Tales of mixed fortunes for substitutes Steven Gerrard, Levan Mchedlidze and Eugenio Lamanna feature in FIFA.com'slatest stats review, which also includes news of notable wins for the Barcelonas of Spain and Ecuador and a recovering German giant.
Bundesliga victories was the landmark reached by Borussia Dortmund at Hannover on Saturday. BVB are the fifth team to celebrate this milestone, following Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen, Hamburg and Stuttgart, and did so with a win that continues their recent domestic recovery. Dortmund, in fact, are now unbeaten in seven Bundesliga matches and have already registered more wins in the second half of the campaign than they managed in the entirety of the first. This latest victory was also capped by a welcome goal for Shinji Kagawa, who ended a run of 1,229 minutes since his last Bundesliga strike. And Dortmund's success was made sweeter still by a rare defeat for old rivals Bayern Munich. The Bavarians lost at home for the first time in 11 months, going down 2-0 to a Borussia Monchengladbach side who had won just twice in their 46 previous visits.
years without a Copa Libertadores win in Colombia was the run that came to an end for Barcelona of Ecuador in Medellin on Thursday. El Torero, whose last win on Colombian soil had come in 1971 - a 2-1 victory over Junior of Barranquilla, secured by an Alberto Spencer double - repeated the feat to end a 22-match winless streak in away Libertadores matches. Rarely had they looked likely to either, with their visits over the past 11 years having failed to yield a single point. Therefore, when they went behind to Atletico Nacional - a team that had not surrendered a lead at home in the Libertadores for 15 years - the writing appeared to be on the wall. As it was, Barcelona recovered to secure a memorable 3-2 win, earning their first victory of the 2015 group phase, ending their Colombian jinx and becoming the first team since Atlas in 2000 to come from behind to beat Atletico.
seconds was the extent of Steven Gerrard's involvement in Liverpool's match with Manchester United on Sunday. The former England captain earned an historic red card within a minute of coming on at half-time; never before in the Premier League had a substitute received his marching orders so soon after entering the fray. Gerrard was also just the second sub to be red carded in the Premier League this season, with Liverpool also having been responsible for the first (Fabio Borini v Arsenal on 21 December). While the LA Galaxy-bound midfielder was the game's villain, Juan Mata was its hero, ending an 11-match barren run by scoring both United goals in a 2-1 win. Yet he could not match the weekend's most prolific marksman, Harry Kane, who became the first player to score a hat-trick for Tottenham Hotspur since Jermain Defoe in 2009. Those goals, in Spurs' 4-3 win over Leicester City, took Kane to the top of the Premier League scoring chart with 19 and left him on course to become the first Englishman to finish atop that list since Kevin Phillips in 1999/2000.
consecutive El *Clasicos have now included a Barcelona goal - equalling a club record - after the latest instalment of this long-running Spanish drama. Not since they strung together an identical run between 1981 and 1987 have *Barça found the net with such consistency against their old rivals. Xavi also made history by participating in this famous fixture for a 42nd time, tying the record long held by Real legends Gento and Manolo Sanchis. Only Gento, with 21 wins, has more victories in El Clasico *than Xavi, whose tally rose to 17 with Sunday's 2-1 triumph. The match-winner was Luis Suarez, who became the first Uruguayan to score in a meeting between Spain's big two since Ramon Alberto Villaverde in 1960. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, moved level with Raul in third place in the game's list of all-time top scorers with his 17th *Clasico *goal. The Portuguese now trails only Alfredo Di Stefano (18) and Lionel Messi (21), the latter of whom provided an assist - his 150th in *Barça colours - to help his team to victory.
seconds was all that Levan Mchedlidze needed to score for Empoli on Sunday, with the fastest goal by a Serie A substitute in ten years. It might have arrived quickly on the day, but the goal had been a long time coming for a forward whose last Serie A strike had come way back in October 2008. This timely return to scoring form was of some significance to Empoli, who went on to beat Sassuolo 3-1 and, in doing so, set a club record sequence of eight games without defeat. However, Mchedlidze wasn't the only substitute catching the eye in Italy over the weekend. Genoa goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna has now made two sub appearances this season and saved a penalty on each, this after he denied Carlos Tevez from the spot on Sunday. Tevez, though, had already given Juventus a 1-0 lead before Lamanna was called upon, and that solitary strike was ultimately sufficient to secure all three points. It also extended Juve's unbeaten home run to 42 league matches.