Category Sports

Manchester United equal record Premier League win with nine-goal Southampton thrashing

On February 2, 2021, Manchester United played Southampton in an English Premier League game. United came out on top in stunning fashion, pumping nine goals past their opposition in a 9-0 victory.

This was only the third time in Premier League history that a side won by a nine-goal margin.

Manchester United achieved a 9-0 margin victory for a second time when they achieved the feat in February 2021 Southampton, unfortunately, had the ignominy of being on the receiving end of such a defeat for a second time.

United also equalled the all-time Premier League record for most goalscorers (7) for a team in a match, a record set by Chelsea when they beat Aston Villa 8-0 in December 2012. While Anthony Martial scored twice. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay. Bruno Femandes (right in right and third from left above) and Daniel James all scored one goal Southampton’s Jan Bednarek scored an own goal.

Manchester United were the first team to win a Premier League match by nine goals. They did it in March 1995 and it was Ipswich Town at the receiving end.

United had four different goalscorers in this 9-0 victory. Andy Cole (left and centre in right) was clearly the hero of the match as he scored a phenomenal five goals himself. A brace from Mark Hughes and a goal each from Roy Keane and Paul Ince was also part of the rout.

The five goals scored by Cole was a record for the most goals scored by a footballer in a single Premier League game. The record still stands, but Cole now shares it with Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe, Dimitar Berbatov and Sergio Aguero.

More than 24 years after Manchester United had set their record it was finally equalled by another team when Leicester City ran riot against Southampton.

The match played at Southampton in October 2019, and 0-9 as Leicester City had five different goalscorers. While there were hat-tricks for both Ayoze Perez (right in left) and Jamie Vardy, Ben Chilwell, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison also got on the score sheet.

This victory, which is the biggest away win in the history of English top-flight football, remains the only 90 margin win achieved by an away team.


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Kagiso Rabada makes history by claiming 200th Test wicket

In the first Test between Pakistan and South Africa that took place in Karachi, Pakistan, late in January 2021, South African speedster Kagiso Rabada took his Test wickets tally to 200. He did it in style, as he became the third fastest, in terms of balls bowled, to reach the landmark.

Kagiso Rabada took three wickets in the first Test between Pakistan and South Africa. Even though it came in a losing cause, Rabada had something to celebrate as he became the third fastest, in terms of balls bowled, to reach 200 Test wickets.

All three of Rabada’s wickets in the game came in the first innings. Rabada accounted for both of Pakistan’s openers in the first innings. He had Abid Ali bowled, while Imran Butt was out caught, as Rabada took his tally to 199. His 200th wicket came when he cleaned up tail-ender Hasan Ali.

Rabada’s numbers as he enters

The 200-wicket club

Having made his debut against India at Mohali in 2015, Rabada has raced to 200 Test wickets in just over five years.

Rabada might be the third fastest to 200 Test wickets in terms of balls bowled, but he comes only 13th in terms of matches played. Rabada reached the milestone in his 44th Test match. Pakistan’s Yasir Shah (33), Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett (36) and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin (37) are the three fastest to 200 Test wickets, in tents of matches played.

Rabada has the best strike rate in the history of Test cricket for bowlers with 200 or more wickets – a phenomenal 41.1. Rabada’s compatriot Dale Steyn, who finished his Test career with 439 wickets at a strike rate of 42.3, and Pakistan’s Waqar Younis, who finished with 373 wickets at a strike rate of 43.4, come second and third in this list.

What is an overhead kick in soccer?

Kinetic energy largely dominates the beautiful game of football as players cover a number of kilometres in a 90-minute game, in search of goals that separate the competing sides. But one of the more dramatic moments produced on the football field depends mainly on the potential energy of a player.

Energy and forces

The overhead kick, also known as the bicycle kick and scissors kick based on minor differences, sees the player utilising potential energy to carry out the acrobatic move. There are also forces in action as a player needs to contend with centrifugal and gravitational forces while trying to kick the ball overhead.

Three main phases

The overhead kick can be broadly broken down into three phases. The first, and most obvious phase, is the jump. The player places himself such that their centre of gravity is a little behind their impulse foot. This enables the player to gain rotational momentum by applying pressure on the ground. The jump phase is thus similar to the back somersault.

There is very little separating the second and third phase as it all happens really quickly in reality. The second phase is the kicking movement done by the player once completely air-borne. With other forces in action, the player needs great strength in their thighs and muscles to carry out this phase.

Changes direction and spread

The third and final phase is the moment of impact, when the player’s foot strikes the ball. When struck properly, the ball not only change direction, but also gains considerable velocity.

While all these happen within seconds, what really matters for the player is what happens next. What we have just described might seem like poetry in motion for those who love physics, but for footballers, their goal with these kind of shots is to find the ball in the back of the net!


