Shirts, stability and endangered foxes
Thomas Tuchel finally pressing repeat, an Argentinian club hitting a wild half-century and the overcoming of an implausible disadvantage feature in FIFA.com’slatest stats review, along with an incredible about-turn in England.
days after his debut as Borussia Dortmund coach, Thomas Tuchel finally named the same starting XI for back-to-back games. BVB beat second-placed Leipzig 1-0 on Saturday, keeping their first clean sheet in ten outings and making it 30 home games unbeaten in the Bundesliga. The last team to achieve such a run was Bayern Munich in 2003, thanks to Oliver Kahn, Bixente Lizarazu, Michael Ballack, Claudio Pizarro and Elber. Tuchel then retained the same 11 starters for the DFB-Pokal clash with Hertha Berlin and, after four players had worn the Dortmund captain’s armband, they maintained their 100-per-cent record in penalty shoot-outs in the competition. Incredibly, it was the 14th shoot-out in this season's DFB-Pokal – a new record – and we’ve only had three rounds.
sponsors is what Argentinian club Centenario de Neuquen has on its new shirt! The club from the Torneo Argentino C, which forms part of the country’s fifth tier, had 32 on its previous one. It upped the ante in an attempt to make the Guinness Book of Records alongside the likes of Thomas Gronnemark (longest throw-in at 51.33 metres), Pele’s Mexico 1970 Final shirt (most expensive jersey sold via auction at £157,750) and Borussia Dortmund fan Christian Kinner (longest shout of ‘goal’ at 43.56 seconds). The vast majority of Centenario de Neuquen’s sponsors are from local businesses, but not all of them pay in cash. Indeed, one sponsorship was exchanged for a quad bike that the club uses for its employees to get around and sell raffle tickets!
years had passed since a team failed to score in their first five English top-flight games of a calendar year until Leicester City – no less than the defending champions – managed it on Sunday. Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Chris Waddle, Clive Allen and their Tottenham Hotspur team-mates opened 1986 by drawing blanks against Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, Everton and Coventry City, while Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Co have failed to ripple the net against Middlesbrough, Chelsea, Southampton, Burnley and, most recently, Manchester United. Only 88 seconds after Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke the deadlock at the King Power Stadium, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it 2-0 to become the oldest player – at 35 years and 125 days – to net 15 goals in a Premier League season. Leicester’s 2,000th top-tier game finished 3-0, leaving them on 21 points from 24 outings – the worst comparative record in the competition’s history (Ipswich Town would have had 24 points at the same stage of their 1962/63 title defence had it been three points for a win at the time). The Red Devils are now unbeaten in 15 Premier League matches – the best run among sides in Europe’s top five championships.
years after more than one goal was scored in a CAF Africa Cup of Nations final, Cameroon and Egypt ensured history was repeated. Since Tunisia downed Morocco 2-1 in the 2004 decider, the fixture had produced just three goals in six editions. After Mohamed Elneny had fired the Pharaohs ahead, however, goals from Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar grabbed the Indomitable Lions a 2-1 victory. It ensured Cameroon became the first team to rally from behind and win an AFCON final since an Emmanuel Amunike double earned Nigeria a 2-1 win over Zambia in 1994. The triumph sent Cameroon above Ghana and into outright second on the list of the tournament’s record winners, two behind Egypt.
players against 11: that is the numerical disadvantage Vincenzo Montella said his AC Milan side were at when they astonishingly scored the only goal at Bologna on Wednesday. Gabriel Paletta and Juraj Kucka were sent off in the 36th and 59th minutes respectively, leaving I Rossoneri with seven red cards already this season and 31 over the last three-and-a-half campaigns. Then Andrea Poli sustained a knee injury, but with Montella having used all of his substitutions, the 27-year-old midfielder bravely refused to go off. Milan seemed destined to lose five successive games in all competitions for the first time in their 117-year history, but despite having barely touched the ball in their hosts’ half, they somehow snatched a last-gasp winner when superb work from Gerard Deulofeu presented Mario Pasalic with a tap-in. The result left Milan unbeaten at the Dall'Ara since March 2002, when goals from Salvatore Fresi and Julio Cruz earned Bologna a 2-0 victory.
Quick hits 20years have passed since Colo Colo won a Copa Libertadores qualifier. The Chileans’ elimination by Botafogo this week was their seventh in succession.
8 minutes: that is the average time Ajax wunderkind Justin Kluivert has taken to attempt a dribble in 2017 – more than any other player in the Eredivisie. Aren’t 17-year-olds supposed to be shy?