Week in Stats

Scoring, saving and a stroll

Napoli's Huruguayan forward Edinson Roberto Cavani dances after scoring

In this week’s stats review, FIFA.com highlights the goal-grabbing exploits of Edinson Cavani, Borges, Ryan Giggs and Barcelona, while also reporting on a goalkeeping record that got away in Argentina.


minutes without conceding was the impressive run that came to an end for Racing Club’s Sebastian Saja on Sunday. The 32-year-old had been within five minutes of equalling the third-best goalkeeping streak in the club’s history, but was beaten just before he could emulate Pablo Migliore’s 538-minute sequence and edge closer to Agustín Mario Cejas’ overall record of 677. As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, Saja endured the added indignity of seeing his run ended by his opposite number, and this from a rebound after he had saved Union goalkeeper Enrique Bologna’s initial penalty. Bologna’s strike, which sealed a 1-1 draw, established him as only the second goalscoring goalkeeper in Union’s history, with the first, Fidel Martinez, having found the net in December 1940, the club’s first season in professional football.


separate European Cup campaigns have now included a Ryan Giggs’ goal, enabling the evergreen Welshman to set a new benchmark. Previously, Giggs had shared the record with Raul, with both having surpassed Paco Gento’s tally of 13 from the competition’s early history. By scoring last Wednesday against Benfica, who have been on the receiving end of three of his last seven UEFA Champions League strikes, Giggs also extended his own record as the competition’s oldest goalscorer (37 years and 289 days). Although United’s run of over nine hours without conceding an away Champions League goal came to an end in the same match, they were back to winning ways against Chelsea on Sunday to record an 18th straight home victory, equalling a record set 107 years ago when they were still playing in England’s second tier. Wayne Rooney also became only the second player to score in each of his first five matches of a Premier League season, emulating the achievement of Jose Antonio Reyes in 2004/05. Nonetheless, United are affording the opposition plenty of opportunities, with David De Gea already having made a league-high 28 saves this season, a tally which equates to 35 per cent of the stops Edwin van der Sar was forced into during his entire final campaign.


goals in his last eight appearances have propelled Borges to the summit of the Brazilian scoring chart and inspired Santos to a seven-match unbeaten run. The 30-year-old has struck 17 times in 20 Brasileirao appearances for the mid-table Peixe, leaving him four clear of closest challenger Leandro Damiao, although none of the previous 16 were as sweet as his latest. That’s because Borges’ goal on Sunday helped secure a 3-1 win at Corinthians, inflicting their rivals' first derby defeat in five years and 18 matches. The previously high-flying Sao Paulo outfit have now lost five of their seven matches, with this latest setback sufficient to knock them from their perch at the top of the table.


unanswered goals against Osasuna on Saturday gave Barcelona their biggest La Liga win at home in almost 15 years, and inflicted their opponents’ worst top-flight defeat in over half a century. Not since Real Madrid racked up an identical scoreline in October 1958 had Los Rojillos been on the receiving end of such a lopsided scoreline, while Barça celebrated their first 8-0 league win at Camp Nou since Ronaldo, Hristo Stoitchkov and Co ran riot against Logrones in October 1996. The Catalans have now scored 15 times in their first three matches for only the second time in La Liga history, with their current tally second only to the 19 chalked up at the start of the 1950/51 campaign. Remarkably, all 15 of this season’s strikes have come from inside the penalty area in open play, with Lionel Messi claiming five of them to make his best-ever start to a league season. Cesc Fabregas has also been on target in each of his first three La Liga appearances, matching in the space of 249 minutes his English Premier League haul across the whole of last season.


goals were scored by Edinson Cavani in Sunday’s 3-1 win over AC Milan, making the Napoli striker the first player to score a Serie A treble against I Rossoneri since Gabriel Batistuta in September 1998. Cavani is becoming something of a hat-trick specialist; this was his fourth in 2011, a year during which no other player in Italy’s top flight has managed more than one. Napoli went into the match having won just one of their previous 16 encounters with Milan, but Sunday’s victory leaves them with maximum points from their opening two Serie A matches for the first time since the legendary Scudetto-winning campaign of 1989/90. While their supporters rejoice, fans of Inter Milan are lamenting their worst start to a league season in 28 years, since they kicked off the 1983/84 campaign with two straight losses. I Nerazzurri, who had been looking to extend a record run of 13 consecutive home wins in Serie A, drew 0-0 with Roma to cap a miserable week in which they also lost to Trabzonspor in the Champions League, becoming the first Italian team to be beaten at home by Turkish opposition.

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