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Lewandowski breaks Muller’s Bundesliga goals record after opening scoring for Bayern against Freiburg

With 18 teams competing in the German Bundesliga, and each club playing the other 17 twice, every team plays a total of 34 matches each season. This means that clubs would have played 17 games each at the halfway mark of each season.

In the 1968-69 season of the Bundesliga, Germany’s Gerd Muller, playing for Bayern Munich, scored a record 20 goals in the first half of the season. That record stood for over 50 years, only to be broken in the 2020-21 season by Robert Lewandowski.

Polish striker Lewandowski, also playing for Bayern Munich now, notched up 22 goals in the first 17 league games this season.

 A look at Lewandowski and Muller..

Having drawn level with Gerd Muller’s record in Bayern Munich’s 3-2 defeat away against Borussia

Monchengladbach on January 9, Lewandowski made the record his own on January 17, with a goal in the seventh minute in their 2-1 victory over Freiburg.

 Lewandowski took his tally to 22 at the halfway mark of the season when he scored from the penalty spot to give his side a 1-0 win away against Augsburg.

Records, awards and goals have been coming thick and fast for Lewandowski, who, at 32, seems to be improving with age. He became just the third footballer to notch up 250 Bundesliga goals in December 2020, before he went on to pick up FIFA’S “The Best” prize being the top footballer of the year.

He seems to be continuing in 2021 from where he left off in 2020 as he first claimed the record for Bundesliga’s halfway mark and then scored his 500th career goal (club and country) in Bayern’s 4-0 win over Schalke on January 24.

With no signs of letting up, Lewandowski might well go past Muller’s record for most goals scored in a season, set in 1971-72.

Seen here in what looks almost like a ballerina pose, Gerd Muller surely did make opponents dance to his tunes. He set innumerable records in his Bundesliga career with Bayern, which included the 20 goals he scored in the first half of the 1968-69 season. His Bundesliga goals tally (365) is beyond reach for most and he also holds the record for most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season – 40 in 1971-72.


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India’s highest successful run chases in test cricket

India’s 2-1 series victory against Australia was historic in more ways than one and will be spoken about for a long time.

One of the reasons for why it is rated so highly is the fact that the win in the fourth Test was made possible by chasing down a big target away at Brisbane, one of Australia’s strongholds. The target of 328 achieved, in fact, is the third highest successful chase in India’s Test history.

  • 406 for 4 (chasing 403) against West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad in April 1976. This is from July 1979 shows Gundappa Viswanath hot on the heels of Sunil Gavaskar as they walk on a rope at Birmingham during a Test series in England. Almost three years and three months before this photo was taken, the duo were literally walking on a tight rope as they helped India achieve a historic victory against the formidable West Indies. After Vivian Richards scored 177 to take his team to 359, India were bowled out for 228 in the first innings. Alvin Kallicharran made an unbeaten 103 next as West Indies declared their second innings at 271 for six, setting a huge target of 403 for India to win the Test. Gavaskar (102) and Visvanath (112) helped India achieve the unthinkable as both of them scored centuries in pursuit of the target.
  • 387 for four (chasing 387) against England at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai in December 2008. Centuries by England opener Andrew Strauss (123 and 108) not only allowed the visitors to take a first innings lead of 75, but also helped them set a big target of 387 for India to win the Test. A swashbuckling counter-attacking 68-ball 83 by Player of the Match Virender Sehwag (above) set the stage for India’s chase. Sachin Tendulkar (103 not out, right in left) and Yuvraj Singh (85 not out, left in left) were at the crease when the winning runs were scored.
  • 329 for seven (chasing 328) against Australia at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia in January 2021. The latest entrant in the list of highest successful run chases achieved by India in Test cricket had a number of heroes. After Marnus Labuschagne’s 108 and captain Tim Paine’s 50 allowed Australia to post 369, their highest total in the series, India were in a spot of bother at 186 for six. Debutant Washinton Sundar (62, left in A) and Shardul Thakur (67, right in A), playing only his second Test, forged a 123-run partnership that pushed India to 336, much closer to Australia’s first innings total. Mohammed Siraj (5 for 73 in the second innings, left in C) and Thakur (4 for 61 in second innings, right in C) then picked nine wickets between them to restrict the Aussies to 294. Chasing 328 for an unlikely win on a fifth day track at Australia’s fortress, Shubman Gill (91, right in B) led the charge in the first session. Cheteshwar Pujara (56, left in B) was India’s rock, as he preserved his wicket at one end while the others continued to go for runs. After his dismissal in the first over with the second new ball, Rishabh Pant (89 not out, right) took the reins, taking India over the line for a magical victory.


