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The anoraks have had to dig deeper and deeper into their stat books to deny Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar another goalkeeping record.
His side’s 3-0 win over a toothless Fulham at Old Trafford on Wednesday took the 38-year-old Dutchman’s unbeaten league run to 14 successive games and an astonishing 1,302 minutes.
Some sources had suggested that he would claim the European record for league clean sheets if he kept Fulham out for an hour.
That hope was dashed before the kickoff however when the number crunchers revealed that the mark apparently belongs to Club Bruges goalkeeper Dany Verlinden, who went 1,390 minutes unbeaten in Belgium in 1990, rather than the mere 1,275 minutes of Atletico Madrid keeper Abel Resino.
A little after half past one on a rainy night in Moscow, Edwin van der Sar leapt to his right to save the 14th penalty of a nerve-shredding shoot-out and clinch victory for Manchester United in the Champions League final against Chelsea.
The Dutchman’s save spared Cristiano Ronaldo, who had earlier missed a penalty, what would surely have been the worst night of his sporting life and won the European Cup for United for the third time.