World football’s winners and losers this week

Ali Rampling takes a look at who came out of the week’s action in the best and worst shape.

Winners

Ajax

The 34-time Dutch champions broke their own 48-year-old record as they registered the biggest win in Eredivisie history with an emphatic 13-0 victory at VVV-Venlo on Saturday.

The previous record had been set back in 1972 courtesy of Ajax’s 12-1 win over Vitesse, meaning the reigning Eredivisie champions now hold the records for the division’s biggest home and away wins.

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Nineteen-year-old Lassina Traore scored five and set up three for Ajax, and the teenager was one of seven scorers as the Dutch giants dealt Venlo the biggest defeat in the club’s history.

Venlo had sat mid-table prior to Saturday’s mauling, conceding an average of 1.8 goals per game. However, they found themselves 4-0 down at half-time and were reduced to 10 men on 51 minutes after defender Christian Kum saw red for a high boot.

Goalkeeper Delano van Crooij made 10 saves for the hosts to keep the scoreline to a respectable 13.

Ciro Immobile

The Lazio forward made a goal-scoring return in the Champions League on Tuesday. It had been 2142 days since he last found the net in European club football’s most prestigious cup competition – for Borussia Dortmund against Anderlecht back in December 2014 – but he was on target against his former employers as Lazio ran out 3-1 winners in their opening group game.

Immobile was on the scoresheet once more on Saturday, grabbing Lazio’s second in a 2-1 win over Bologna in Serie A.

The goal was the 30-year-old’s 128th for the club, taking him past Giuseppe Signori in the Lazio all-time record scoring charts. 

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Immobile is now just 22 goals away from breaking Silvio Piola’s scoring record for the club, which has stood since 1943.

Jamie Vardy

In the summer of 2016, fresh from Leicester City’s famous Premier League title triumph, Jamie Vardy had his release clause at the King Power Stadium triggered by Arsenal.

The England forward held talks with the Gunners but ultimately decided to commit his future to the Foxes. Since the interest from the north London side a little over four years ago, Vardy has scored nine goals in 10 appearances against Arsenal.

The 33-year-old came off the bench to hit the winner at the Emirates on Sunday evening as Leicester recorded their first win at Arsenal since 1973.

Prior to Arsenal’s interest in Vardy, Leicester had not beaten the Gunners in the Premier League in their previous 22 attempts – a run stretching back to 1994. The Foxes have since won four of their last eight top-flight meetings with Arsenal.

Losers

Unbeaten Records 

It’s been a bad week for fans of unbeaten records, with five teams seeing their undefeated starts to the season ended in the past week. Just two sides in the top four flights of English football – Bournemouth and Reading – are yet to taste defeat this term.

Ipswich Town were the first side to lose their unbeaten status after they succumbed to a 4-1 loss at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday. The Tractor Boys were swiftly followed by Bristol City later that evening, as the Robins surrendered their unbeaten start and top spot in the Championship with a 1-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough.

A Patrick Bamford-inspired Leeds then brought Aston Villa’s perfect start to the season to an end on Friday night, before League One’s last unbeaten side standing Sunderland suffered a 3-1 loss to Portsmouth on Saturday.

The Premier League’s final unbeaten record was finished by Southampton on Sunday, who beat Everton 2-0 at St Mary’s to end the Toffees run of eight games without defeat in all competitions.

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy have endured a tough campaign in the MLS this term. Galaxy have registered just one win in their eight, Blockbuster signing Javier Hernandez has only scored once in 10 appearances and the club are currently rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. 

Things didn’t get any better for Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side on Sunday as they were beaten 2-0 by rivals Los Angeles FC in El Tráfico. 

Galaxy had defender Giancarlo Gonzalez sent off after just 25 minutes and were left feeling aggrieved when Danny Musovski gave LAFC the lead, with the ball seemingly going out of play in the build-up.

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Carlos Vela added a second for LAFC in stoppage time as Galaxy suffered their seventh defeat in their last eight outings.

Wycombe Wanderers

Gareth Ainsworth’s plucky underdogs came so close to picking up their first-ever Championship point on Saturday but conceded in the 91st minute to slip to a 2-1 defeat to Norwich.

Scott Kashket took advantage of a mishap in the Canaries backline to cancel out Teemu Pukki’s opener and put Wycombe within touching distance of getting a point on the board at the seventh time of asking.

However, Mario Vrančić popped up with a fabulous free-kick in injury time to collect all three points for Norwich.

Having already seen goals controversially chalked off in two of their last three outings, Wycombe were left with a sense of injustice once more after being denied a penalty in the first half when Fred Onyedinma was bundled over in the box, while Norwich’s winner stemmed from a fortuitously awarded free-kick. It’s seven defeats on the trot for Wycombe in what has been a real baptism of fire in the second tier.

Follow Ali on Twitter @alirampling


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