Records fall as strikers excel

In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals, wins. Yet in every week, in every league and in every single match, there are intriguing statistical sub-plots that help make the beautiful game the fascinating spectacle that it is.

That's why, every week, we at FIFA.com take a look at the numbers behind the results, highlighting football's biggest winners and losers from the week just past. This, the third of our regular round-ups, is devoted almost entirely to the scoring exploits of the game's in-form strikers, with special tribute paid to the freescoring foursome of Martin Fenin, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Daniel Sturridge and Emmanuel Adebayor.

51

minutes was all it took for Eintracht Frankfurt debutant Martin Fenin to chalk up the week's fastest hat trick. The 20-year-old Czech striker, who starred for the beaten finalists in last summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, took just 39 minutes to open his account for his new club in Saturday's 3-0 win over Hertha BSC and went on to complete a dream Bundesliga bow with further goals in minutes 60 and 90. Fenin, who has four senior caps for the Czech Republic, reportedly turned down overtures from Juventus to sign for Frankfurt in a £3 million deal from FK Teplice.

40

is the number of goals that have flown in both Nigeria and Malaysia's respective top flights over the week just passed, making them the highest-scoring of all the 175 leagues analysed. Of the two, Malaysia's Super League - in which Kedah, the current leaders, are aiming to win their first title since 2003 - could claim a slight advantage as its tally was spread over just 12 games. In Nigeria, it took 20 matches to ensure the same mark was reached in the Premier League, the race for which is neck-and-neck between Enyimba and Niger Tornadoes, locked together on 38 points after 21 rounds of fixtures.

21

is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's running tally for the Eredivisie season after the Netherlands' top scorer bagged a double in Ajax's resounding 3-0 win over old rivals Feyenoord on Sunday. That brace ensures that the 24-year-old has now equalled his best-ever tally for a league season, and is all the more remarkable as his goals have been accrued in just 22 matches. Once again, however, it appears that Huntelaar's goals may not be enough to take Ajax to their first Eredivisie title since 2004, with PSV eight points clear and seemingly on course to claim a fourth successive Dutch crown.

18

years and 151 days made highly-rated Englishman Daniel Sturridge the week's youngest goalscorer, with his 63rd-minute equaliser last Wednesday earning a 1-1 draw for Manchester City at the Premier League's bottom club, Derby County. It was the second goal in successive senior appearances for a striker whose uncle, Dean, ironically made almost 200 appearances for Derby during seven years at the East Midlands outfit between 1994 and 2001.

7

unanswered goals against Vitesse gave SC Heerenveen the week's biggest home win, although they had to share the record with San Marino's Murata, whose 8-1 win over Domagnano took them to fourth in the Campionato Sammarinese. Heerenveen are in irresistible form, having scored 19 goals en route to four straight victories over AZ Alkmaar, VVV-Venlo, Graaschap and Vitesse and climbed to third in the Eredivisie table, within a point of Ajax. Indeed, while many believed that the goals might begin drying up after the departure of talisman Afonso Alves to Middlesbrough, no fewer than six separate players - another record for the week - were on target in the northern outfit's thumping weekend win.

6

is the number of consecutive matches in which Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has found the back of the net. Those fixtures have encompassed eight goals against Birmingham City, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United (twice) and Manchester City, strikes that have taken the totemic Togolese hitman's tally for the season to a career's best of 21. Second only to the in-form Gunner is American midfielder Michael Bradley, son of USA coach Bob Bradley and highly-regarded lynchpin of high-flying Heerenveen. The 12-times-capped US international has scored six times in his last five appearances and, with 12 goals for the season, lies joint-fourth in the Eredivisie's scoring charts alongside Danny Koevermans and Roy Makaay.

5

is the current record of consecutive draws held by Belgian club Lokeren. The tally, unsurpassed in any of the 175 leagues analysed, is largely responsible for the Oost-Vlaanderen outfit finding themselves marooned in midtable, an overall record of 5 wins, 10 draws and five defeats leaving them 20 points adrift of leaders Club Brugge. Taking one point, however, remains considerably more desirable than emerging with none, and all those draws have helped Lokeren climb to a position of relative safety, 14 points above basement boys FC Brussels.