FIFA.com’slatest stats review features a record-breaking scoreline in Romania, assists aplenty from Szabolcs Huszti, the goalscoring feats of two South American strikers, and notable milestones for a Manchester United duo.
league matches in charge of Manchester United was the landmark reached by Sir Alex Ferguson against Southampton on Sunday, and the Red Devils marked the occasion with their 599th top-flight win under the veteran Scot. The 3-2 victory was secured in fittingly dramatic circumstances, with Robin van Persie – Fergie’s marquee summer signing – helping United come from behind to win with the 1,864th, 1,865th and 1,866th league goals of his manager’s reign. The former Arsenal striker’s treble took him on to a milestone of his own, as he became only the second Dutchman after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to score 100 Premier League goals. There was as much relief as joy though, with Van Persie having been guilty of a poor penalty miss earlier in the match – his first failure from the spot since he missed against his current employers in an 8-2 defeat for Arsenal in August of last year.
minutes without a goal was the run that came to a long-awaited end for Diego Forlan on Sunday. The Uruguayan striker had endured a difficult start to his Internacional career, and was even booed by the Brazilian club’s fans prior to opening his account with the equaliser against Flamengo. By the time the match finished, with another Forlan goal having helped secure a 4-1 win, those fans were giving the same player a standing ovation. The 33-year-old will certainly hope that this morale-boosting brace represents a turning point. After all, prior to Sunday, he had scored just twice on club business since returning from inspiring Uruguay to glory at the Copa America 2011.
unanswered goals handed CS Buftea the biggest defeat in Romanian football history last week. Making matters even worse, the second division team, who gained promotion at the end of last season, were humbled by their former third-tier rivals ACS Berceni. The Buftea outfit paid the price for fielding a team of U-19 players in the Romanian Cup clash, with 19 goals conceded in the second half leaving them facing up to this new record scoreline. Even Stephen Stana, president of the victorious Berceni side, said later: "I'm ashamed to tell you the score."
assists was the colossal contribution made by Szabolcs Huszti to Hannover’s 4-0 derby win at Wolfsburg on Sunday. No player has ever made such a potent creative input to a Bundesliga match since assists were first collated at the start of the 2004/05 season. The Hungarian’s set-up play inspired his team to a thumping success against their Lower Saxony rivals – their biggest away win in the German top flight, in fact, for more than 39 years. Joining Wolfsburg in enduring a weekend to forget, meanwhile, were Hamburg, beaten 2-0 by Werder Bremen. Thorsten Fink’s side have now failed to score in their last four successive Bundesliga matches, equalling the club record.
goals against Chelsea on Friday saw Radamel Falcao become the first player to score a hat-trick in a UEFA Super Cup final since Liverpool’s Terry McDermott in 1977. Atletico Madrid’s Colombian striker achievement in emulating the Reds legend was all the more impressive as all three of his goals came from his left foot – supposedly his weaker side. Falcao’s goals, his second treble in as many matches, gave Atletico their second Super Cup triumph in Monaco – a tally only Barcelona, AC Milan and Liverpool can match – and established Spain as the tournament’s most successful team, with ten titles to Italy’s nine. They made for a miserable night for Chelsea though, who became the first European champions to concede four or more goals in a Super Cup final since Bayern Munich crashed 4-1 to Anderlecht in 1976.