Everton have completed the signing of Dynamo Kiev left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko.

The Ukraine international has penned a four-year deal at Goodison Park and becomes the Toffees' first signing of the January transfer window.

Mykolenko has represented his country on 21 occasions and was part of the squad that reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

Speaking to Everton's official website, Mykolenko said: "Moving to Everton is a big and important step in my life.

"I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. English football is where the game was born and I think that it will suit my game very well.

"I am 22 but I don't feel like a youngster. I have experience of playing at European level and hope I will continue to improve as a player.

"I am excited about the opportunity of playing in front of our supporters at Everton. I have seen the last few games at Goodison Park and they were unbelievable. 

"They are incredible fans to whom I feel great responsibility."

The deal comes amid rumours that Lucas Digne is headed to Chelsea, with reports suggesting the Blues are chasing a loan deal for the France international.

Digne has been a mainstay of Everton's line-up since arriving from Roma in August 2018 but has fallen out of favour under Rafael Benitez.

Chelsea are on the lookout for reinforcements after losing Ben Chilwell to a serious knee injury for the rest of the season, with Marcos Alonso their only other recognised option in the position.

Barcelona head to Bayern Munich on the final matchday desperately needing a positive result to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stages.

Benfica, who face Dynamo Kiev in Group E's other clash, hold the head-to-head edge over Xavi's new side as Barca travel to Germany knowing they likely need a win to make it through to the next round.

Manchester United and Chelsea are already through their respective groups, while Juventus host Malmo with the Bianconeri's place in the last-16 sealed before the final matchday as well.

As Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo edge towards more records, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data heading into the games taking place on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich v Barcelona: Blaugrana face thankless task to qualify

Bayern have won their last three Champions League meetings with Barca, which is already the longest run against the Blaugrana in European history by any side.

Julian Nagelsmann's team, who have averaged five goals per home game in this season's competition, have cruised through to the next round, while Barca could fall to their second-worst performance in terms of points if they fail to avoid defeat.

The visitors will have to deal with Lewandowski, who is the top scorer in the group stage with nine goals and the Poland forward could become the only player in history to net 10-plus times in the group stage on multiple occasions. Ronaldo (11 in 2015-16) and Lionel Messi (10 in 2016-17) are the only other players to have achieved this once.

Zenit v Chelsea: Blues edge towards more defensive milestones

Chelsea could become just the second English team, after Manchester United in 2003-04 and 2010-11 to win four consecutive games in the competition while keeping a clean sheet on each occasion.

Indeed, with a clean sheet the Blues and Thomas Tuchel could become the fastest team and manager combination to reach 10 shutouts in the competition, having already recorded nine in just 12 games since the German's appointment.

The defending champions have also had 14 different scorers, excluding own goals, the most of any team in the Champions League since Tuchel's Blues bow in Europe.

Manchester United v Young Boys: Ronaldo looks to repeat history

Ronaldo has scored in all five of his Champions League appearances since returning to United (six goals), while Bruno Fernandes boasts the most assists in the competition so far this term (five).

Portugal captain Ronaldo will be looking to repeat the feat of scoring in all six group stage games in a single campaign, having previously done so for Real Madrid in 2017-18 – the only previous instance of this in the competition’s history.

Worryingly for Young Boys, who never kept a clean sheet in 11 attempts in the competition, the Swiss side have lost their last six away games between 1986 and 2021, last tasting European Cup/Champions League victory in August 1960.

Juventus v Malmo: Bianconeri aim to match record home dominance

Juve have won each of their last five Champions League home matches, only registering more consecutive such victories in a run of six between December 2016 and 2017.

While the Bianconeri did suffer their heaviest defeat in the history of the competition against Chelsea, Juve have a perfect record against Malmo in their opening three games – only Barca have ever won their opening four games against a specific opponent in the competitions.

Meanwhile, Malmo have only managed one win in their last eight against Italian opponents in the European Cup/Champions League, with their lone triumph against Inter in September 1989.

