Friday 24 March 2017, 06:55

Adventurous acts and a Shakespearean revival

A daring keeper and an unlikely hat-trick hero feature in’slatest stats review, along with a few Germans and a fairytale start to a managerial career.


days in the Korea Republic hot-seat is what Uli Stielike reached on Thursday to outrank Huh Jungmoo as their longest-serving coach. The former West Germany and Real Madrid player, who won La Liga’s best foreigner award a record four times – one more than Luis Figo and Lionel Messi – assumed the reins in 2014. Stielike’s record-breaking day nevertheless ended miserably, with Yu Dabao's unanswered header handing China PR their first-ever win over Korea Republic in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying and just their second in all matches since 1986. The result also gave the Chinese their first victory in nine outings, and ensured they have kept seven clean sheets in their last ten World Cup preliminaries.


Bundesliga goals for Bayern Munich is what Thomas Muller made it to surpass Giovane Elber and go outright fifth on the club’s list of all-time leading marksmen. The 27-year-old attacker, who hit 20 goals in 31 league games last season, headed to Borussia Monchengladbach having scored just once in 21 this campaign. While becoming just the 17th player to make 250 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich, however, Muller ended his 14-week goal drought to leave himself trailing only Gerd Muller (365), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (162), Roland Wohlfarth (119) and Dieter Hoeness (102). It also earned Bayern their sixth straight, while another Manuel Neuer clean sheet ensured Carlo Ancelotti’s side haven’t conceded a domestic goal in over eight-and-a-half hours.


of Germany’s starting XI had completed less dribbles at half-time than Joe Hart – England’s goalkeeper! The 29-year-old produced a slick Cruyff turn to leave Timo Werner skidding into thin air. The only German who beat an opponent before the break was Leroy Sane, who was Hart’s team-mate for 29 days last year until the Englishman joined Torino on loan – ironically because he was not deemed comfortable enough on the ball to play in Pep Guardiola’s system. Hart’s opposite number, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, kept a clean sheet to ensure Joachim Low’s side haven’t conceded a goal in ten hours and 48 minutes – a new Germany record – since Antoine Griezmann rippled their net in the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-finals. Lukas Podolski, in his 130th and last international, got the only goal in the 69th minute, with his team’s first shot on target, to grab Germany their first win at home to England since Pierre Littbarski inspired a 3-1 victory in Dusseldorf’s Rheinstadion 30 years ago.


goals away to Uruguay is what Paulinho stunningly became the first player in World Cup qualifying history to score on Thursday evening. The only visiting players to have netted more than once at the Estadio Centenario in the preliminaries had been Marcelo Salas, in Chile’s 2-2 draw in 2007, and Maxi Rodriguez, in Argentina’s 3-2 loss in 2013. Brazil were trailing, to Edinson Cavani’s 44th goal in 45 games for club and country since the 2016/17 season began, until Paulinho’s rocket proved just the second goal Uruguay have conceded at home in nine World Cup preliminaries. The 28-year-old defensive midfielder went on to complete his hat-trick in a 4-1 success that made Brazil the first-ever team to come from behind and win a World Cup qualifier in Uruguay. It also gave Brazil an eighth successive victory since Tite took charge, during which they’ve scored 22 goals and leaked just two. A Seleção are undefeated in nine outings against La Celeste – just two shy of their record run in the fixture, set from 1965 to ’80. Paulinho has now posted six goals in seven appearances for Guangzhou Evergrande and Brazil in 2017.


managers in the history of the English Premier League had overseen their side scoring thrice in their first three matches until an unlikely source bucked the trend. Leicester City hadn’t netted in the top flight in ten hours and ten minutes when they appointed Craig Shakespeare, who had never been a permanent manager at any level. The unheralded 53-year-old has since masterminded 3-1 victories over Liverpool and Hull City, and Saturday’s 3-2 win at West Ham United, to achieve the milestone. Jamie Vardy, who had scored in only one of Claudio Ranieri’s last 18 league games in charge, now has three in three under Shakespeare.

Quick hits 81 minutes and 38 seconds: that it what it has taken Brendon Santalab to average a goal in the 2016-17 A-League. In only his ninth start of the campaign, against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, the 34-year-old’s brace took him on to 11 for the campaign and become Western Sydney Wanderers’ all-time leading marksman.