A derby, a debut and a miserable milestone
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FIFA.com’s latest stats review is a blend of new and familiar faces, and of decidedly mixed emotions, with Issa Baradji, Lionel Messi, Antonio Di Natale and Arsene Wenger featuring alongside Red Bull Salzburg.

1000

matches as Arsenal manager was the milestone reached by Arsene Wenger on Saturday. It would prove to be an unforgettable occasion for all the wrong reasons, though, as the Gunners suffered their worst-ever defeat to Chelsea. The 6-0 drubbing also equalled the club’s heaviest loss under Wenger, recorded when Manchester United inflicted an 8-2 defeat in August 2011. It was the first time Arsenal had conceded six goals in London in 54 years – since an identical loss to West Ham United in 1960 – and it handed Jose Mourinho his most resounding English Premier League victory to date. Elsewhere, Liverpool also hit six, with Luis Suarez scoring a hat-trick in a 6-3 triumph at Cardiff City to move on to 28 goals, equalling Robbie Fowler’s club record for a single season.

324

Italian Serie A appearances is the tally that has enabled Antonio Di Natale to set a new Udinese club record. The 36-year-old striker surpassed Valerio Bertotto’s benchmark in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Sassuolo, and he marked the occasion in typical style: with a goal. It was De Natale’s 186th strike in Italy’s top flight, leaving him just two short of Alessandro Del Piero and Beppe Signori’s final tallies. Elsewhere, Inter Milan’s six-match unbeaten Serie A run came to an end against Atalanta, who recorded a fourth successive league win for the first time since December 1995. Verona, meanwhile, have yet to get off the mark in March, with Sunday’s 5-0 defeat at Sampdoria leaving them without a goal in their last six hours and 45 minutes of Serie A action.

27

points clear and 70 goals better off than second-place Grodig are the statistics that enabled Red Bull Salzburg to reclaim the Austrian title with eight matches to spare. In the history of the Austrian Bundesliga, this is the earliest the championship has ever been officially decided, with Red Bull crossing the line on Sunday thanks to a typically dominant 5-0 win over Wiener Neustadt. It was the club’s fifth title since 2007 and, added to the three titles won under their previous name of Austria Salzburg, leaves them on eight overall. Only three clubs – Vienna giants Rapid (32) and Austria (24), and Wacker Innsbruck (10) – have won more.

21

goals have now been scored by Lionel Messi in El Clásico, establishing him this famous old fixture’s all-time leading scorer. Alfredo Di Stefano’s record of 18 was eclipsed in style on Sunday, with Messi notching a hat-trick in Barcelona’s thrilling 4-3 win at the Bernabeu. It was the first time a Barça player had scored a treble at the home of their great rivals, and it also took Messi beyond Hugo Sanchez (234) into second place in the all-time Spanish La Liga standings with 236 goals. Another 15 will see him equal the record-holder, Telmo Zarra. Earlier in the match, Cristiano Ronaldo had looked on course to be the hero, scoring his 243rd Real Madrid goal to put his team 3-2 up and, in the process, moving beyond Ferenc Puskas into fourth place in Los Merengues’ historical standings. But Real’s 101-game unbeaten record in league matches in which Ronaldo had scored – 94 wins and seven draws – ultimately came to a sudden and spectacular end.

2

goals in three minutes was the match-winning contribution made by 18-year old substitute Issa Baradji on his French Ligue 1 debut on Saturday. The young Ajaccio player made his first appearance for the club with 36 minutes of their match at Valenciennes remaining and, with time seemingly running out, snatched a 3-2 victory from the jaws of a 2-1 defeat. Elsewhere, Nantes’ Koffi Djidji became the first player to score a goal and an own goal during the same Ligue 1 match this season as his side beat Montpellier 2-1. Their opponents were hampered by two red cards, taking the club’s tally to 12 for the season – seven more than any other team in the league.