What we noticed in March's European Qualifiers

More goals for Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski, Gianluigi Buffon's big night, plus Jermain Defoe's return – catch up with all the key qualifying stories and watch highlights.

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What do you think of our choices? What stood out for you? Let us know using #WCQ on @EuroQualifiers

Key numbers ...

Teams
Most points: Switzerland, Germany 15 (i.e. 100% record)
Unbeaten: France, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Wales, Poland, England, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Croatia
Most goals: Belgium 22
Fewest conceded: England 0

Players
Most goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 9
Most assists: Dušan Tadić (Serbia) 7

Watch Ronaldo score twice in Hungary
Watch Ronaldo score twice in Hungary

Ronaldo hitting new heights
Cristiano Ronaldo boasts a frankly intimidating number of goalscoring records for club and country – and of course ended his wait for a major international trophy at UEFA EURO 2016 – but he is not done yet. His two goals in Portugal's 3-0 win against Hungary made him only the fourth European to reach 70 in international football, within 14 of Ferenc Puskás's record.

Ronaldo also tops the European Qualifiers scoring charts with nine strikes so far, despite playing in just four of Portugal's five games. He already looks on course to pass the benchmark for goals scored in any UEFA qualifying group for a major tournament, Predrag Mijatović's 14 for Yugoslavia en route to the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The Real Madrid forward has already got to 44 goals in World Cup and EURO qualifying matches during this campaign, moving three ahead of previous record holder Robbie Keane.

Highlights: Lewandowski scores against Montenegro
Highlights: Lewandowski scores against Montenegro

Lewandowski hitting new ... well, he's also scoring loads
Robert Lewandowski lost his joint lead in the scorers' table after Ronaldo's double, but the Poland forward responded with the opener in Sunday's 2-1 win away to Montenegro as his team opened up a six-point Group E cushion – the biggest in any of the sections. Incredibly, that was the tenth straight qualifier in which Lewandowski found the net (five in this campaign and his last five ahead of UEFA EURO 2016), taking his international tally to 43 in 86 appearances.

Just grand for Buffon
Italy's 2-0 victory over Albania on Friday may have seemed routine, but it was loaded with historic significance for one man in particular. The game was Gianluigi Buffon's 1,000th professional outing for club and country, and the clean sheet kept the number of goals he has conceded down to just 799. Oh, and he also broke Iker Casillas's European caps record with his 168th Italy appearance.

Highlights: Switzerland stay perfect
Highlights: Switzerland stay perfect

Flawless Swiss
That World Cup holders Germany have reached the midway point without dropping a point comes as little surprise. But well done if you predicted that the only other team to make it to five wins out of five would be Switzerland. Having already beaten Portugal, Hungary, Andorra and the Faroe Islands, they saw off Latvia 1-0 on Saturday to stay three points ahead of Ronaldo's European champions.

However, Latvia were still level in Geneva in the 64th minute when Josip Drmić was brought on for the Swiss. The Borussia Mönchengladbach striker had not scored this season for either club or country before Saturday, but within two minutes had headed what proved to be the winner. That moved Switzerland on to five straight victories, equalling their record from the early 1960s.

Watch Andorra draw!
Watch Andorra draw!

Andorra draw attention
Andorra are unlikely to challenge Switzerland or Portugal in their section, but they had plenty of reason to celebrate on Saturday. The side's 0-0 draw with the Faroe Islands ended a run of 58 consecutive competitive defeats since September 2005, coming neatly in their 100th qualifier (they now have one win and three draws to their name). The result had been on the cards too, as Andorra saw off San Marino 2-0 in a friendly last month, their first victory in 13 years.

Watch Defoe's goalscoring return
Watch Defoe's goalscoring return

Defoe as good as new
Jermain Defoe had always proved a reliable striking option for England but had dropped out of the international reckoning after his January 2014 move from Tottenham Hotspur to Toronto FC. But his recent form for Sunderland earned him a recall from new England manager Gareth Southgate (whose international career overlapped with Defoe's in 2004).

Chosen to start for his first cap since November 2013, Defoe took under 22 minutes to get his 20th international goal in a 2-0 defeat of Lithuania. The 34-year-old said: "Just to win the game was important and we did that. It's hard to put in words, really, [what it means] to be back." Credit also due to Joe Hart, who may have been loaned out by Manchester City this term but who has kept five clean sheets for England in qualifying, the only goalkeeper to do so in any of the groups.

What do you think of our choices? What stood out for you? Let us know using #WCQ on @EuroQualifiers.

Next Week of Football: 9–11 June

Highlights
Friday 9 June: Sweden v France, Latvia v Portugal
Saturday 10 June: Scotland v England, Poland v Romania
Sunday 11 June: Serbia v Wales, Iceland v Croatia