League titles for Benfica and Bengaluru FC provide the joyful highlight of FIFA.com’s latest stats review, which also includes Ciro Immobile’s goalscoring feats, a stunning defeat for Galatasaray and the dismissal of David Moyes.
years after they last sacked a manager, Manchester United wielded the axe again on Tuesday by dismissing David Moyes after just ten months in charge. It speaks volumes for the stability enjoyed at Old Trafford that 16 of the current United players had not even been born when Ron Atkinson, the last Red Devils manager to be dismissed, lost his job in 1986. The changing nature of football, and the subsequent elevation of United’s status, is also reflected in Moyes departing after 34 matches in charge with a superior win ratio (50 per cent) than Sir Alex Ferguson’s (41.2 per cent) at the same stage of his tenure. Nonetheless, United have undeniably endured a miserable season, losing 11 top-flight matches in a single campaign for the first time since 1989/90. Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Everton also left them facing up to home-and-away defeats by both Liverpool teams in the same season for the first time in their history.
matches undefeated is the run that has propelled Benfica to a record-enhancing 33rd Portuguese league title. The Lisbon giants had been without a championship since 2009/10, and the omens did not appear to auger well when they lost their opening match of the current campaign at Maritimo. That, however, was eight months ago, and Benfica have won 23 and drawn four of their matches since, clinching this latest crown with two games to spare. With 33 titles overall, they are second only to Olympiacos (41) on the European continent, while their historical lead over Porto (27) - the dethroned champions and their closest domestic challengers - has been increased to six.
goals in his last five Italian Serie A appearances have taken Ciro Immobile to the top of Italy's scoring chart and alongside Torino legends. After all, his latest league strike – in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Lazio – was the former Genoa striker’s 20th of the season, the first time in 37 years, since Francesco Graziani in 1976/77, that a Granata player has reached this landmark. The result helped extend Torino’s recent unbeaten run to four matches, although they were frustrated in their attempts to end a 21-year wait for a victory at Lazio. Elsewhere, there was joy for Mario Balotelli, who set a new personal best for a single league season with his 14th goal of 2013/14 in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Livorno. The victory was I Rossoneri’s fifth in succession, the first time they have enjoyed such a streak in Serie A since 2011.
unanswered Kasimpasa goals handed Galatasaray their heaviest home defeat in 18 years on Saturday. Not since Fenerbahce beat them by an identical margin in 1996 have Turkey’s record champions suffered such a resounding reverse on their own patch, and few saw this one coming. Kasimpasa, after all, had won just two of their previous 18 fixtures. Hakan Balta's early red card swung the balance of the match in the visitors’ favour though, and it was far from the only dismissal in Turkey over the weekend. Besiktas saw two of their players sent off in the crucial top-of-the-table clash with Fenerbahce, although they managed to hold on for a 1-1 draw that leaves Fener needing just a point from their remaining four games to guarantee a 19th title - equalling Gala’s record.
season in the Indian top flight is all that Bengaluru FC have needed to become national champions. The newly promoted Bangalore side clinched the championship with a game to spare on Monday thanks to a 4-2 win at Dempo, putting the seal on a fairy tale debut campaign in the I-League. Bengaluru’s success also brings to an end a period of Goan dominance, with teams from the western state - India’s smallest - having won each of the previous eight league titles. Churchill Brothers were last season’s champions, and yet they go into the final match of this campaign in serious danger of being relegated, with just one win from their last seven and only a point separating them from bottom team Mohammedan SC.