Mane out to overtake Ronaldo, BVB braced for Mbappe – Champions League in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk February 18, 2020

Liverpool return to the setting of their sixth coronation as European champions on Tuesday, as they face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in their last-16 first leg.

The Reds beat Tottenham 2-0 at Atletico's ground last year to win the competition for the first time since 2005, having been defeated in the final the previous campaign.

They go into Tuesday's encounter as big favourites due to a combination of their remarkable form and Atletico's well-documented struggles.

Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain tussle in Germany in Tuesday's other fixture, with their contest sure to capture the imagination of neutrals given the amount of attacking talent on display.

Ahead of Tuesday's action, we take a look at the key data from both games…

Atletico Madrid v Liverpool

0 - Atletico have never lost at home under Diego Simeone in the Champions League knockout stages (W8 D4). In those 12 games, they have only conceded two goals.

3 - Liverpool, who beat Genk and Salzburg on matchday three and matchday six of the group stage, have never won three consecutive away Champions League games. They last did so in the European Cup back in September 1984 under manager Joe Fagan (five in a row).

10 - Liverpool's Sadio Mane has scored 10 goals in 14 Champions League knockout games since 2017-18. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has been more prolific over that period (11 goals).

3 - Liverpool have always progressed against Spanish opposition in two-legged Champions League ties (3/3): 2-2 on away goals v Barcelona (2006-07, round of 16), 5-0 on aggregate v Real Madrid (2008-09, round of 16), 4-3 v Barcelona (2018-19, semi-finals).

50 - If he plays, this will be Alvaro Morata's 50th Champions League game. Fifty per cent of the Atletico striker's goals in the Champions League have come in the knockout phase (7/14).

Borussia Dortmund v PSG

1 - Dortmund have made it past the Champions League last 16 only once in the past five seasons. That was in 2016-17 under current PSG coach Thomas Tuchel – they were eventually knocked out by Monaco in the quarter-finals.

8 - PSG have reached the Champions League knockout stages for the eighth consecutive season – only Real Madrid (23), Barcelona (16) and Bayern Munich (12) are on a longer run. However, in that time, the French side have never gone past the quarter-finals and have been eliminated in the last 16 in each of the past three seasons.

2 - Two of the three youngest players to have scored three or more goals and delivered three or more assists in the Champions League since last season play for Dortmund: 19-year-old Jadon Sancho (three goals, three assists) and 21-year-old Achraf Hakimi (four goals, three assists). The other is PSG's 21-year-old Kylian Mbappe (nine goals, eight assists).

30 - Mbappe has had 30 goal involvements in 30 Champions League games (19 goals, 11 assists). He has scored three goals against BVB, his joint-best record in the Champions League against a single opponent.

22 - Dortmund's previous 22 goals in the Champions League have all come from open play, the longest current run among the remaining sides in the competition.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Fairer to end LaLiga season now, says former Barca star Stoichkov Coronavirus: Fairer to end LaLiga season now, says former Barca star Stoichkov

    Former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov believes it would be fairer to end the LaLiga now, scrap relegation and promote two teams from the second division amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    LaLiga has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19, which has led to more than 12,640 deaths in Spain and over 69,450 globally.

    Reigning champions Barcelona held a two-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid when the league was stopped, while Cadiz and Real Zaragoza occupied the promotion places in Segunda Division.

    Stoichkov – who won five LaLiga titles and a European Cup among other honours during his time at Camp Nou – feels Barca should be crowned champions if no more games are played in 2019-20.

    "If we see how the situation is, with the matches which have been played, it would be fairer to end the La Liga season as it is now," Stoichkov told Cope program Tiempo de Juego.

    "Many teams could stay up at the bottom, there are a lot of matches left.

    "They could leave the league as it is, have no relegation and the top two from Segunda could get promoted to have a 22 team league. Because they have also done a lot of work to win many matches."

  • Aussie great Viduka reveals he almost joined Milan, held Man Utd talks Aussie great Viduka reveals he almost joined Milan, held Man Utd talks

    Mark Viduka revealed Leeds United blocked him from joining Milan in a £38million transfer in 2001, while the Australian great also held talks with Manchester United.

    Regarded as one of Australia's all-time greats, Viduka was a dominant force during his time with Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

    Viduka spent four years with Leeds and helped the Premier League club reach the 2001 Champions League semi-finals, prompting interest from across Europe.

    Serie A powerhouse Milan wanted Viduka but Leeds – eventually crippled by financial issues – prevented the former Socceroos captain from moving to San Siro.

    "I had the chance to join AC Milan at the end of the 2001 season, after we made the Champions League semi-final," the 44-year-old told ESPN.

    "[Leeds] were negotiating with Milan and wanted £38m. I was friends with [Milan star] Zvonimir Boban at the time, and we were negotiating terms through him. In the end, [Milan] offer the £38m, and Leeds didn't want to sell. And that was that.

    "I was a huge AC Milan fan. As a kid, I grew up watching [Marco] van Basten, [Frank] Rijkaard and [Ruud] Gullit ... They were my favourite team. It just wasn't to be."

    United – managed by Alex Ferguson at the time – were also admirers and tried to lure Viduka to Old Trafford, however, the 43-time Australia international opted to stay at Leeds.

    Detailing a meeting with music icon Elton John, Viduka said: "I was in Manchester, and my agent at the time also had a lot to do with Elton John.

    "He said stay for the night and come to the show. He had backstage passes, and I'd get the chance to meet the man for myself. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

    "So I'm there with Jacob Burns, my Leeds team-mate and fellow Aussie, as we got ushered into his dressing room. As we enter, Elton swings around on a swivel chair and says, 'Mark Viduka, you're from Melbourne. I love that place!'

    "I was nervous, so I babbled on about my meeting with the Red Devils that day and a possible move. Instead of going to our seats to watch the concert, Elton gets us to watch it at the side of the stage. About three songs in, he says, 'I want to dedicate this next one to my good friend Mark, who is in Manchester today to make a big decision.'

    "I'm thinking: 'S***, please don't say anymore!' Thank God he didn't. I didn't sign for Man United. I think I loved living in Leeds too much at the time."

  • Willian says Chelsea renewal 'very difficult' amid exit talk Willian says Chelsea renewal 'very difficult' amid exit talk

    Chelsea star Willian believes it will be "very difficult" to sign a new contract as he heads for a Stamford Bridge exit.

    Willian is out of contract at the end of June and his future is unclear amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the Premier League season suspended.

    The 31-year-old, who arrived from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, wants a three-year deal but Chelsea have been unwilling to meet his demands.

    Linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona previously, Willian told Fox Sports Brasil show Expendiente Futebol: "Everyone knows my contract is up in a few months and it looks like it'll be very difficult to secure an extension.

    "I think it's unlikely that I'll renew because Chelsea offered me a two-year deal, I asked for three and it ended there.

    "There were no more talks or negotiations. Chelsea said that three years would be impossible, so at the moment it seems unlikely that I'll extend, but nothing is impossible.

    "We don't know what might happen. We might suddenly reach an agreement, but what I can say today is that my contract is up and I'll be free to negotiate with any club."

    "I've built something fantastic at Chelsea," he added.  "I'm especially fond of the fans and the people that work there, and I've felt very settled."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.