REVIEW: 100th La Liga match in which Messi scores

FOOTBALL – Lionel Messi converted a penalty against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, thus promoting this match to the 100th in the Premier League in which he has scored at least once. Tonight’s was his 206th La Liga match meaning that he has not scored in 106 league matches. FC Barcelona’s track record in the 100 matches in which he nets at least once is 91 wins, eight draws and one defeat (4-3 against Atlético Madrid in 2009). Messi’s La Liga goal total has reached 155.

REVIEW: Real Madrid tally 100th goal of La Liga season

FOOTBALL – The good people from Pamplona are used to being chased by stampeding bulls but the red home jerseys served as the proverbial red rag in Madrid’s chase to absolutely shatter the single season La Liga goalscoring record tonight. The visitors won 5-1 and brought up 100 goals with eight matches remaining.

The following campaigns tallied at least 100 goals in a Spanish top flight season:

107 in 38 matches – Real Madrid 1989/1990

105 in 38 matches – FC Barcelona 2008/2009

102 in 38 matches – Real Madrid 2009/2010

102 in 38 matches – Real Madrid 2010/2011

102 in 42 matches – FC Barcelona 1996/1997

100 in 30 matches – Real Madrid 2011/2012

REVIEW: Robben’s March Hare Madness saves Bayern

March HareFOOTBALL – It was not Bayern’s turn to slam in seven goals, but it was Arjen Robben’s March Madness that saved the day. Since his arrival in 2009, no Bundesliga player has scored more league goals in matches played in March than the 12 by the Dutchman in that month. Click ‘Read More’ to see Robben’s monthly distribution.

3 – August

1– September

1 – October

0 – November

3 – December

5 – January

4 – February

12 – March

6 – April

4 – May

OFF THE MARK – Cannot hit the side of a barn

FOOTBALL – Queens Park Rangers’ Adel Taarabt finally scored his first PL goal of the season and it was not for lack of effort. Before today, his 61 attempts without a goal led the Premier League. He has now passed the torch to Stewart Downing. Click ‘Read More’ to see the rankings at the start of the day.

Most shots fired without scoring in 2011/2012 PL (not including 31 March)

61 – Adel Taarabt (Queens Park Rangers)

53 – Stewart Downing (Liverpool)

50 – Shaun Wright-Phillips (Queens Park Rangers)

38 – John Arne Riise (Fulham)

19 – Roger Johnson (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Stat idea by @EPLStuff

PREVIEW: Boonen can join Flanders Tour elite (Cycling)

CYCLING – In-form Tom Boonen will be among the favourites to win the ‘Ronde van Vlaanderen’ (Tour of Flanders) tomorrow. This race is one of the most important one-day races of the season. If Boonen (or countryman Stijn Devolder) claim their third win they will join the record holders on three career wins. Click ‘Read More’ to see who they are.

3 – Achiel Buysse (BEL) 1940, 1941, 1943

3 – Fiorenzo Magni (ITA) 1949, 1950, 1951

3 – Eric Leman (BEL) 1970, 1972, 1973

3 – Johan Museeuw (BEL) 1993, 1995, 1998


2 – Tom Boonen (BEL) 2005, 2006

2 – Stijn Devolder (BEL) 2008, 2009

There are 10 more riders on two, including the great Eddy Merckx. Having produced cycling statistics for Infostrada Sports Group for more than 10 years, I can tell you it is a challenge in itself to find a list in which Merckx is NOT at least among the record holders.

ON THIS DAY: 1975: Wooden wins 10th title (Basketball)

BASKETBALL – Precisely 37 years ago, John Wooden won his 10th and last NCAA crown with the UCLA Bruins. In a way, it is ironic that a man who never spoke about winning or losing is one of the most successful at all time. Click here for a tribute to Coach Wooden, whose virtues embody everything that this website, and its makers, stand for. Character, consideration of others, personal preparation.

BIRTHDAY – 31 March: Gordie Howe (Ice Hockey)

Gordie HoweICE HOCKEY – Only very few athletes manage to get a statistic named after them. Gordie Howe is such a person and the ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’ would involve scoring at least once, providing at least one assist and winning one fight in a single match. Howe became a legend of the Detroit Red Wings and a six-time NHL MVP. He was the childhood hero of Wayne Gretzky, who, when he found Howe’s trademark No. 9 unavailable on his first pro team, decided to play with No. 99.

Shares birthday with: René Descartes, Christopher Walken, Angus Young