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Milestones, champions and goals galore

Serie A appearances was the landmark reached by Gianluigi Buffon on Sunday, 18 years and four days after his debut in the division. The veteran keeper marked the occasion with his 145th clean sheet in 332 top-flight appearances for Juventus, who triumphed 2-0 at Livorno and have now won each of their last five league games without conceding a goal. There was also a milestone for Kaka, who marked his 200th Serie A appearance with his 97th AC Milan goal, a tally he upped to 98 in last night’s 3-0 UEFA Champions League win over Celtic. Napoli, meanwhile, lost their first home game of 2013, going down 1-0 to Parma and bringing to an end a 16-match unbeaten run at the San Paolo – their longest since 1990. The result was all the more remarkable as Parma had gone into the game without a single away win this season, a streak finally brought to an end by Antonio Cassano’s 100th goal in Serie A.

league goals, spread across four different nations, have now been scored by Arjen Robben after the Bayern Munich winger reached his century in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund. The Dutchman’s delicate chipped effort was his 49th for Bayern and follows on from 11 at Real Madrid, 15 for Chelsea, 17 in the colours of PSV and eight for Groningen. Coincidentally, the game was the 100th meeting between these great German rivals, and Bayern marked the occasion by ending a six-match winless streak against Dortmund in Bundesliga encounters, dating back to February 2010. The Bavarians also extended their Bundesliga record tally by scoring in a 50th successive match, and moved on to 35 points – the best-ever haul by a German top-flight side after just 13 matches.

teams have won the FIFA World Cup, and all eight will be represented at Brazil 2014 afterUruguay completed the 32-team line-up last Wednesday. La Celeste’s play-off success means that South America will have six representatives at next year’s showpiece, more than at any other edition since seven CONMEBOL teams participated in the inaugural World Cup in 1930. There will be plenty of familiar faces on show, with Africa represented by the same five nations who made it through the qualifying competition for South Africa 2010. But though there will be only one debutant – Bosnia Herzegovina – eight teams who missed out in 2010 have made sure of being there this time around, with Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Iran and Russia making up that particular octet.

unanswered Manchester City goals on Sunday handed Tottenham Hotspur their joint-heaviest defeat in Premier League history. The margin of victory equalled the record set by a 6-0 loss to Sheffield United in 1993, and matched by a 7-1 hammering at Newcastle United three years later. City, meanwhile, have now scored 26 times in their first six home matches of the season, becoming the first team in the English top flight to establish such a tally at this stage since Sunderland – who went on to win the title – 78 years ago in 1935/36. City, in fact, have scored more goals at the Etihad Stadium this season than any of the other 19 teams in the Premier League have managed home and away. The tone on Sunday was set as early as the 14th second of the match, when Jesus Navas scored City’s fastest goal of the Premier League era, beating Geovanni’s 30-second effort against Wigan Athletic from 2007.

goals was the impressive contribution made by Carlos Vela to Real Sociedad’s 4-3 victory over Celta Vigo. The Mexican striker duly became the first player this season in any of Europe’s traditional big five leagues to score more than three times in a single match. His was also the first four-goal haul in La Liga since Alvaro Negredo managed the same feat for Sevilla in June 2013. It was all the more striking as Vela had failed to score in any of his previous eight appearances, and went into the game with one goal in his last 14 outings. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-0 victory over Granada. It was the Catalans’ 23rd successive home league win, making for the club’s best such run since they racked up 39 between 1958 and 1960. However, their 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions, home and away, came to an end last night when Ajax inflicted the first defeat of Gerardo Martino’s reign.

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