Monday, December 16, 2019

Messi out to end rotten quarter-final run – Champions League in Opta numbers

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 10 Apr 2019


Barcelona head to Manchester United on Wednesday to face the Red Devils for the first time in the Champions League since they won the 2011 final.

The omens are positive for the Catalans given their record in knockout ties in which the first leg is away, although Lionel Messi will be hoping to improve on a surprisingly poor recent quarter-final run.

Ajax host Juventus on the same day and the Dutch side will have plenty of reason to fear Cristiano Ronaldo, as they prepare for a first meeting with the Old Lady since September 2004.

Here is the pick of Opta’s pre-game numbers as the Champions League starts to get very interesting…


Manchester United v Barcelona

17 – This is Barcelona’s 17th Champions League quarter-final appearance, a joint-record with Bayern Munich; they have reached this stage for a 12th successive season, a competition record.

2 – Manchester United have won two of their last 11 Champions League knockout ties (W2 D3 L6), failig to win either of their most recent quarter-final games in the 2013-14 season under David Moyes against Bayern.

79 – Barcelona have progressed from 79 per cent of their Champions League knockout ties when playing the first leg away from home (23 of 29), compared to just 33 per cent when playing the first leg at home (four of 12).

10 – Since Chelsea eliminated Barca in the 2011-12 semi-final, English teams have been beaten in 10 of their last 11 Champions League knockout ties against Spanish sides – the exception was Leicester City against Sevilla in the last 16 in 2016-17.

0 – Lionel Messi has failed to score in any of his last 11 Champions League quarter-final appearances for Barcelona; since netting against Paris Saint-Germain in April 2013, the Argentina forward has attempted 49 shots without success at this stage of the competition.

Ajax v Juventus

9 – Juventus are unbeaten in each of their last nine European matches against Ajax (W5 D4), including a draw in the 1996 Champions League final before going on to lift the trophy thanks to a penalty shoot-out victory.

24 – Ajax (24 years, 202 days) have had a younger starting XI on average in the Champions League this season than any other side left in the competition.

11 – Only Messi (11) has had a direct hand in more goals in this season’s Champions League than Ajax’s Dusan Tadic (nine – six goals, three assists).

7 – Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo has scored seven goals in his last four Champions League matches against Ajax, including a hat-trick for Real Madid on his last visit to the Johan Cruijff ArenA back in October 2012.

9 – Only against Bayern Munich (nine) and his current side Juventus (10) has Ronaldo scored more Champions League goals than he has against Ajax (seven).


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