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. In this, the fifth of our regular round-ups, we bring you news of impressive goalscoring feats from the likes of Luca Toni, Hakan Yakin and Joel Griffiths, and pay tribute to the remarkable consistency shown by F91 Dudelange and the imperious Inter Milan.
days after his 36th birthday, Nico Kovac had reason to celebrate once again as the veteran Croatian midfielder became the week's oldest scorer with a 59th-minute penalty in Red Bull Salzburg's 4-0 win over SV Mattersburg. The resounding victory kept Giovanni Trapattoni's league leaders on track for a successful championship defence, although Rapid Vienna are just a point behind in an Austrian title race so tight that any one of five teams could top the table by the end of this weekend. As for the week's youngest goalscorer, that honour fell to Abel Hernandez, who at 17 years and 193 days scored Central Espanol's consolation in a 2-1 defeat by Penarol, also from the penalty spot. Despite the defeat, Hernandez's side remain a point in front of their conquerors in the Uruguayan Apertura, although neither side look likely to rise from their current mid-table positions to threaten leaders Defensor.
goals in 18 top flight matches made the Mexican Clausura the highest scoring of all the 175 leagues analysed. Some of the week's most significant and highest-scoring winners included Pachuca, 6-1 victors over Tigres, and the Pumas side who cruised to a 4-1 home win over Jaguares. With six rounds of matches played, the league's three six-team groups are led by Toluca, Santos Laguna and Guadalajara respectively, although every of the 18 teams involved in these well-matched sections have at least one victory to their name. Guadalajara, meanwhile, earn top marks as the only Mexican top flight side yet to taste defeat.
minutes was all the time Luca Toni needed to hit the week's fastest hat-trick, carrying out his one-man demolition of Hannover between the 58th and 82nd minutes of a 3-0 win for the Bavarian giants. The Italian's match-winning treble took him clear of his rivals at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts and kept Bayern three points ahead of Werder Bremen in the race for the German title. Other hat-trick heroes over the past week include Hibernian youngster Steven Fletcher, and the Mexico-based duo of Luis Rey and Humberto Suazo, who were on form for Pachuca and Monterrey respectively.
rounds of Serie A matches have been played and, still, Inter Milan have yet to be beaten. Saturday's David Suazo-inspired 2-0 win over Livorno continued the defending champions' remarkably consistent title defence, and with Roma losing to an Alessandro Del Piero goal in Turin, the 11-point gap at the summit looks all but insurmountable. Another three games without defeat and Inter will match the record 26-game streak achieved by Pakistani Premier League champions WAPDA over the course of their season. In Belgium, meanwhile, Standard Liege extended their own impressive unbeaten run to 22 matches with a 2-1 win at Club Brugge that could prove to be of huge significance. Milan Jovanovic's double secured a victory that lifted his team level on points with their Brugges rivals at the top of the Jupiler League, with only goal difference keeping Standard off the summit.
victories from as many Fortis League matches gives F91 Dudelange the longest winning streak of any of the 175 leagues analysed, a run extended by the Luxembourg top flight leaders' convincing 3-0 win over RM Hamm Benfica on Sunday. The Fortis League only returned to action last weekend following its winter break and yet, already, the race for the title appears to have become a mere procession, with F91 Dudelange leading second-placed Racing Luxembourg by 19 points.
is the shared goal tally which ensures that Young Boys' Hakan Yakin and Joel Griffiths of Newcastle United Jets currently top the scoring charts in Switzerland and Australia respectively. Yakin, who turns 31 on Friday, seems set to add to his 56 Swiss caps by playing a key role in the co-hosts' UEFA EURO 2008 campaign this summer, and his goals have kept Young Boys firmly in the race for the Super League title. Griffifths, meanwhile, was on target again at the weekend with a vital penalty in extra time against Queensland Roar as the Jets set up an A-League Grand Final showdown with Premiership champions Central Coast Mariners