- A Muscovite Mountain makes Minskmeat
- Surging Bleus, sliding Blancos
- Dads and lads
79 hours of action is what is took Michael Boxall to score his first MLS goal, with the New Zealand centre-back’s canny header helping Minnesota United earn a surprise 2-2 draw away to Ashley Cole, the Dos Santos hermanos and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Elsewhere, Bradley Wright-Phillips became the first player in MLS history to score 15-plus goals in five successive seasons.
49 seconds is all it took Diego Costa to bag the fastest goal in a senior men’s UEFA trophy match. It helped Atletico Madrid hand Real Madrid their first loss in a non-domestic decider in 18 years. Since a 2-1 loss to Boca Juniors in 2000, Real had won 13 continental or world titles, including three FIFA Club World Cups and five UEFA Champions Leagues.
40 years and 31 days is the age at which Pablo Escobar – the oldest South American to score in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying – ended a three-month goal drought to help The Strongest edge Oriente Petrolero 2-1 and make it six successive victories.
33 titles is what Lionel Messi made it with Barcelona to outrank Andres Iniesta as their most decorated player. The club record when ‘The Atomic Flea’ debuted was the 17 trophies won by Guillermo Amor, which Messi is now only one away from doubling.
33 years after a team reversed more than a three-goal deficit and won a UEFA Cup/Europa League tie – Jorge Valdano and Santillana bagged braces apiece to help Real Madrid, who lost 5-1 at Borussia Monchengladbach, reach the quarter-finals on away goals – history was repeated. Zenit trailed Dinamo Minsk 4-2 on aggregate and were at a numerical disadvantage after 75 minutes in Kiev, but a late hat-trick from Russia’s World Cup hero Artem Dzyuba powerlifted the Saint Petersburg side to a preposterous 8-1 win on the night.
16 years after they last topped the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, France returned to the summit – albeit by an atomic margin ahead of the Belgium brigade they edged in an absorbing Russia 2018 semi-final. In between, the leadership had changed hands 22 times. France were languishing 24th less than two-and-a-half years ago, behind the likes of Hungary (now 51st), Albania (58th) and Ecuador (60th).
10 goals is Baghdad Bounedjah’s sensational tally just two games into the 2018/19 Qatari Stars League. After hitting a 31-minute, second-half hat-trick for Al Sadd against Al Kharitiyath, the Algeria striker scored seven times in the last 47 minutes of a 10-1 shattering of Al Arabi. Bounedjah has netted 52 goals in 39 league appearance for his club.
4 goals is what Liverpool have scored in four consecutive clashes with West Ham, winning 4-0 and 4-1 away and 4-1 and 4-0 at home. Tottenham Hotspur had been the only side in Premier League history to net four-plus goals in four successive games against the same opponents (Stoke City). Sadio Mane became the first Liverpool player since John Barnes in 1991 to score in three straight season openers.
2 father-and-son combinations have scored for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 after Timothy Weah’s goal against Caen saw himself and dad George emulate Jean and Youri Djorkaeff. The 18-year-old New Yorker sealed a 3-0 win that gave Thomas Tuchel the biggest victory by a PSG coach on his league debut in 41 years.