Reds, runs and Real relief
Reds, runs, teamwork and a wunderkind feature in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, along with a rapid treble.
league goals in a season is what Gonzalo Higuain became the first man in Napoli history – and first Serie A player since Luca Toni in 2005/06 – to conquer on Sunday. The France-born Argentina striker marked his 100th appearance in the Italian top flight with his 65th goal, a thunderous half-volley against Udinese which left him with more than double his nearest rivals in the Capocannoniere race. It also moved Higuain level with Benfica’s Jonas in the European Golden Shoe battle, and closer to the 36-goal record for a Serie A campaign, set by Torino’s Gino Rossetti in 1928/29. The 28-year-old’s quest to realise those targets took huge blows, however, when he was sent off in a 3-1 loss and subsequently punished with a four-match ban. Napoli have now failed to beat Udinese away in nine years since a Marcelo Zalayeta-inspired 5-0 triumph.
years and 67 days was the age at which Dusan Vlahovic became the youngest scorer in Partizan’s 70-year-plus history on Sunday. So highly did coach Ivan Tomic rate the towering striker that he handed him the club’s prestigious No9 shirt – previously worn by Stjepan Bobek, Marko Valok, Milan Galic, Savo Milosevic and Mateja Kezman – before even including him in his squad for a match. Vlahovic was sent on for the start of the second half with Partizan trailing 2-0 at home to Radnik Surdulica, and he took just eight minutes – to the second – to head home the first goal of a career that promises many. Sasa Ilic, a 38-year-old who made his Partizan debut three years and three months before Vlahovic was born, then netted a quick-fire brace to capture the Belgrade Behemoths a 3-2 victory that kept them second in the Serbian SuperLiga standings.
players were involved – without possession being relinquished – in Kawasaki Frontale’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Kashima Antlers on Sunday. Yuto Takeoka started the move with a free-kick inside his own half, and following 17 passes Elsinho – the last outfield player in blue and black involved – headed home the equaliser. It ensured Yahiro Kazama’s side preserved the only undefeated record in the 2016 J.League.
years and 101 days had passed since a Real Madrid coach last avoided defeat in his first league game against Barcelona until Zinedine Zidane stopped the rot on Saturday. Since Julio Baptista’s swerving half-volley gave Bernd Schuster victory in the first Clásico of his tenure, defeats had befallen Juande Ramos (2-0), Manuel Pellegrini (1-0), Jose Mourinho (5-0), Carlo Ancelotti (2-1) and Rafa Benitez (4-0). The 21st red card of Sergio Ramos’s career – and fourth in the fixture – left Real at a numerical disadvantage late on, but Cristiano Ronaldo struck to snatch a 2-1 win that denied Barcelona extending their record unbeaten run in all competitions to 40 matches. It was the 31-year-old Portuguese’s tenth goal in his last nine appearances at Camp Nou, while Lionel Messi has not scored in his last five games against Real – his longest drought.
years without the Hungarian top-tier title going to the capital is what Ferencvaros ended on Sunday – an astonishing statistic considering that when ‘The Green Eagles’ last conquered the country in 2003/04, clubs from Budapest had won 95 of 102 seasons. Ferencvaros extended their record of league crowns to 29 with six matches still to play – and despite losing to Debrecen for the first time in seven games in all competitions – due to MTK’s loss to Paksi.
Quick hits 50 appearances in UEFA club competitions was what David Alaba reached against Benfica – despite being only 23.
13 minutes is all Carlos Munoz required to bag a hat-trick which ultimately earned Santiago Wanderers a 5-4 win over Universidad Chile. Wanderers’ last four games have averaged 5.5 goals.
8 straight draws is that Olympic Muremera have recorded in the Burundian Premier League – all 0-0 or 1-1.
7 goals is what Shakhtar Donetsk beat Metalist Kharkiv by at the weekend for their biggest-ever win in the fixture.
4 Italian coaches have now served under Roman Abramovich at Chelsea after he confirmed Antonio Conte would be taking over at Stamford Bridge.