Wednesday 27 January 2016, 07:27

Vital veterans and a lethal lefty

In’s latest weekly stats review, the mid-30s trio of Clemens Fritz, Claudio Pizarro and Aritz Aduriz feature alongside Paulo Dybala, Arsenal-Chelsea and a less-than-cordial Argentinian friendly.


goals in all competitions this season is the impressive haul that Aritz Aduriz reached on Sunday. Across Europe’s top five leagues, only three players – Luis Suarez (29), Cristiano Ronaldo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (both 27) – have managed more in 2015/16. The Athletic Bilbao striker, who will turn 35 in a couple of weeks, added another couple to his haul at the weekend, one a spectacular bicycle kick, to inspire his team to a 5-2 win over Basque rivals Eibar. This came on the back of finding the net in Athletic’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona, a team Aduriz has now scored six times against since Luis Enrique took charge – more than any other player. The veteran striker will also resume the UEFA Europa League as the tournament’s joint-top marksman, having scored six times during the group phase.


Italian Serie A goals have been scored by Paulo Dybala this season, and every one of them has come from his left foot. That statistic established Dybala’s as the deadliest left foot in any of Europe’s top five leagues this season, with Deportivo La Coruna’s Lucas Perez second on 11 left-footed goals and Lionel Messi – the usual leader in these stakes – third alongside Riyad Mahrez on ten. The Juventus star has also been a productive creator, and with seven Serie A assists, has either laid on or scored half of his club’s 38 Serie A strikes this season. Dybala’s form has certainly been crucial to Juve’s outstanding recent run, which was stretched to 11 straight victories on Sunday with a sixth successive home win over Roma.


red cards were shared out between Boca Juniors and River Plate on Saturday in a ‘friendly’ that proved to be anything but. There were also a further nine yellow cards dished out amid a total of 40 fouls in this close-season Superclásico in the coastal resort of Mar de Plata. Goals were in considerably shorter supply, but Leonardo Pisculichi – himself later sent off – did score the winner from a penalty conceded by none other than Carlos Tevez.


years, five months and six days after his last German Bundesliga goal, Clemens Fritz made a long-awaited return to scoring ways on Sunday. It was the perfect way for the 35-year-old to mark his 300th appearance in the German top flight, the last 115 of which have seen him come away without a goal to his name. The 3-1 win at Schalke also saw Fritz serve up two assists, one of which was for another of Werder’s veterans, Claudio Pizarro. The 37-year-old Peruvian is already the highest-scoring foreigner in Bundesliga history and this latest goal, his 179th in the division, took him joint-sixth with Stefan Kuntz in the overall standings. Robert Lewandowski, meanwhile, notched his 107th and 108th Bundesliga strikes on Friday, and is only the fourth player in the league’s history – after Gerd Muller, Klaus Fischer and Jupp Heynckes – to score at least 17 goals in five successive seasons.


goals have been scored by Arsenal in their last six matches against Chelsea – their longest such run against any opposition in the English Premier League. Continuing the bogey team theme, the Gunners have also picked up more red cards against their London rivals than anyone else, with Per Mertesacker earning their seventh Premier League dismissal in this fixture. It was Arsenal’s 80th red card overall since the division’s inception, a tally which leaves them second only to Everton (81). Chelsea’s 1-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium was certainly good news for Leicester City, who returned to the top with a 3-0 win over Stoke City. In the history of the Premier League, Claudio Ranieri’s team are the first from outside the traditional ‘big four’ and Manchester City to be top of the table at this advanced stage of the season since Newcastle United exactly two decades ago.