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 fourth of our regular round-ups, is sure to make pleasant reading for fans of Real Madrid, Lam Pak and Celtic, while the individual exploits of players such as Alberto Paloschi, Raul Bobadilla and Jose Luis Calderon also merit a mention.
years and 109 days made Jose Luis Calderon of Argentina's Arsenal the week's oldest goalscorer when he continued his fine vein of form in the Buenos Aires outfit's 2-0 Clausura win over Huracan. The veteran striker, capped five times by Argentina during the 1990s, had gone into Sunday's match buoyed by his heroics in the Copa Libertadores, having scored in both legs of the 3-2 aggregate win over Mineros that took Arsenal into the competition's group stage. Now in his second spell at the club, Calderon re-affirmed his staying power as recently as 2006 by starring in Estudiantes' memorable Apertura triumph, and a colourful career that also includes stints at the likes of Independiente, Napoli and Mexican duo Atlas and Club America continues to show no signs of winding down.
minutes was all it took for another Argentinian, Grasshoppers' Raul Bobadilla, to hit the week's fastest hat-trick. The 21-year-old's quick-fire treble handed the Zurich outfit a 3-0 half-time lead over visitors Young Boys, and yet, incredibly, it was still insufficient to secure all three points. Young Boys, the closest challengers to Axpo Super League leaders FC Basel, staged a stirring second-half comeback to snatch away a share of the spoils and ensure an exact replica of the 3-3 scoreline produced in the corresponding fixture last September. Other hat-trick heroes this week included Galatasaray's legendary striker Hakan Sukur, the star of a 6-3 win over Vestel Manisaspor, and Aston Villa's giant Norwegian, John Carew, whose goals at Villa Park ensured that Kevin Keegan is still waiting for his first win since returning as Newcastle United manager.
seconds was all the time Alberto Paloschi needed to make the most spectacular Serie A entrance imaginable, not to mention become the week's youngest goalscorer. The AC Milan striker, who only turned 18 on 4 January, replaced Serginho after 62 goalless minutes against Siena and, with his very first touch, duly smashed home the game's decisive goal. The beautifully-executed strike also kept up the youngster's proud record of having scored in every one of his senior appearances to date, with two Coppa Italia goals against Catania already to his name. "I think he's pre-destined, he has a great goalscoring ability," was Carlo Ancelotti's post-match-tribute. "The future is on his side."
is the common goal tally that has Diego, Rafael van der Vaart and Luca Toni locked together at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts. The Werder Bremen and Hamburg midfielders drew level with Bayern Munich's 11-million-euro Italian by securing vital away draws against fellow title contenders, Van der Vaart with the opener against Bayer Leverkusen and Diego with the deadlock-breaker as Werder emerged with a point from the Allianz Arena. All four sides involved in these matches remain in a tightly-packed top five, which sees Bundesliga leaders Bayern separated from fifth-placed Hamburg by just six points.
was the margin by which Real Madrid put Real Valladolid to the sword in the week's biggest win, although this honour was shared by Bermudan outfit Devonshire Cougars, who also emerged with a 7-0 victory from their match against Devonshire Colts. The Cougars' win took them to within three points of Premier Division leaders PHC Zebras, while their more famous Spanish counterparts increased the gap between themselves and Barcelona to a formidable eight points with their scintillating show at the Bernabeu.
goals-per-match this season makes Lam Pak the highest average scorers in all the 175 leagues analysed. The Macau club are bidding for their third successive Campeonato title, yet despite scoring 30 times in their seven league matches to date, they remain two points off the pace set by leaders Monte Carlo.
was the margin by which Celtic claimed the week's biggest away victory, an Aiden McGeady-inspired 5-1 win at Aberdeen's Pittodrie Stadium. The Republic of Ireland international winger scored one and laid on three more, setting up Scott McDonald's 23rd goal of the season with a Zinedine Zidane-esque double drag-back as the reigning Scottish champions moved to within four points of Rangers at the league's summit. Shunsuke Nakamura was also on target for Gordon Strachan's side, while there was a dream debut for the Japanese midfielder's second half replacement, Barry Robson, who curled home a free-kick with his first touch since completing a £1 million move from Dundee United on 31 January. "The fans were chanting my name and Aiden was joking that he was going to get Naka back off the bench to take the free-kick," Robson said today. "But I just stepped up and tried to find the corner."