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 latest of our regular round-ups, we spotlight the record-breaking achievements of Standard Liege and reflect on a weekend on indiscipline in England and Germany's respective top flights.
days short of his 18th birthday, Bojan Krkic became the week's youngest goalscorer when he grabbed a double in Barcelona's 4-1 victory over Real Valladolid on Sunday. The rising star, who last October became the youngest-ever player to score a league goal for the Catalan giants, now has eight for the season, a creditable return given that 14 of his 23 Liga appearances have come from the bench. At the other end of the age spectrum, meanwhile, LASK Linz's Michael Bauer became the week's oldest goalscorer when, at 38 years and 341 days, he scored the opener in Saturday's 3-0 win over SCR Altach.
matches and almost two years without a red card came to an abrupt end for Liverpool on Sunday when Javier Mascherano received his marching orders in their 3-0 defeat at Manchester United. Prior to the Argentinian's dissent-enduced dismissal at Old Trafford, the last time a Reds player had been sent to the stands was 26 April 2006, when Luis Garcia ruled himself out of that year's FA Cup final by becoming embroiled in an off-the-ball spat with West Ham United's Hayden Mullins. The time since has represented the longest streak without a red card since the start of the 1998/1999 Premier League season, although Liverpool have now been replaced as England's best-behaved sides by Bolton Wanderers, who have survived with 11 men in every one of their last 35 top flight matches.
matches without defeat ensures that Standard Liege now hold the longest unbeaten record in all the 175 leagues analysed. A routine 2-0 win over Mons on Sunday ensured the Jupiler League leaders' unblemished streak now eclipses that of Pakistani champions WAPDA, and capped a hugely satisfying win for the Walloon outfit. After all, Standard's milestone victory coincided with a 1-0 defeat at Dender for their nearest challengers, Club Brugge, which increased the gap at the top to a healthy seven points. For Standard, a first top flight title since 1983 is now within touching distance.
goals ensured that fans at the Ireland Rangers-North Village match in Bermuda were treated to the week's highest-scoring encounter. The home support would not have been too happy, however, that seven of those goals flew into the Rangers' net, leaving their side anchored to the foot of the table, five points adrift of Somerset Trojans. For North Village, the thrilling win helped maintain their Premier Division charge, keeping them within a single point of leaders PHC Zebras.
unanswered goals gave Austria's Rapid Vienna the week's biggest win, and it was a thumping victory made all the more remarkable by the fact it came at the home of the erstwhile Bundesliga leaders, Red Bull Salzburg. The incredible scoreline, which also included the week's fastest hat trick - a 39-minute treble from Erwin Hoffer - saw Rapid leapfrog Red Bull into pole position, and left Giovanni Trapattoni rueing the worst defeat of his 34 years in management. "It was not a defeat, it was a catastrophe," said the Republic of Ireland-bound Italian. "I have never let in seven goals, neither as a player nor as a trainer."
consecutive matches have now passed since a Uruguayan defence was able to contain the goalscoring threat of football's form striker, Henry Gimenez. The River Plate talisman has scored 8 goals in that five-game period, the most recent of which came in Sunday's 5-0 victory over his former club, Tacuarembo. Gimenez's prolific form has certainly been a key reason in unbeaten River Plate moving to the head of the Clausura pack, one point clear of Nacional, ensuring that the six-times Segunda Division champions firmly in the race for a top flight title.
players were sent off in Wolfsburg's 1-1 draw with Hamburg on Saturday, only the fifth time in the history of the German Bundesliga that such indiscipline has reigned in a single match. Although the encounter was later described as "not an especially hard match" by Hamburg coach Huub Stevens, the Dutchman's duo of Vincent Kompany and Joris Mathijsen saw red along with Wolfsburg's Alexander Madlung and Grafite in a frantic, feisty final 10 minutes at the Volkswagen-Arena. One more dismissal and the teams would have emulated an unwanted record set in 1993 when no fewer than five players received their marching orders during Borussia Dortmund's 4-0 win over Dynamo Dresden.