Wednesday 17 February 2016, 07:26

Shooting stars and sighs of relief

In’s latest stats review, we reflect on a week that brought notable achievements for Christine Sinclair, Julian Nagelsmann and Juventus, while ending droughts for Valencia and Danny Welbeck.


international goals is the tally that has taken Christine Sinclair beyond childhood idol Mia Hamm and into second place in the all-time women’s standings. The Canada icon surpassed Hamm with a goal in Monday’s 6-0 CONCACAF Olympic qualifier win over Trinidad and Tobago, taking her already-record haul in the competition to 16. Sinclair’s sights are now firmly set on the only woman to have scored more than her: the recently retired, 184-goal Abby Wambach. One of Wambach’s USA successors also emerged from Monday’s CONCACAF qualifiers with reason to celebrate, Crystal Dunn scoring five times in a 10-0 demolition of Puerto Rico to equal the national team record. The 23-year-old also doubled in the space of one match her erstwhile international haul as the world champions hit double figures in a single match for the first time in four years.


years and 205 days old was the age at which Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest head coach in Bundesliga history on Saturday. The new Hoffenheim coach oversaw a 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen in his first match in charge, having made the step-up from coaching the club’s U-19 team. The successor to Huub Stevens, who retired last Wednesday due to ill health, Nagelsmann broke the previous Bundesliga record held by Klaus-Dieter Ochs, who was 30 years and 244 days old when he took charge at Hamburg in 1970. As for the current crop of top-flight managers, more than a decade separates the 28-year-old from the second-youngest, 39-year-old Pal Dardai at Hertha Berlin. And this youthful coach faces quite a task, with Hoffenheim having won just two of their 21 Bundesliga matches this season – fewer than any other team.


successive clean sheets, with just one goal conceded in ten matches, is the defensive record that has helped make Juventus the form team of 2016. The Turin giants returned to the Serie A summit on Saturday for the first time since winning the title last season, having stretched their club-record streak to 15 successive victories. Former leaders Napoli were the latest team to succumb to I Bianconeri, ending at eight matches their own record-winning run, and continuing their feat of losing on every visit to the Juventus Stadium. Gonzalo Higuain also failed to find the net for the first time in six rounds of Serie A matches as I Partenopei suffered their 700th top-flight defeat.


months and six days after their last La Liga victory, Valencia finally returned to winning ways on Saturday. A 2-1 triumph over Espanyol ended their 12-game drought and gave coach Gary Neville a first league win at the tenth time of asking. Los Che’s matchwinner was Denis Cheryshev, with the on-loan Russian midfielder sealing all three points with his first goal since netting over a year ago for Villarreal at the Camp Nou. On the subject of Barcelona, their club record unbeaten streak was broken over the past week, with the 28-match run strung together by Pep Guardiola’s team in 2010/11 eclipsed by Luis Enrique’s vintage notching up a 29th and 30th. Deportivo La Coruna are also on a fine unbeaten run but, unlike Barça, draws rather than wins are their speciality. Sharing four goals with Real Betis on Saturday means that the Galician outfit have now drawn five successive La Liga games for the first time, with 14 out of their 24 top-flight matches this season having ended in stalemate. No team in the history of La Liga had ever registered so many draws at this stage of a campaign.


year, one month, two weeks and four days without a Premier League goal was the run that came to a dramatic end for Danny Welbeck on Sunday. The injury-plagued striker, making his first Arsenal appearance since last April, scored a 95th-minute winner against top-of-the-table Leicester City – ending a drought that stretched back to 28 December 2014. His dramatic strike sealed a 2-1 victory that ensured the Gunners will be the only team this season to have beaten Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes home and away. Aston Villa have, of course, been considerably easier to turn over, and they succumbed to the heaviest Premier League defeat of the season on Sunday, going down 6-0 at home to Liverpool. The scoreline equalled the Reds’ biggest away win in the Premier League era and saw six of their players score in a single match in this competition for the first time. Among those to find the net was Divock Origi, who scored just 37 seconds after coming off the bench for the fastest goal by a Premier League substitute this season.