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Goal power spices up competition

Published: Friday 7 November 2003, 15.35CET
AC Monaco FC's eight-goal feat recalled high-scoring matches of old but is it indicative of a new trend?

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Published: Friday 7 November 2003, 15.35CET

Goal power spices up competition

AC Monaco FC's eight-goal feat recalled high-scoring matches of old but is it indicative of a new trend?
AS Monaco FC enjoyed the biggest victory in the eleven years of the UEFA Champions League in Wednesday's 8-3 rout of RC Deportivo La Coruña. Dado Pršo's four goals helped secure a result that even Monaco coach Didier Deschamps described as "unbelievable".

Biggest win
It was the first time two sides had shared eleven goals in a Champions League match and overtook Paris Saint-Germain FC's 7-2 defeat of Rosenborg BK in October 2000 as the biggest win in the revamped tournament's short history.

The wider picture
Looking at the wider picture, it was the first 8-3 scoreline in the competition since the September 1964 meeting of PFC Lokomotiv Sofia and Malmö FF in the European Champion Clubs' Cup qualifying round, when the Bulgarian side ran out victors.

Most goals in a game
The biggest winning margin overall in the competition is eleven goals and dates back to the 1973/74 season when FC Dinamo Bucuresti beat Crusaders FC 11-0 in a first-round tie. The most goals in a game, meanwhile, is 14 - a record set in the first round of the 1969/70 edition when that season's eventual winners Feyenoord won 12-2 at KR Reykjavík.

Sporting record
As for the record victory in all European club competitions, that is Sporting Clube de Portugal's 16-1 rout of APOEL FC in the European Cup Winners' Cup in November 1963.

Attacking trend
Whether Monaco's triumph is indicative of a trend towards attacking football at the top level of European football is open to debate. Asked how his side had managed the feat on Wednesday, Deschamps admitted it was a freak result. "To see eleven goals in a Champions League match is unheard of," he said. "I can't explain it, but I suppose you have evenings like that sometimes."

Madrid thriller
While last year's competition, for instance, witnessed Real Madrid CF's thrilling 4-3 defeat at Manchester United FC in the last eight, the final itself was decided on penalties after a defensive masterclass by AC Milan and Juventus FC had produced a goalless draw.

Statistical analysis
A quick look at the statistics for goals since the tournament was revamped offers little evidence too. Ten seasons ago, in 1993/94, the goals per game average, excluding the preliminary rounds, stood at 2.89 with 75 matches yielding 185 goals. Last season it was 2.75 (432 goals in 157 games), and so far this term we are down to 2.48 (159 goals in 64 games).

Night to remember
Still, all this will matter little to Monaco's players and officials as they reflect with satisfaction on a night to remember.

Last updated: 08/11/03 19.19CET

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