Club Football

Benzema overtakes Puskas as Lewandowski closes in on Muller

Robert Lewandowski celebrates after scoring for FC Bayern Munich
  • Karim Benzema now Real Madrid's fifth-highest goalscorer
  • Robert Lewandowski hunting down Gerd Muller’s record
  • Jan Oblak makes La Liga history

Football is back! After the enforced break that lasted over three months, a number of leagues and competitions have started up again.

Obviously there are lots of aspects that are different from what we had previously been used to. No fans, matches behind closed doors, substitutes sitting apart from one another and wearing masks, elbow bumps to celebrate goals, stands that are empty or filled with cardboard cut-outs – all of these are part of the "new normal".

Opinions are split among fans, but at least we all have something to talk about other than COVID-19. And we can all agree on one thing – welcome back, football!

350

Thomas Muller made his 350th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern Munich in the Bavarian giants' victory over Freiburg. The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ winner is the eighth Bayern player to reach this mark, and he also has an incredible winning percentage for the team, having tasted victory in 255 of those matches.

243

French forward Karim Benzema bagged a brace in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Valencia, the second being his 243rd goal for the Galacticos, taking him past Hungarian Ferenc Puskas (242) in the all-time scoring list of the club. Benzema now sits fifth among Real’s goal-getters, and the strike that put him there was an absolute stunner and worthy of the company he now keeps.

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Serie A is back under way again in Italy after an enforced break of 103 days. The last match held before the pandemic was between Sassuolo and Brescia on 9 March.

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Frank Lampard celebrated his 100th match as a coach and his 46th win into the bargain. He steered Chelsea to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, with his introduction of substitute Christian Pulisic proving particularly inspired. The US international scored one of the goals and set up the other. Lampard’s record reads: Derby County (W24, D17, L16) and Chelsea (W22, D9, L12).

100

Slovenia’s Jan Oblak is the first foreign player to keep 100 clean sheets in the Spanish top flight. The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper hit the century mark in his team’s 5-0 win over Osasuna. He then went on to keep clean sheet 101 on Saturday in the 1-0 win against Real Valladolid.

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Sergio Ramos might be a defender by trade, but scoring goals is no longer just a side job for the Spaniard. In the 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad that took Real Madrid top of La Liga, he grabbed both of Los Merengues' goals. They were his 67th and 68th strikes in the Spanish top flight, establishing Ramos as the highest-scoring defender in the division's history.

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Only Cristiano Ronaldo (61) has scored more penalties in La Liga than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The Argentinian scored from the spot for the 56th time in the 2-0 win over Leganes.

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In 39 matches for Borussia Dortmund and RB Salzburg this season, Erling Haaland has scored 43 goals. Last weekend, the Norwegian found the back of the net twice against RB Leipzig, and this has helped BVB set a new record for goals scored in a Bundesliga season, with the club up to 84 already this term.

36.51

Flying Canadian winger Alphonso Davies has set a new Bundesliga record, having been clocked at 36.51 km/h in Bayern’s match against Werder Bremen. Last weekend also saw him pick up the 'Bundesliga Rookie of the Season' award, so it was a double cause for celebration for the teen sensation.

33

Polish star striker Robert Lewandowski simply cannot stop scoring. 'Lewangoalski', as he is known, bagged his 33rd of the season against Freiburg, making him the first foreign player to score more than 31 goals in a Bundesliga season. Indeed, only two other players have ever scored more in a season – Dieter Muller and Gerd Muller.

23

The re-start has not been kind to Arsenal. After a 3-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City, the Gunners slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion. The last time that the team from North London had lost a Saturday 3 pm kick-off was in November 2015 against West Bromwich Albion. Since then, they had gone 23 matches unbeaten in the traditional English time-slot.

17

At 17 years and 115 days, Jamal Musiala became the youngest Bayern player to make a Bundesliga appearance in club history when he came on as a substitute against Freiburg. The England U-17 international broke the previous record held by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (17 years, 251 days).

14

Raul Jimenez has now scored the highest number of goals for a Mexican in a Premier League season. The Wolverhampton Wanderers striker bagged his 14th goal this term in Wolves’ 2-0 win over West Ham United on Saturday, breaking the record held by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.

2

For the first time in his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has lost two domestic finals in a row, with Juventus’ defeat in the Coppa Italia final against Napoli following on from their loss against Lazio in the Italian Super Cup back in December 2019.