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Bale and Zanetti make their mark

Published: Friday 22 October 2010, 12.38CET
Gareth Bale scored three, two players at opposite ends of their careers in the UEFA Champions League and four dedicated FC Minsk supporters caught's eye in the last seven days.
Bale and Zanetti make their mark
Javier Zanetti cannot stop Gareth Bale from scoring in Tottenham's 4-3 loss to Inter ©Getty Images features

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Published: Friday 22 October 2010, 12.38CET

Bale and Zanetti make their mark

Gareth Bale scored three, two players at opposite ends of their careers in the UEFA Champions League and four dedicated FC Minsk supporters caught's eye in the last seven days.

Team: Arsenal FC
The Gunners have scored 14 goals in three UEFA Champions League matches this term, more than any club has ever managed at this stage of the competition. Five came in Tuesday's 5-1 defeat of FC Shakhtar Donetsk, who had won their two previous Group H matches without conceding. Manchester United FC's record for most goals in the group stage − 20 in 1998/99 − is under threat.

Player: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
The 21-year-old fired his team to the brink of an unlikely draw with UEFA Champions League holders FC Internazionale Milano on Wednesday. At the break Tottenham were trailing 4-0 and down to ten men, but reduced the arrears on 52 minutes when Bale finished off a forceful run. Two more followed in added time as Bale single-handedly dragged the Londoners to within a whisker of a the most unlikely of Group A points.

Goal: Cleiton Xavier (FC Metalist Kharkiv)
The Brazilian struck a spectacular winner in the Ukrainian club's 2-1 defeat of UC Sampdoria in UEFA Europa League Group I. With his side a man light following Taison's dismissal, Xavier met a chip from compatriot Edmar with an acrobatic overhead kick which whistled past goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.

Number: 33
The number of Chilean miners rescued last week after 69 days underground, 33 is also what Mario Gómez sports on his FC Bayern München shirt. "When I saw that one of the first miners brought to the surface was called Mario Gómez I knew it was going to be my day," said the striker after scoring a hat-trick against Hannover 96 last Saturday. "These goals are a sign of destiny: 33 miners were saved, I wear shirt number 33 and I scored three goals. I must thank the people of Chile."

Something old, something new: Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos FC) & Javier Zanetti (FC Internazionale Milano)
Mavrias became the second youngest player in UEFA Champions League history when he came on in Panathinaikos's goalless draw with FC Rubin Kazan aged 16 years 242 days. On the same night, against Tottenham, Zanetti – aged 37 and 71 days – registered his first goal in the competition since December 1998 to overtake Laurent Blanc as the tournament's oldest scorer.

Domestic troubles: VfB Stuttgart
Bottom of the table in Germany with one win from eight matches, the Swabian outfit have won three out of three in UEFA Europa League Group H. The latest success was a 1-0 defeat of Getafe CF on Thursday – all eyes are now on Sunday's meeting with FC St. Pauli to see if that form can finally be transferred on to the domestic stage.

Dedication: FC Minsk supporters
Four Minsk fans showed their commitment to the cause by walking the 45km to their team's game at FC Torpedo Zhodino. The quartet misjudged it slightly, a ten-hour journey meaning they missed the first half yet they did see both goals in a 1-1 draw. "We covered the first 20 kilometres without fatigue," said one of the hardy fans. "There were lads travelling by car who stopped to check if everything was OK. The last five or six kilometres were the hardest part." Minsk are at home on Sunday.

Brotherly love: Metodija & Kire Stepanovski
Metodija Stepanovski sent FK Renova top of the Macedonian First League with the only goal against FK Metalurg Skopje. Reaching the summit would not have been possible without the help of twin brother, Kire, who opened the scoring in FK Napredok's 1-1 draw with FK Skendija, leaders at the start of play. "I'm glad my goal lifted my brother's team to the top," said Kire. "Mende should thank me." Mende did not disappoint, saying: "Me and my team-mates are happy to be leaders and surely Kire contributed to it. Thank you bro."

Last updated: 04/01/11 9.06CET