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AC Milan

Messi equals Pele’s 643, second to 450 after Ronaldo; Klopp’s 127; Leao’s 6.7 — the best stats from the weekend’s action

Phew! Get your breath back. That was some weekend of football. Liverpool dismantled Crystal Palace, Leicester City beat Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United ripped apart Leeds and Everton saw off Arsenal as the Premier League’s top 4 (as on Monday morning) all registered big wins. Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen in a top of the table clash to be crowned winter kings. Again. Borussia Dortmund fell further off the pace with a 2-1 loss to Union Berlin. AC Milan remain atop Serie A, but Inter Milan and Juventus remained close with wins of differing comfort. Wins for Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid saw them end Sunday 1-2 atop La Liga, Barcelona eked out a draw at Valencia to remain fifth (ahead of Granada on goal difference).

Here, then, are the best numbers from the weekend’s action:

Premier League


Liverpool are the first side to sit top of the English top-flight table at Christmas in three consecutive years since they themselves did it between 1978-1980 under Bob Paisley.


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Scott McTominay is the first player in PL history to score twice in the first three minutes of a match.


Jamie Vardy has become the first player in PL history to score away to a specific side at three different stadiums. He has now scored against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.


Boy, does Jack Grealish get fouled! Since the start of last season, Jake Livermore is the fourth player to receive a red card in the PL for a foul on Grealish (incl. second yellows) — the most of any player in this time.


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This is the first time in 482 PL games that Leeds United have conceded four first-half goals.


This is the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson left that Manchester United have scored 6+ goals in a PL game. In fact, the last time they did it was in Aug 2011, when they beat Arsenal 8-2.

It is also just the second time in history that they have scored 6 goals against Leeds United, the last time being a 6-0 win at Old Trafford in Sept. 1959.


This is the first time in their history that Liverpool have won an away top-flight game by a margin of seven goals. It is their first victory by a margin of seven or more goals since a 9-0 win in Sept. 1989 vs… Crystal Palace.

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Arsenal’s points return of 14 from their first 14 games this season is their worst record at this stage since the 1974-75 campaign (12 points, converted to 3/win).


This is the first time a club team managed by Marcelo Bielsa has conceded six goals in any competitive match in 28 years. It last happened when his Newell’s Old Boys side lost 0-6 to San Lorenzo in the Copa Libertadores in February 1992.


Bruno Fernandes has made 29 goal contributions (17 goals, 12 assists) in the PL since his debut in the competition on Feb 1, 2020. This is the most of any player in that period, with Mohamed Salah a close second (27, 20 goals, 7 assists).

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Jack Grealish has created 38 chances from open play in the PL this season, the most of any player in any of Europe’s big-five leagues in 2020-21.


Now for the quirky stat of the week — Yerry Mina’s last four PL goals have all been scored in the 45th minute. Stranger still, this is not the first time that’s happened. Chris Eagles scored four goals in a row in the 90th minute between 2007 and 2011.


No Liverpool manager has won as many matches in the PL as Jurgen Klopp. He recorded his 127th PL victory, overtaking Rafael Benítez’s 126. And what a way to do it, eh?

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La Liga


Karim Benzema has now been directly involved in 12 La Liga goals this season, no player has had a hand in more. The best French striker ever, eh, Zizou?


Real Madrid continue their run of winning of every match Luka Modric scores in. The count’s at 17 now.


More Benzema goodness. This is the 30th time that Benzema has scored and assisted in the same La Liga game. The only guy to do it more often for Real Madrid in the 20th century? Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s done it 44 times. Of course he has.

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Serie A


Rafael Leao’s opener for AC Milan vs. Sassuolo was the fastest ever goal in Serie A history, at 6.7 seconds.


Milan are certainly on a run. They have now scored scored 2+ goals in a record 15 straight Serie A games


More Milan dominance. They have extended their unbeaten streak to 25 games in Serie A, dating back to June (18-0-7 W-L-D). They are the only unbeaten team in the top five leagues since the restart

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Youssoufa Moukoko is the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history, at 16 years and 28 days old. Sixteen years!

Messi-Ronaldo watch

Lionel Messi scored once. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice. And with those goals came a few more milestones.


Ronaldo has scored 33 goals in Serie A in the calendar year 2020, equaling Omar Sivori (who hit 33 in 1961) for third place on the list. The two who have scored more? Gunnar Nordahl in 1950 (36) and Felice Borel in 1933 (41).


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Messi is now the second player to reach 450 goals in Europe’s top five leagues, after Ronaldo earlier this year.


No one has scored more goals for a single club than Lionel Messi has for Barcelona. He’s now scored for them 643 times, equaling Pele’s one-club record for Santos.

(Stats courtesy ESPN’s Stats & Information Group)

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