top flight wins was the landmark reached over the weekend by Liverpool over the weekend, who became the first English team to reach this milestone. The Reds increased their lead over closest challengers Arsenal (1,751) and Everton (1,745) in the all-time table after a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Sunday. Brendan Rodgers’ side have struggled for consistency this season but at least seem to have located their scoring boots since the turn of the year, having found the net 28 times in 11 Premier League matches. That gives them comfortably the best record in the league for 2013, with no other team having yet broke through the 20-mark. Liverpool would, however, gladly swap places with Manchester United, who look to be strolling to their 20th league title. The Red Devils won 1-0 at Sunderland on Saturday to become the first team in English top flight history to win 25 of their first 30 league fixtures.
home European matches without defeat is the run Paris Saint-Germain extended last night thanks to Blaise Matuidi’s last-gasp equaliser. The French side haven’t lost at the Parc des Princes in continental competition since November 2006, when Hapoel Tel Aviv emerged with a 4-2 win. This sequence, the longest of any team still remaining in the UEFA Champions League, was prolonged only after PSG twice fell behind against Barcelona. They have now come from behind to draw or win on six occasions in the Champions League and, remarkably, three of those have been against Barça. The man who sparked the comeback on this occasion was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who became only the fifth player – after Andriy Shevchenko, Thierry Henry, Fernando Morientes and Michael Ballack – to score for three different clubs in the competition’s knockout rounds. The Swede also set up Matuidi’s goal, leaving him with a tournament-leading six assists in this season’s Champions League.
consecutive La Liga fixtures, involving every one of the division’s sides, is the record run of matches in which Lionel Messi has now scored. The little Argentinian completed this unprecedented collection on Saturday against Celta Vigo, continuing a streak that began on 11 November and has encompassed 30 goals in those 19 matches. He is now on 43 for the season, more than all but three of Barcelona’s Liga rivals. Messi’s goal in Vigo was also his 23rd away strike of this campaign, equalling the league’s all-time record, set just last season by Cristiano Ronaldo. Not content with setting new domestic benchmarks, Barcelona’s No10 added a fresh continental record last night, becoming the first player in the history of the Champions League to score in 20 different cities, surpassing Raul’s existing record.
goals were served up by Bayern Munich and Hamburg on Saturday in the highest-scoring Bundesliga match in over seven years. Not since Schalke’s 7-4 win over Bayer Leverkusen in February 2006 has the net rippled so often, although only Bayern will take any pride in the achievement. The league leaders were, after all, responsible for nine of the 11 goals – the first time they have managed this feat since a 9-0 win over Kickers Offenbach in 1984. The star of their free-scoring victory was Claudio Pizarro, who claimed four goals and two assists in a dazzling 38-minute period. In doing, the Peruvian took his overall Bundesliga tally to 164 and climbed ahead of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge into the division’s top ten all-time goalscorers list. For hapless Hamburg, this was the third time in succession they have lost by a margin of five goals or more away to Bayern. It was also the second time they have been beaten 9-2 in Bavaria, with 1860 Munich having inflicted an identical defeat in 1964.
years and 277 Serie matches without a red card was the run that came to an end for Esteban Cambiasso on Sunday. The Argentinian midfielder picked up the first dismissal of his Inter Milan career for a wild tackle on Sebastian Giovinco as I Nerazzurri fell to a second successive home defeat, going down 2-1 against Juventus. It was a match in which Juve’s Fabio Quagliarella broke the deadlock with the 100th league goal of his career, a strike all the more satisfying as it came against the only current Serie A team against whom he had never previously scored. He now joins Edinson Cavani, Antonio Di Natale and Alberto Gilardino as the only active players to have found the net against every of the teams currently playing in the top flight. Cavani, for his part, was on target twice as Napoli beat Torino for the first time since 1996 in spectacular style. For once, the Uruguayan had to play a supporting role as Blerim Dzemaili scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 win – the highest-scoring match of this Serie A campaign.