Goals carry numerical theme
© AFP

In many ways, football is a simple game: the team that scores the most goals, wins. Yet 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, each week, FIFA.com takes a look at the numbers behind the results. This latest review focuses on goals scored by Franco Brienza, Eden Hazard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Vagner Love and Danny Welbeck.

300

appearances in the Serie A was the landmark celebrated by Reggina in Round 12. They went into Sunday's game at Udinese, who were unbeaten at home, bottom of the standings, having lost all of their six away games this season. Moreover, the Amaranto had lost to the same opponents in Udine four days earlier, 8-7 on penalties in a tumultuous Coppa Italia tie. Reggina nevertheless belied the form book, and a superbly-taken volley from Franco Brienza on the hour earned them a 1-0 victory. French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey also played his 300th game in the Italian top flight at the weekend, but he conceded the only goal in Fiorentina's defeat at Cagliari. However, Antonio Cassano had reason to smile on his 200th outing in Serie A: the No99's sublime curler helped Sampdoria edge Lecce 3-2.

124

km/h is the breeathtaking speed at which Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 20-metre free-kick rocketed into the Palermo net to seal Inter Milan's 2-0 win in Sicily. The Swedish forward had broken the deadlock 20 seconds into the second half, with another stunning goal: an 86 km/h thunderbolt that moved viciously through the air before going in off the post. It ended Ibracadabra's run of 448 minutes without a goal in Serie A, while his second left him trailing just two players on the competition's scoring chart: Genoa's Diego Milito and Alberto Gilardino of Fiorentina.

17

years and 313 days is the age at which Eden Hazard, on his first start for Lille, opened the scoring in their 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Saturday. The attacking midfielder had become the youngest marksman in the 2008/09 Ligue 1 when, on 20 September, he rose from the bench to equalise en route to a 3-2 reverse of Auxerre, but his second goal for Les Dogues earned him a greater reward: a call-up into the already-announced senior Belgium squad for this evening's friendly in Luxembourg. Elsewhere on Saturday, the distinction of being the youngest scorer in the English top flight this season changed hands between another two graduates of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. Manchester United's Danny Welbeck came on as a substitute against Stoke City for his Premier League debut, 11 days before his 18th birthday, and his brilliant goal in a 5-0 defeat of Stoke City broke the record set by his Red Devils team-mate, Brazilian wing-back Rafael, seven days earlier at Arsenal.

17

consecutive penalties had been converted by Botafogo captain Lucio Flavio going into their meeting with Goias on Sunday. That sequence came to an end, however, when his 47th-minute spot-kick came back off the post. But after midfielder Paulo Baier's hat-trick, seven days on from his 200th appearance for O Esmeraldino, had taken his tally for the club to 79 and given them a 3-0 lead, Lucio Flavio grabbed O Fogão a consolation by dispatching a penalty.

10

goals in CSKA Moscow's last five games in the Russian Premier League have been scored by Vagner Love, following his hat-trick in their 4-0 win over the already-crowned Rubin Kazan in the penultimate round. The result guaranteed Valery Gazzaev's team a runners-up finish, and took the 24-year-old Brazilian's goal figures to 20 in 26 league games this season - double his nearest rival on the scoring chart, Saturn's Marko Topic.