Long droughts and goals galore
Americans, Parisians and Madridistas doing things that hadn’t been done in decades feature in FIFA.com’slatest stats review, along with a rampant Pole and a bizarre goal.
years: that is how long Barcelona’s record of scoring in 44 successive games in La Liga had stood until this week. Cesar and Maria Martin helped Barça net in every outing from September 1942 until February 1944. Villarreal were 2-0 up when a Gareth Bale header saw Real Madrid equal their arch-rivals’ landmark, before Cristiano Ronaldo outranked Hugo Sanchez to become the Spanish top flight’s 57-goal leading converter of penalties. Alvaro Morata then nodded home a Marcelo cross to make Real the highest scorers of headers in Europe’s top five leagues this season. Three days later, Isco’s opener saw Real break Barça’s record, and despite being 3-1 down and at a numerical disadvantage against Las Palmas, another Ronaldo penalty, and another header from the same player, snatched Zinedine Zidane’s side a 3-3 draw.
years: that is how long Marseille had gone without losing at home by more than three goals in Ligue one until Paris Saint-Germain emerged from the Velodrome 5-1 victors. It was only the second time PSG had scored more than four goals against l’OM, after François M'Pele headlined a thrashing by the same score in 1978. It extended PSG’s club-record unbeaten run in the fixture to 14 matches, and left Marseille having lost as many home games this year as they did in the whole of 2016. PSG followed it up by winning at Niort on Wednesday to reach the Coupe de France quarter-finals and make it eight consecutive away victories in all competitions. Can they make it nine at Camp Nou?
years after they last beat Mexico at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, USA improbably repeated the feat. The Americans had last overcome the Mexicans in 1986, with the 3-0 win ultimately ensuring Tony Meola, Jeff Agoos and Marcelo Balboa went to the following year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup at their arch-rivals’ expense. Heading into Monday’s showdown, Mexico were unbeaten in 20 matches since a 2-0 defeat by Canada in 2009 – they had won 17 and drawn three, winning each edition of the trophy in the process. However, USA captain Erik Palmer-Brown’s header proved the first goal Mexico had conceded in open play in the competition in over seven and a half hours, and 1-0 is how it stayed to leave Tab Ramos’s team on the brink of qualifying for the upcoming U-20 World Cup, which kicks off in May.
goals in four matches over 14 days is what Robert Lewandowski bagged for Bayern Munich – one every two days, or every 37 minutes he spent on the pitch, on average. After scoring once apiece against Arsenal and Hertha Berlin, the 28-year-old Poland striker struck a 30-minute hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of Hamburg and a 26-minute double in the 3-0 reverse of Schalke. HSV ultimately lost 8-0 at the Allianz Arena in Carlo Ancelotti's 1,000th competitive appearance as a coach, equalling their heaviest-ever Bundesliga defeat, also suffered at Bayern two years ago. In it Manuel Neuer kept his 100th Bundesliga clean sheet for Bayern in just his 183rd appearance.
millimetre was the distance by which goal-line technology determined PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet had carried the ball over his own line to gift Feyenoord one of the most dramatic goals in Eredivisie history on Sunday. With the teams drawing 1-1 late on, Zoet’s palm stopped a Jan-Arie van der Heijden dead on the white paint. As the PSV No1 scooped the ball into his own chest, however, Hawk-Eye deemed it had marginally crossed the line to gift Feyenoord a goal that sent them five points clear of Ajax at the top and effectively end their opponents’ title challenge. Curiously, De Kuip is the only stadium at which goal-line technology is in operation during the second half of this season’s Dutch top tier – it was at the Amsterdam Arena during the first. The result gave Feyenoord ten straight Eredivisie victories for the first time since Paul Bosvelt, Brett Emerton, Robin van Persie, Bonaventure Kalou and Pierre van Hooijdonk inspired 13 in succession in 2003. It also ended PSV’s exceptional run of 24 away games without defeat – one shy of the Eredivisie record held by Ajax.
Quick hits 50matches unbeaten is what Real Esteli became the first team in history of the Liga Nicaragüense to achieve at the weekend.
7 goals were scored in Monaco’s 4-3 win at Marseille in midweek – as many as saves were made over 120 minutes.