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Lewandowski third to two hundred and fifty Bundesliga goals

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020, Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Wolfsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga. Both goals were scored by Bayern’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who claimed FIFA’s The Best prize for being the year’s top footballer the next day.

The two goals that Lewandowski scored were his 250th and 251st in Bundesliga. That makes him just the third footballer to notch up over 250 Bundesliga goals, and the first non German to achieve the milestone.

Gerd Muller


Goals scored: 365 Matches played: 427 Minutes played: 38,157 Minutes per goal: 105 Club(s) played for: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Gerd ‘Der Bomber Muller broke innumerable records in his Bundesliga career with Bayern. His goals tally is almost a hundred more than his nearest rival. He finished as the top scorer at the end of a season a record five times in the 14 seasons he played. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season – 40 in 1971-72.

Klaus Fischer

Goals scored: 268

Matches played: 535

Minutes played: 46,252

Minutes per goal: 173

Club(s) played for: TSV 1860 Mu nich, FC Schalke 04, FC Koln, Vfl Bochum

Country: Germany

Klaus Fischer had a long

Bundesliga career, spending his 19 seasons with four different clubs and scoring goals for all of them. He is among a handful of players to have played more than 500 Bundesliga matches. Even though he scored more than 20 goals in a season six times, he finished as the top-scorer of the league only once in 1975-76.

Robert Lewandowski

Goals scored: 253

Matches played: 333

Minutes played: 26,661

Minutes per goal: 105

Club(s) played for: Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich

Country: Poland

Robert Lewandowski has moved from strength to strength in his Bundesliga career since he started out with Borussia Dortmund in 2010-11. Having moved to Bayern Munich in 2014-15, Lewandowski certainly has more records within his sight in the time to come. Lewandowski has been the highest scoring non-German in the competition for some time now and the Polish forward became the first non-German to go past the 250 Bundesliga goals mark.

After Maximilian Philipp volleyed home in the fifth minute to give Wolfsburg the lead, Lewandowski headed home (top most) the equaliser in first-half stoppage time. He scored the winner (above) five minutes into the second half, following a strong run. The two goals were

Lewandowski’s 250th and 251st in Bundesliga, making him just the third to reach the landmark.


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Rafael Leao scores fastest goal in Serie A history

On December 20, 2020, AC Milan striker Rafael Leao scored a goal in the first minute of the game in their 2-1 victory away against Sassuolo. In case you are wondering why that is special, it was the fastest goal in Serie A history.

Leao took just 6.2 seconds to find the back of the net, scoring the fastest goal in Serie A history. He had shaved nearly two seconds off the previous record, held by Paolo Poggi of Piacenza when he scored against Fiorentina in 2001. Leao’s goal, in fact, is the first goal in Europe’s top five leagues (English Premier League, French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga) to be scored inside seven seconds. Naturally then, it is the fastest goal ever in Europe’s top five leagues.

The fastest goal in the Spanish La Liga was scored by Joseba Llorente >> Playing then for Real Valladolid, Llorente took only 7.22 seconds to score against Espanyol in 2008.

The record for the fastest goal scored in the English Premier League now belongs to Shane Long Southampton striker Long needed only 7.69 seconds to score a goal against Watford in 2019.

In the French Ligue 1, the record for the fastest goal is held by Michel Rio.

The record dates back to 1992 when Caen midfielder Rio scored against Cannes in 7.9 seconds.

The record for the fastest goal scored in the German Bundesliga is held jointly by Karim Bellarabi and Kevin Volland.

While Bellarabi scored in just nine seconds on the opening day of the 2014-15 season for Bayer Leverkusen against Borussia Dortmund, Volland took the same time to score for Hoffenheim against Bayern Munich in 2015.

On January 3, 2021, Leao scored the second goal in AC Milan’s 2-0 away win against Benevento. With that goal, Leao became the second youngest foreign player (21 years and 207 days) to score 10 or more goals with AC Milan in Serie A. Only Brazilian footballer Alexandre Pato achieved the landmark quicker. He was 19 years and 19 days old when he scored his 10th AC Milan goal in the Serie A.


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Mbappe overtakes Messi to become youngest player to reach 20 Champions League goals

Accusations of racism meant that Paris Saint-Germain’s final Champions’ League group game against Istanbul Basaksehir was played over two days, December 8-9, 2020.

Knowing they had already qualified when the match continued on December 9, PSG went on to thrash Istanbul 5-1 as Neymar scored a hat-trick and Kylian Mbappe added a brace. Those two goals made Mbappe the youngest in the competition to reach 20 goals.

