Real Madrid out to set record winning run, Napoli aiming to avoid third Milan defeat – the Champions League in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk April 18, 2023

Frank Lampard's start to life back at Chelsea has not gone according to plan.

The Blues have lost all three of their games under Lampard, who was appointed on an interim basis earlier in April following Graham Potter's dismissal.

That run included a 2-0 defeat at Real Madrid in the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final tie, with Los Blancos heading to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday with a club record in their sights.

Tuesday's other game sees Serie A leaders Napoli go up against Milan, who lead 1-0 from the first leg of that all-Italian encounter.

With the help of Opta numbers, Stats Perform previews the first two Champions League matches of the week.

 

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Los Blancos hunting sixth straight knockout win

Madrid have won their last five Champions League knockout matches, their joint-longest winning run in knockout games in the competition.

All five wins have come against English teams, with only Barcelona (seven in a row between 2014 and 2016) having a longer winning run against English clubs.

Karim Benzema scored Madrid's opener in last week's 2-0 win at Santiago Bernabeu. The striker's last 11 Champions League goals have come against English teams, while his last 14 have all been in the knockout stages of the competition, the longest such run by a player in Champions League history. Benzema has 14 goals and two assists for Madrid in his last nine appearances in the knockout stages.

Madrid's second was teed up by Vinicius Junior, who has been involved in 20 goals in his last 20 Champions League appearances, scoring 10 goals and assisting 10 goals in this time. Since the start of last season, the Brazil winger is the only player to reach double figures for both goals and assists in the competition.

Madrid have progressed from 18 of their 19 Champions League ties after winning the first leg by two or more goals, failing only in 2003-04 against Monaco in the quarter-finals.

Chelsea do have some hope, however. They have progressed from five of their last seven Champions League ties when losing the first leg away from home, and done so in each of the last two when losing by two clear goals (vs Napoli in 2011-12 and Paris Saint-Germain in 2013-14).

The Blues have lost two of their last three European matches against Madrid (W1), both in Champions League quarter-finals across the last two campaigns. They had not lost any of their first five against them before this (W3 D2).

 

Napoli v Milan: Serie A leaders out to avoid third Rossoneri reverse

Napoli have already lost twice to Milan in April, losing 4-0 in Serie A at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium and 1-0 at San Siro in the first leg of this tie. The last side to beat them three times in one season was Lazio in the 1994-95 campaign.

The omens are good for Milan, who have won their last three away matches against Napoli, all in Serie A, their joint longest away winning run against them. 

Milan have not reached the Champions League semi-finals since the 2006-07 season, when they went on to win the competition. They have only been eliminated twice after winning the first leg of a knockout tie – in 2003-04 v Deportivo de La Coruna in the quarter-final (4-1 first leg, 0-4 second leg) and 2012-13 v Barcelona in the last 16 (2-0 first leg, 0-4 second leg).

Napoli are, however, unbeaten in their last 12 home Champions League matches (W9 D3) since a 4-2 defeat to Manchester City in November 2017. They have won their four home games this season, scoring at least three goals in each victory.

That being said, Napoli have been eliminated from their last 10 European knockout ties after losing the first leg, last progressing to the next round after suffering a first-leg deficit in the 1988-89 UEFA Cup quarter-final against Juventus.

Olivier Giroud could be crucial for Milan. The veteran campaigner has been directly involved in six goals in nine appearances in the Champions League this season (four goals and two assists) – the most by a Milan player in a single campaign since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 2011-12 campaign (nine – five goals and four assists).

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