The new year is upon us, and football has welcomed 2021 with a bang. Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal got the calendar year off to a winning start. As did AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Bayern Munich came from behind to do the same.
Here are the best stats from the weekend action —
10 years, 8 days
Andy Carroll has scored his first Premier League goal for Newcastle since Boxing Day 2010. This period of 10 years and eight days is the second-longest gap between PL goals for a club, behind Wayne Rooney for Everton (13 years, 121 days).
Harry Kane, all-round footballer, can do no wrong this season. He is the first player to reach double figures for both goals (10) and assists (10) in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
The partnership between Kane and Son Heung-Min continues to thrive. The two have already combined for 13 goals in the PL this season — no duo has ever combined for more in a single campaign in the competition.
Sheffield United are the first English top-flight side to fail to win any of their first 17 games in a season since Bolton Wanderers in 1902-03 (22). That’s a 118-year-old record Chris Wilder will not want to make his own.
Since the start of last season, Bukayo Saka has been directly involved in 22 goals in all competitions (7 goals, 15 assists) — the second-most by a teenager currently playing for a PL side after Mason Greenwood (25).
Bruno Fernandes has now been involved in 33 goals in 30 PL appearances (19 goals, 14 assists). The only player in PL history to be involved in more goals in their first 30 games is Andrew Cole (37).
Bayern Munich came from 0-2 down to thrash Mainz 5-2. This was Bayern’s first Bundesliga win after trailing by 2+ goals at halftime in the past 11 league seasons.
The five goals that Bayern scored on Sunday are the most scored by any team after trailing by two or more goals in the last 10 seasons of Europe’s top five leagues.
No one has scored more league goals than Robert Lewandowski (19) in Europe’s top five leagues. He’s currently scoring at an average of a goal every 57 minutes.
No player has scored more goals in La Liga this season than Luis Suarez (nine, tied with Iago Aspas and Gerard Moreno). Suarez’s 90th-minute winner against Alaves means Atletico Madrid are top of the table, leading Real Madrid by two points, with two games in hand.
AC Milan remain the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to stay unbeaten. They beat Benevento 2-0 on Sunday, despite playing with ten men for about an hour. Milan lead Serie A by a point from Inter.
10 out of 11
Speaking of Inter, Lautaro Martinez scored the first hat-trick by an Inter Milan player in Serie A since March 2018, when Mauro Icardi bagged one vs Sampdoria. What’s fascinating about this is that 10 of the last 11 Inter Milan hat-tricks in Serie A were scored by Argentine players. The only one that wasn’t was by Ivan Perisic in 2017.
Only five players have scored more goals than Romelu Lukaku (35) in their first 50 games in the Italian top flight in the three-points-per-win era — Cristiano Ronaldo (40), Ronaldo (38), Andriy Shevchenko ( 37), Diego Milito (37) and Vincenzo Montella (36).
AC Milan have picked up 37 points in the first 15 games of a Serie A season for the first time in the three-points-per-win era.
Lionel Messi had an assist. Cristiano Ronaldo had a brace and an assist. It was a good weekend for the two. New year, same Ronaldo-Messi.
Ronaldo has scored 2+ goals in six league matches this season, a joint record alongside Robert Lewandowski in Europe’s top five leagues. Only Lewandowski (19, as mentioned above) has scored more league goals than Ronaldo (14).
This match against Huesca was Messi’s 500th La Liga appearance for Barcelona. He is the first non-Spanish player to reach this milestone in the competition’s history.
Now, the stat of the weekend.
With his two goals, Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten Pele’s official goal tally. Here’s how the breakup goes — Ronaldo 758 (656 for clubs, 102 for national team), Pele 757 (680 for clubs, 77 for NT).
(Note – this does not include disputed non-competitive goals, i.e. friendly/exhibition/youth games.)
(Stats courtesy ESPN’s Stats & Information Group)