Dani Aranzubia’s historic goal, Roma’s costly capitulation and Jose Mourinho’s invincibility feature alongside a long-awaited home win for Borussia Dortmund and a landmark occasion for Matias Almeyda in FIFA.com’s latest statistical review.
317: days after their last home league victory, Borussia Monchengladbach finally gave their supporters something to cheer with a 2-1 defeat of visiting Schalke. The Bundesliga’s bottom club hadn’t won in their own stadium since a 2-0 reverse of Eintracht Frankfurt on 9 April, with 13 subsequent attempts yielding eight defeats and five draws. Die Fohlen’s success in ending this long wait in Lucien Favre’s debut as coach was all the more impressive as they had to come from behind to do so, battling back from a goal down to edge Felix Magath’s UEFA Champions League hopefuls. This was also the first time this season that Schalke had dropped points after being in a winning position.
94;minutes and 12 seconds were on the clock when Dani Aranzubia saved his Deportivo La Coruna side from defeat and, in the process, became the first keeper in La Liga history to score from open play. Five had previously found the net in Spain’s top flight, but four of them – Jose Luis Chilavert, Juan Santamaria, Carlos Alberto Fenoy and Nacho Gonzalez - scored from the penalty spot, while the other, Toni Prats, managed the feat from free-kicks. Aranzubia is, in fact, the first keeper to beat his opposite number in any of Europe’s top five leagues since Paul Robinson scored from his own half for Tottenham Hotspur against Watford three years and 11 months ago. Nor was the Depor No1’s historic headed goal inconsequential to the division's relegation battle, with the Spanish strugglers only saved from a fifth defeat in seven games by the 31-year-old’s stoppage-time intervention.
33second-half minutes was all it took for Roma to turn a three-goal lead into a one-goal deficit and bring Claudio Ranieri’s time as coach to an end. The 60-year-old’s subsequent resignation was in itself a first as, during his entire coaching career – which spans 24 years and ten clubs – he had never before fallen on his own sword. Ranieri felt compelled to quit after witnessing the worst collapse from any team in Serie A since Bari threw away an identical advantage to lose 4-3 against Perugia on 29 April 2001. Roma have now lost four games in succession, while Genoa’s remarkable comeback has left them protecting a four-match unbeaten run.
19:years on from his River Plate debut, Matias Almeyda continued his fairy tale resurgence by helping Los Millonarios ease themselves away of the relegation precipice on Sunday. The 37-year-old, who first turned out for River on 21 February 1992, is continuing to defy logic having returned from a three-year period of retirement to become one of the most influential players in Argentinian football. Almeyda would not, however, have had much luck in attempting to share memories of his debut – a 2-1 win over Union Santa Fe - with Erik Lamela, the star of River’s 2-0 win over Huracan at the weekend. After all, Lamela was born on 4 March 1992 – a couple of weeks after the River fans were given their first glimpse of his future team-mate.
9years exactly have now passed since Jose Mourinho lost a league match at home. This incredible run, which encompasses 148 matches in four different countries, dates back to 23 February 2002, when his nine-man Porto side went down 3-2 to Beira Mar. The time since has brought 38 games without defeat at Porto, 60 at Chelsea, 38 at Inter Milan and 12 at Real Madrid, the most recent of which arrived on Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 win over Levante. Of those 148 matches, 123 have been won, and Mourinho's teams have scored 333 goals with just 87 conceded in reply. Yet the Special One will have noted that his was not the only landmark over the weekend. Pep Guardiola also celebrated his 100th La Liga match as Barcelona coach, and the fact that 79 of those have ended in victory for the Blaugrana reminds everyone of why Mourinho’s side remain five points behind in the title race.