- A pear losing its prickles
- A blue wave drowning a red record
- To whom did Cruyff and Ronaldinho lose landmarks?
places is what Kyrgyz Republic have stunningly rocketed up to in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking since June 2015 for a personal best of 75th. Five years and one month ago, the White Falcons were 201st out of 208 teams, yet a 40-place jump this last month has them just behind the likes of Côte d'Ivoire and Russia.
years had passed since Burnley won four straight top-tier matches. That is until Sam Vokes, with his first touch just 22 seconds after coming on, helped them win at Watford.
goals for, four against: that is Les Bleues’ exceptional record during an 18-game unbeaten run on home soil since October 2015 – daunting statistics for those hoping to challenge the hosts at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. Eugenie Le Sommer, who got the only goal in a friendly win over Canada this week, has netted in their past four games to go second on France’s list of all-time leading scorers (68 goals) behind Marinette Pichon (81).
consecutive Egyptian Premier League matches: that is what Al Ahly had scored in until a shock 0-0 draw at Smouha. It denied the Red Devils a 20th straight win in all competitions.
goals in a season is what Bobo achieved to become the first player in Australian A-League history to do so – Bruno ‘The Prickly Pear’ Fornaroli had netted 25 in the 2015/16 season. The Brazilian’s brace inspired a 3-0 defeat of Adelaide United, which made Sydney FC the first team to register 60-plus points in back-to-back campaigns and equalled Melbourne Victory’s record of netting 63 times in the regular season. Can the Victory stop the Sky Blues surpassing it in the final round?
top-flight titles is what Arjen Robben reached by scoring in the victory that gave Bayern Munich their record-extending sixth successive German Bundesliga title – a record for a Dutchman. With four accrued at PSV Eindhoven (1), Chelsea (2), and Real Madrid (1), followed by seven with Bayern, the 34-year-old eclipsed Johan Cruyff. Franck Ribery, for his part, tied the record of eight Bundesliga crowns shared by Messrs Scholl, Kahn, Schweinsteiger, and Lahm.
direct free-kick goals in a La Liga season is what Lionel Messi scored to become the first player to do so since the 2006/07 campaign. The last? The man he succeeded in Barcelona’s No10 shirt, Ronaldinho.
assists in a game in one of Europe’s top five leagues: that is what nobody had managed since Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla in 2013 until Memphis Depay ran riot at Metz. After also scoring Lyon’s other goal in the 5-0 victory, the 24-year-old Dutchman has impressively taken less than 90 minutes to average either a goal or an assist in France's Ligue 1 (35 in 47 appearances).
times is the number of substitute appearances that Javier Hernandez has made at Stamford Bridge, and he has scored on all four occasions following his equaliser for West Ham United on Sunday. It meant Chelsea failed to win an English Premier League home match they led at half-time for the first time under Antonio Conte.
goals: that is the first-leg deficit Roma overcame to become only the third side in the UEFA Champions League’s 25-year history to progress from. Juan Carlos Valeron and Walter Pandiani helped Deportivo La Coruna do it against a star-studded AC Milan side in 2004, while Barcelona repeated the feat against Paris Saint-Germain last season. After a 4-1 loss at the Camp Nou, Roma’s odds on going through were deemed too long for one leading bookmaker to take bets on.