From struggling coaches to stuttering teams via landmark goals, Thomas Woods looks at some vital statistics from the sport in Europe over the past few days.
14 Gareth Bale’s long-awaited Real Madrid home debut ended in disappointment as Atletico Madrid beat their neighbours 1-0 to register their first league victory over Real in 14 years on Saturday night. Bale started on the bench and was not able to impact the game greatly when he came on at half time, as Atletico maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign. They have 21 points from seven games and are second on goal difference behind Barcelona.
208 Alexander Kerzhakov, the Zenit St Petersburg striker, became Russian football’s leading scorer when his 208th career goal helped his side to a 4-2 win over Spartak Moscow. Kerzhakov fired home from the edge of the box and the ball slipped between the legs of goalkeeper Sergei Pesiakov. “It’s a dream to become the top scorer in history,” Kerzhakov said.
2 AZ Alkmaar fired coach Gertjan Verbeek on Sunday in a surprise move that came a day after they beat Dutch league leaders PSV Eindhoven to move to within two points of the top of the table, blaming “a lack of chemistry between the squad and the coach”. For the last three seasons, Verbeek, 51, has guided AZ into European competition and won the Dutch Cup last season.