, making for an impressive average of 4.7 goals per game.