Lionel Messi hitting another landmark rounded off an exciting weekend of football, which saw quite a bit of action all around. In the Premier League, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea won, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur lost, and Arsenal and Manchester United held each other to a draw. City now lead United by three points, and have a game in hand. In Spain, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona won, while Real Madrid lost, meaning Atleti now have a whopping ten-point gap over Barca and Madrid, and also have a game in hand. In Serie A, the top 6 all won, and AC Milan continue to lead neighbours Internazionale by two points. In Germany, Bayern Munich are maintaining a seven-point gap over RB Leipzig. In France, PSG lost (3-2 to Lorient), and that has seen Lille open up a three-point lead at the top, while Lyon are second, a point above Pochettino’s men.
Oh, and Palmeiras are the new champions of South America.
Jose Mourinho has lost all three of his away league games against Brighton at the Amex Stadium. This is the first time he has ever lost three consecutive away league visits to an opponent in his managerial career.
This is a rather quirky stat. Liverpool have won four games away from home in the PL this season. All four have come in London — Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Spurs, and now West Ham. That makes them the first side in English top-flight history to pick up their first four away league wins in a season in London.
Everton have lost four home league games this season. This is the most that Carlo Ancelotti has lost at home in a season since 2007-08 with AC Milan (also four).
After a quiet start to the season, the Manchester City machine is purring smoothly now. They have won their last 12 matches in all competitions, the longest winning run in their history.
More history, across town. Manchester United are now unbeaten in 18 PL away games (W13 D5), the longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history.
Mohamed Salah is the first player to score 20+ goals (in all competitions) in four consecutive seasons for Liverpool since Ian Rush did so six times running from 1981-82 to 1986-87. With his two goals against the Hammers, Salah is on 21 for the season.
AC Milan have become just the third side to have won nine of their first 10 away matches of a Serie A campaign, after Napoli in 2017/18 and Juventus in 2018/19.
And that is down to their fine form in front of the opposition goal. Milan have found the net in 20 Serie A away games in a row for the first time in their Serie A history, overtaking the 19-games run between 1992 and 1993.
Flying under the radar, but banging in goals for fun, are AS Roma. Their three goals in the first half against Hellas Verona took their total to 27 first half goals this season — which is the most among teams in Europe’s top five leagues (the next highest are Bayern Munich with 26 and Manchester City with 25). Roma have, in fact, scored 3 or more in 10 Serie A games this season. That’s a joint record amongst clubs in the top 5 European leagues — along with Bayern and PSG.
Bayern really are scoring quite a lot. Their 57 goals through 19 Bundesliga games this season is tied with the 1985-86 Werder Bremen vintage for most goals at this stage of a Bundesliga season. [They hit four past Hoffenheim on Saturday].
Atletico Madrid’s opening goal vs. Cadiz came via an unlikely source — a Luis Suarez free kick. It was, in fact, just his second direct free kick goal since he arrived in Spain, and came after 303 games, 211 goals & 35 free kick shots (in all competitions). In case you were wondering, the first one was for Barcelona vs. Real Betis in La Liga on the opening day of the 2016-17 season. [He had a hat-trick that day, Messi had a brace, Barca won 6-2].
Atletico Madrid have now won their last eight league games — this is their best streak since March-April 2014 (nine victories in a row), the season they were crowned La Liga champions last.
PSG have had five defeats in 22 Ligue 1 games this season, their highest tally at this stage during the QSI era (since 2011/12).
A special mention to the Copa Libertadores, where Palmeiras beat Santos 1- 0 in an all-Brazilian final to be crowned Champions of South America.
This was Palmeiras’ second Libertadores title, and the first since 1999.
Breno Lopes scored the lone goal of the match, and it came late on. So late on that it now holds the record for the latest goal scored in regulation time in Copa Libertadores final history (90′ + 9′). It was also Breno’s first career goal in the tournament, and Palmeiras’ first shot on target in the entire final.
Lionel Messi had a good night in the office, Cristiano Ronaldo had a rare anonymous one.
Messi has now scored two direct free kick goals from his last four attempts (all comps). This comes after scoring just one from his previous 62 attempts.
This Messi stat is wild �� pic.twitter.com/zHPUzqu9Cb
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 31, 2021
Ronaldo is now on a 3-game scoreless streak in Serie A (tied for his longest such streak since joining Juventus in 2018). This is also the first time he failed to score vs. Sampdoria — having scored 5 in 4 previous matches against them.
Messi has now scored SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY goals for FC Barcelona. We have capitalised it, but we’re still not sure we comprehend the enormity of that number. SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY.
456 of them have come in La Liga, and 49 of them have been direct free kicks.
(Stats courtesy ESPN’s Stats & Information Group)