Last Weeks Stories
Not much to round-up on as it was mostly international chat, except to mention that Van Dijk did grab another goal for Adelaide United the only one as they beat Melbourne at home.
THE CHIQUI BOYS (Episode 2) – it’s here with reviews of Paraguay’s qualifiers and a look at the next big thing to hit Europe’s shores…
NEYMARWATCH: Having sat out the weekend games suspended, it took him just 15 minutes to get on the score sheet on Wednesday as they beat Botafogo 2-0.
ITURBEWATCH: Needed surgery on his elbow, poor guy, unsure how long he will be out of action for.
This Weeks Stories
Tevez Shirts Trashed
A UK-based Betting company has given fans from both sides of Manchester the chance to ditch their Tevez shirts in a red and blue dustbin truck that was roaming the streets of the English city earlier this week.
Record-breaking winning streak: Coritiba
Coritiba Foot Ball Club were handed a Guinness World Records certificate this week, officially recognising the longest ever winning streak across all competitions. Between February and May the Brazilian side won 24 straight games in the Paranaense State Championships and Brazilian Cup scoring 74 goals and conceding just 16. I imagine it will be a while until we see somebody break that record!
Grondona not out the door yet
Another election, another landslide victory, not a single person voted against Julio Grondona’s re-election in the same week another footballing dictator, Nicolas Leoz at CONMEBOL, was put in charge of the 2014 World Cup committee. No comment.
Almost record-breaking goal: Apostolos Vellios
When the 19-year-old Greek striker came on for Everton he wasted just 8 seconds before turning a Drenthe cross into the net. Fastest goal ever as a substitute in the Premier League? No! He was two seconds off ex-Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner who had achieved this feat in the North London derby against Spurs in December 2007.
Sudamericana shocks and controversies
Flamengo lined up for their Last 16 1st leg against Universidad de Chile with plenty of stars as they planned to take the competition seriously. But Ronaldinho, Thiago Neves and Deivid up front could do nothing as their goalkeeper scored an own goal after 14 minutes. Things got worse as two midfielders departed by the half hour, Argentine Bottinelli with a broken foot and Airton a red card. The ‘new’ Alexis Sanchez (well his replacement in the national side at least) scored twice in the 2nd half, Eduardo Vargas is looking like a very good player. By full time it was 4-0 and Uni. de Chile (who had been reduced to 10 men on 50 minutes themselves) are all but through to the Quarter Finals where they will meet Arsenal. The Buenos Aires side edged past a spirited Olimpia side with a late goal which replays showed to be offside.
Utd to get the better of City?
The eagerly awaited Manchester derby this weekend should be a very closely fought battle, yet the Euro Club Index suggests that Man Utd have a 65% chance of winning compared to City’s 11% chance, putting the draw at 24%. It is a similar story with the league probabilities, United are currently huge favourites with a 61% chance of winning compared to City’s 17.9% – I wonder how much that will change if the blue-half get a victory tomorrow and open up a five point gap? At the moment the index suggests Utd will finish 11 points clear of their rivals!
World Cup hosts the homes of competition
The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson has come up with an interesting insight into the most competitive leagues, taking 10 leagues around the world he looked at the points gap in the leagues over the last ten years. While the Premier League finds itself relatively uncompetitive (when looking across all 20 teams) it is Brazil and Russia that have had the most closely fought leads over the last decade. More here.
CONCACAF Champions League reaches knockouts
The group stages came to a close this week in the CONCACAF Champions League, of the eight sides through to the Quarter Finals four were Mexican, three from MLS and just Metapan of El Salvador representing the rest of the region. It is the best-ever MLS showing since the tournament took on its current format in 2008/09, Mexico regularly field four sides in the Quarter Finals.
Goal of the Week
I’m handing it to Luis Fabiano for this classy chest control and finish, his first goal for São Paulo, it was the winner in Copa Sudamericana against Libertad
Stat of the Week
1147 – the number of minutes Bayern Munich kept a cleansheet until Napoli’s ‘goal’ in the Champions League, of course it was an own goal so technically nobody has scored past Munich since Igor De Camargo’s header in their Bundesliga Opener.
Top Ten of the Week
I’ve nicked this from the Arsenal website who put the following table up as part of this article on fastest goals this week – it looks at the ten fastest Champions League Goals, the fastest this week – Toni Kroos for Bayern Munich after 2 minutes.
10. Cristian Gimenez (BASEL vs Man Utd, 2002/03) – 31.04 secs
9. Deco (PORTO vs Molde, 1999/00) – 30.08
8. Alexandros Alexoudis (PANATHINAIKOS vs Aalborg BK, 1995/96) – 28.46
7. Mariano Bombarda (WILLEM II vs Sparta Prague, 1999/00) – 28.21
6. Dejan Stankovic (INTER MILAN vs Schalke, 2010/11) – 25.54
5. Marek Kinci (Club Bruge vs RAPID VIENNA, 2005/06) – 25.20
4. Clarence Seedorf (FC Schalke vs AC MILAN, 2005/06) – 21.06
3. Alessandro Del Piero (Man Utd vs JUVENTUS, 1997/98) – 20.12
2. Gilberto Silva (PSV Eindhoven vs ARSENAL, 2002/03) – 20.07
1. Roy Makaay (BAYERN MUNICH vs Real Madrid, 2006/07) – 10.12
So Roy Makaay holds the record by almost 10 seconds and his goal is one of two that occurred in the knockout stages (with Dejan Stankovic’s), the rest were all group games. Funnily enough 4 of the top 5 other than Makaay’s were scored by the away side, but apart from Gilberto’s goal for Arsenal the other three sides didn’t go on to win. Overall the fast goals brought the following results for their teams: Pld 10 W 4 D 1 L 5 GF 23 GA 22 and only one game (Panathinaikos vs Aalborg) saw under 2.5 goals.
By Ralph Hannah