John Terry, Andrea Pirlo and Kevin de Bruyne star in FIFA.com’s latest stats review, which also reflects on a good week for Barcelona and Dinamo Zagreb.
games have now passed since Wolfsburg were last beaten at home - a new club record. Die Wölfe are the only club in the Bundesliga still undefeated on their own patch this season, a run they extended with a 2-2 draw against Hannover on Saturday. The team’s success owes much to the creative influence of Kevin de Bruyne, who on Saturday equalled the Bundesliga assists record – set by former Wolfsburg favourite Zvjezdan Misimovic in 2008/09 - by laying on his 19th and 20th goals of the season. One of the beneficiaries was Bas Dost, the previously unstoppable striker whose goal on Saturday ended an 877-minute drought. Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen shocked champions Bayern Munich and, in the process, racked up a club-record 15th clean sheet of the campaign. Their 2-0 win was also notable for Manuel Neuer conceding the first direct free-kick of his Bayern career.
consecutive championships is the run that has been put together by Croatia’s dominant force, Dinamo Zagreb. The capital club’s stranglehold on the domestic title, which was continued on Saturday, is the second longest-running in world football behind Gibraltar’s Lincoln FC, who coincidentally clinched their 13th straight crown the same day. Dinamo, who have won 21 titles overall and 17 since Croatian independence in 1992, also remain on course to finish a league season unbeaten for the first time. They have already survived their first 32 matches without tasting defeat and have just four more remaining in which to make sure of another piece of history.
unanswered goals against Cordoba on Saturday secured Barcelona a record-equalling La Liga win. Only twice in the club’s history – against Las Palmas in 1959 and Almeria in 2010 – have the Catalans won an away top-flight match by such a handsome margin. The result was all the more notable as their hosts had held out for the opening 42 minutes, after which the floodgates opened in spectacular style. Luis Suarez continued his fine form with the first hat-trick of his Barça career, while Lionel Messi grabbed a double – taking him on to 40 league goals for the third time in his career. Messi now has 28 goals from as many appearances in 2015, with 17 assists thrown in for good measure. Next up are Bayern Munich, who are sure to be wary of facing an in-form side that have won their last five matches by an aggregate score of 20-0.
successive seasons have ended with Andrea Pirlo clutching a Serie A winners’ medal, this after Juventus clinched the Scudetto on Saturday. The veteran playmaker is the first player in the history of Italy’s top flight to achieve such a streak with two different clubs, the run having started when he was with AC Milan. The last four have all come at Juve though, with the Turin giants having strung together their best run since the early 1930s. They are also the first team to win four successive Serie A titles on two separate occasions and can equal the club record of five-in-a-row – set between 1931 and 1935 – should they retain the crown next season. Also within Juve’s sights, with the Coppa Italia final looming and their interest in the UEFA Champions League very much alive, is becoming just the second Italian side (after Inter Milan in 2009/10) and the sixth in Europe to win a treble of domestic and continental trophies. Massimiliano Allegri’s side took a step closer to that ambition last night with a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. It was the club’s 50th win in the competition and saw them end Madrid’s run of 452 minutes without conceding away from home, a streak stretching back to 1 October.
Premier League titles have now been won by Chelsea, all with John Terry as captain - taking him level with Roy Keane as the division’s most successful skipper. This latest championship was Chelsea’s first since 2009/10 and ends the Manchester duopoly that has existed between City and United in the intervening seasons. It was also Jose Mourinho’s third in just five seasons in England’s top flight, equalling the tally old rival Arsene Wenger has taken 19 campaigns to accrue. The finishing line was crossed with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, extending to 26 matches Mourinho’s impressive record of never having lost to another London side. Players’ Player of the Year Eden Hazard sealed the win, scoring from the rebound after seeing his perfect run of nine converted penalties end at the tenth attempt. Chelsea’s joy contrasted starkly with the gloom further north, where Manchester United were left to reflect on having lost three successive league games without scoring for the first time since April 1989. As for Newcastle United, their form is even worse, with the Magpies having lost eight on the bounce for only the second time in their history.