With a penalty in the 42nd minute of the game, Mbappe took his tally of Champions League goals to 20. He added another in the 62nd minute and now has 21 goals in the competition. Having announced his arrival on the big stage as a teenager, Mbappe continues to create records.

1. Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe was 21 years and 355 days old when he scored his 20th and 21st goals in the competition. After scoring six goals in the 2016-17 season with Monaco, Mbappe switched to PSG. He also starred for France when they won the World Cup in 2018.

2. Lionel Messi

Messi was 22 years ne notched up his 20th and 266 days old when goal in the 2009-10 edition of the Champions League. He totally has 126 goals so far.

3. Raul

Raul was 22 years and 297 days old when we reached the 20 Champions League goals mark.

4. Alessandro del Piero

del Piero was 23 years and 157 days old when he went past the 20 Champions League goals landmark.

5. Karim Benzema

Benzema reached the 20 Champions League goals milestone when he was 23 years and 282 days old.


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Who is the youngest player to play in the Champions League?

On December 8, 2020, Borussia Dortmund’s Youssouffa Moukaka came on as a substitute in their Champions League game against Zenit Saint Petersburg. With that he broke Celestine Babayaro’s 26-year-old record for being the youngest player in the history of UEFA Champions League.

Cameroon-born German footballer Youssoufa Moukoko was born almost 10 years (just three days short, to be exact) after Celestine Babayaro set the record in 1994 for being the youngest to play in the Champions League. Born on November 20 2004, Moukoko joined Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and played for their U17s (under-17s) team aged 13 and for their U19s a year later. He started training with Dortmund’s first team as a 15-year-old from January 2020 and made his first appearance in the Bundesliga a day after his 16th birthday, coming on as a substitute against Hertha. A little over half a month later, Moukoko has become the youngest player ever to play in the UEFA Champions League.

1. Youssoufa Moukoko 16 years 18 days

After sitting on the bench for Dortmund for two Champions League games, Moukoko made his European debut on December 8, 2020 in a 2-1 win against Zenit.

2. Celestine Babayaro 16 years 87 days

For more than 26 years, the record for being the youngest to appear in Champions League was held by Babayaro. The Nigerian defender achieved the feat on November 23, 1994 when he started for Anderlecht at Steaua in a 1-1 group stage draw. His debut had one more record in it as well, as he became the youngest in the competition to be sent off. 37 minutes into the game.

3. Rayan Cherki 16 years 102 days

Still with Lyon, Cherki made his Champions League debut as a substitute in a 2-0 loss against Zenit on November 27, 2019. Cherki could have broken Babayaro’s record three weeks before this game, but he was an unused substitute in that match.

4. Alen Halilovic T16 years 128 days

Now with Birmingham after moving through a number of dubs, Halilovic made his Champions League debut as a substitute in Dinamo Zagreb’s 0-2 loss to Paris Saint-Germain on October 24, 2012.

5. Youri Tielemans 5 16 years 148 days

Now playing for Premier League side Leicester City, Tielemans made his Champions League debut for Anderlecht during their 0-3 defeat to Olympiacos on October 2, 2013.


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Karim Benzema joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in exclusive goal club

On December 9, 2020, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored twice in their 2-0 Champions League group stage game victory over Borussia Monchengladbach. With the first of those two goals, Benzema became only the third* person to score 50 or more goals in the group stages of Champions League.

With only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo above him in terms of number of group stage goals scored in the competition, Benzema surely is in some elite company.

Lionel Messi leads the list with 71 Champions League group stage goals, all of which were for Barcelona. The 71 goals have come in just 75 games, giving him a phenomenal goals per game ratio of 0.95!

It is no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo is next on this list, with 67 Champions League group stage goals in 93 games so far. His goals, which have come at the rate of 0.72 goals per game, were for three sides – Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus.

Benzema became just the third footballer to notch up 50 or more Champions League group stage goals when he scored his 50th and 51st in the game against Monchengladbach His 51 goals have come in 73 games, played for Lyon and now Real Madrid. Benzema has a goals per game ratio of 0.70 at this stage of the competition.

Statistics do not include goals and appearances from the second group stage that the Champions League had from 1999-2000 to 2002-03. If we were to include goals in that as well, Raul (53) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (50) also have 50 or more group stage goals. Raul and van Nistelrooy’s tallies, however, drop down to 37 and 39 respectively, if their goals in the second group stage aren’t included.

Benzema scored with two near identical headers to bring up his 50th and 51st goals in the group stages of the Champions League.

Apart from the fact that the two goals put Benzema in elite company, it also gave Real Madrid a crucial victory that not only allowed them to progress to the knock-out stages of the competition this time, but also top their group. Record 13-time champions Madrid had started the night in third place in their group, with the risk of failing to qualify from the group stage for the first time in their history.


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