Stats Zone in Europe: Things we noticed this weekend
If you're good enough, you're young enough Ã¢ÂÂ ask Juan Carlos Valeron. The Deportivo la CoruÃÂ±a midfielder turns 38 in June but he inspired his side to a 4-0 romp at Levante. Depor had beaten three relegation rivals on the bounce before demolishing midtable Levante, with Valeron opening the scoring and topping the lists for passes (78 completed out of 88), attacking-third passes (27 out of 31), aerial duels (7) and chances created (4, including an assist for Bruno GamaÃ¢ÂÂ¦ in the 92nd minute).
Valencia's Ever Banega deserved better on Saturday. The Argentinian No.10 created 7 chances in the 3-3 thriller at Espanyol, including Sergio Canales' opener and Roberto Soldado's 91st-minute goal which was equalised two minutes later by Sergio Garcia. Banega also contributed the most take-ons (8, completing 3) and attacking-third passes (20 completed out of 26)
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were ruthlessly dominant against FC Nurnburg, completing 469 passes, with 77 of them coming from Rafinha (out of 80 Ã¢ÂÂ a 96% success rate). The right-back also completed 17 of his 18 attacking-third passes, and scored with his only shot.
Franck Ribery tormented Nurnburg, attempting 10 take-ons (5 completed) completing 25 passes in the attacking third and creating six chances, although only one was converted.
The Bundesliga's bottom club Greuther FÃÂ¼rth had an encouraging second half against Borussia Dortmund. After the break outshot the Champions League semi-finalists 6 to 3, and scored a great team goal through Edgar Prib. Sadly, Dortmund had already piled in five unanswered first-half goalsÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Over in Serie A, third-placed Milan couldn't beat second-placed Napoli at home Ã¢ÂÂ but it wasn't for lack of effort from right-back Ignazio Abate. The road-runner clocked up an unbeaten 49 passes out of 60, including 18 out of 26 (both match highs) in the Napoli third. He also topped the tackle charts with 5, of which he won 4.
Udinese's Luis Muriel had a busy day at Parma. The Colombian striker scored two first-half goals (either side of a booking for a dive) and was successful in 7 of the 11 take-ons he attempted. Despite receiving the ball 27 times he only completed 9 passes, although one set up a goalscoring chance.
Ligue 1 leaders PSG laboured to a 1-0 win at bottom-placed Troyes, who registered more shots on target than the Champions League quarter-finalists. Home centre-back Florian Jarjat led the lists for tackles (5 won out of 6), interceptions (4), clearances (8 completed out of 10) Ã¢ÂÂ and fouls committed (3) Ã¢ÂÂ to repel Lucas Moura etc al.
Cheick DiabatÃÂ© scored his fifth goal in 10 games as Bordeaux beat Montpellier 4-2. The 6ft 4in Mali centre-forward Ã¢ÂÂ who scored two Europa League goals against Newcastle in December Ã¢ÂÂ racked up 6 shots on the Montpellier goal and won 8 out of his 11 aerial duels. The 24-year-old completed 19 of 26 passes, although he only completed 1 of 7 in the Montpellier third.
Nice moved into fifth Ã¢ÂÂ and only four points behind second-placed Marseille Ã¢ÂÂ with a comprehensive 3-0 win over drop-dodging Sochaux. Former Middlesbrough player Didier Digard scored the killer second and ran the midfield, completing 70 out of 83 passes, included 12 completed in Sochaux's third.
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