Dismissals, droughts and a debut
© AFP

FIFA.com’s latest stats review is a tale of mixed fortunes, with Wes Brown’s red cards and Hamburg’s defeats featuring alongside the goalscoring exploits of Juan Pablo Angel, Javier Pastore and Adel Taarabt.

38

 years and 105 days was the age at which Juan Pablo Angel became the week's oldest top-flight goalscorer last Thursday, striking twice to inspire Atletico Nacional to a 5-1 win over Allianza Petrolera. The Colombian striker is currently in the second season of a second spell with the team that kicked off his impressive career, having starred in Argentina, England and USA in the interim. His goal is to inspire Nacional, the reigning champions, to a 14th national title and, with it, a share in Colombia’s all-time record, currently held by Millonarios of Bogota. Angel will, though, have a fight on his hands if he also has his eyes on the top scorer’s prize. That particular race is currently being led by another 30-plus former Cafeteros international, Jose Moreno, who already has four goals to his name.

20

 hours and seven minutes of Ligue 1 action without a goal was the run that finally came to an end for Javier Pastore on Sunday. The beleaguered Paris Saint-Germain forward scored the opener in his team's top-of-the-table clash at Monaco, although the hosts fought back to claim a 1-1 draw in the battle of France’s big spenders. Elsewhere in France, another scoring drought was ended when Nantes' Filip Djordjevic found the net with six minutes remaining of a 2-1 defeat to Lyon, ending a 956-minute wait. There was still time for Djordjevic to grab an equaliser and become the hero but, instead, he emerged as the villain, receiving his marching orders within three minutes of finding the net. In doing so, the Serbian became the first player since Floyd Ayite last March to score and be sent off in the same Ligue 1 match.

7

 minutes was all that Adel Taarabt needed to make an instant impact at AC Milan on Saturday, scoring the second-fastest goal by a foreign Rossoneri debutant. The Moroccan midfielder’s opener at Napoli left him just a minute short of the record held by Milan legend George Weah, who struck just six minutes into his first appearance at Padova in 1995. Sadly for Milan, their new boy’s goal was the bright spot in an otherwise disappointing 3-1 defeat. I Rossoneri are now without a win against Napoli since 2011, and have lost home and away to I Partenopei in the same Serie A season for the first time since 1985/86. The game’s most striking image was of a tearful Mario Balotelli, and his distress was understandable. After all, the striker has now played five matches against Napoli with three different clubs – and lost all five.

6

 successive Bundesliga defeats – the longest losing sequence in the club’s history – is the run currently being endured by Hamburg. Der Dinosaurier take great pride in their record of having never been relegated from the German top flight, but this miserable recent streak of results has put that status in doubt. Already, Hamburg have conceded 47 goals – more than any other team in the league, and their highest-ever tally at this stage of the season – and lost three goals in each of their last five league encounters. Their home record of seven defeats from ten is also the worst in the club’s history. Werder Bremen, meanwhile, are faring only marginally better. Die Werderaner have picked up only 20 points from as many matches this season, their worst tally at this stage of a Bundesliga campaign since 1974/75 – 39 years ago.

3

 red cards have been flashed at Wes Brown in the English Premier League this season, giving the Sunderland central defender a share in the division’s all-time record. David Batty, Slaven Bilic, Vinny Jones, Franck Queudrue and Craig Short are the men in whose footsteps Brown trod with his latest dismissal in the Black Cats' 2-0 defeat to Hull City, and making the record his own will be a real danger in the remainder of the season. History of a much better kind was made by Eden Hazard, meanwhile, with the Belgian – at 23 years and 32 days – becoming the youngest player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea. Liverpool also shone, racing into a 4-0 lead against Arsenal inside the opening 20 minutes at Anfield – the first time in Premier League history they have ever established such a commanding advantage so early in a match. Martin Skrtel kicked off the scoring after just 52 seconds, giving Liverpool a first-minute opener for the first time since Robbie Fowler struck at Middlesbrough in December 1996. Coincidentally, that match also finished 5-1 to the Reds.