The Numbers Game
Sergio Aguero set the EPL record for the quickest five goals in history. It took him 20 minutes. He did it on October 3.
Robert Lewandowski set the Bundesliga record for the quickest five goals in history. It took him nine minutes. He did it on September 22.
Cristiano Ronaldo set the La Liga record for the quickest five goals in history. It took him 34 minutes. He did it on September 12.
Aguero, Lewandowski, and Ronaldo scored 15 goals in 63 minutes within 21 days of each other.
Let us contextualize this. Historically across the three leagues, there have been 66 five-goal games by 53 players. That number shrinks dramatically to 19 occasions since 1980 by 18 players (the player to accomplish the feet twice? Bingo. Ronaldo. He has done it twice this calendar year). If you count Champions League, there have been only an additional two five goals games since 1980. And the Europa League? Only three.
In league play, that amounts to one five-goal game every 480 days. Aguero, Lewandowski, Ronaldo took three in 21 days. That’s more goals in three games than 17 EPL teams, 19 La Liga teams, and 16 Bundesliga teams have tallied all season.
That each scored five quicker than anyone in their league's have done it furthers the spectacle. It takes me nine minutes to get up in the morning. Lewandowski scored five. It takes me 20 minutes to shower after I get up. Aguero scored five. It takes me 34 minutes to drive to work. Ronaldo scored five.
One can become obsessed with minutiae looking at numbers like that. While the goal tally is mind boggling, there is a strong argument those three performances were of such unique quality we may never see a three-peat like this ever again.
Consider the sheer variety of ways in which those goals came. They came off of diving headers, long-range shots, cut-backs into the box, cut-backs out of the box, end-to-end counter attacks, chips, crosses, volleys, and penalties. Heck, Lewandowski scored his second after hitting the post, putting the rebound off the keeper before finally burying the third shot with a defender in his face.
They were moments of pure invention and moments of intricately manufactured play. They were displays of why football is called ‘The Beautiful Game’.
Don’t take too much time to blink in the coming weeks. What could the next 21 days hold?
Rhys Dowbiggin @Rdowb