 

Other fixtures:

Atalanta v Villarreal:

21 - There have been 21 goals scored in Atalanta’s five games against Spanish opponents in the Champions League (11 goals for, 10 against), at an average of 4.2 per game. Only one of these five games have seen a team manage to keep a clean sheet, with Real Madrid doing so in a 1-0 victory back in February.

1 - Villarreal have won just one of their eight visits to Italian opponents in major European competition (D3 L4), though it came in their most recent such outing, defeating Roma 1-0 in the Europa League in 2016-17.

Benfica v Dynamo Kiev:

4 - Since losing their first ever meeting with Dynamo Kiev in European competition (0-1 in November 1991), Benfica are unbeaten in four games against the Ukrainian side (W3 D1), with all four coming in the European Cup/Champions League.

60 – Dynamo Kiev have lost 60 per cent of their away matches in the competition, only Olympiakos (75) and Galatasaray (71) have lost a larger percentage out of teams to have played at least 50 such games.

Red Bull Salzburg v Sevilla:

5 – Red Bull Salzburg are winless in their last five fixtures against Spanish opposition in the Champions League and have only won one of their last 11 meetings against such sides.

3 – Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic has managed three goal involvements in his side's five goals in the competition, despite only starting two games – only for Barca in 2015-16 did he record more (four).

Wolfsburg v Lille:

5 - Wolfsburg have gone unbeaten in their last five games against French opponents in European competition (W2 D3) after previously going eight games without recording a victory against French teams across all competitions (D3 L5).

8 – Lille have claimed eight points from their opening five games and could equal, or improve on, their best ever return in a group stage in the competition - nine points in 2006-07, where they qualified with a second-place finish.

Lucas Hernandez sustained an injury in Bayern Munich's win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday, further depleting a squad Julian Nagelsmann described as "on a knife-edge".

Bayern headed to Dynamo for their fifth Champions League group game of the season without five first-team players who were forced into quarantine following close contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus.

A vaccine debate has raged around Bayern in recent weeks, but Nagelsmann's side were able to maintain their 100 per cent European record this term – just the third time they have made such a start since 2003-04 – with a 2-1 success that secured their place at the top of Group E.

Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock with a sensational overhead kick, extending his scoring run in the Champions League to nine straight matches – making him the first player to enjoy such a sequence twice (also in 2019-20).

That goal was also Lewandowski's 25th of the season already in all competitions, nine more than any other player across Europe's big five leagues.

Kingsley Coman added a second – Bayern's 19th goal through matchday five, the third-most in a Champions League group stage – before Denys Harmash replied for Dynamo after half-time.

Bayern were on the back foot for much of the second period, but they were playing without Hernandez, who was replaced by right-back Bouna Sarr at the break.

"In the end, we gritted our teeth well, and it was an important victory," Nagelsmann said.

"In general, it wasn't an easy game, also considering the circumstances. Not just the pitch conditions, but also our squad situation, which was already on a knife-edge before the game.

"During the interval, we had to change what we were doing because Luci [Hernandez] had to come off injured and we didn't have a third centre-back. We took a while to readjust to the change and we were a bit too passive.

"However, we had two or three good opportunities to transition into counters, but our final ball wasn't right. The third goal would have finished the game off.

"The goal we conceded was a bit annoying. We still have a long way to go. We have to be more stable, especially against opposition like today's."

Robert Lewandowski extended his latest Champions League scoring streak in stunning style as Bayern Munich clinched top spot in Group E with a 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev.

Lewandowski netted for the ninth game running in Europe's elite club competition – becoming the only player to achieve such a streak twice – with a sensational overhead kick in the Olympic Stadium snow.

Bayern, needing only a point to secure first place, were far from comfortable, but Kingsley Coman doubled their lead before half-time to ensure Denys Harmash's belated response counted for little.

Difficult conditions under foot hindered the quality of the contest with one obvious exception. Lewandowski had plenty to do after the ball looped up off Illia Zabarnyi in the area, but his acrobatic finish was emphatic.

That goal was almost cancelled out in farcical fashion, however, as Leon Goretzka prodded towards Manuel Neuer and was grateful to see the post come to his rescue when the goalkeeper failed to make any contact at all with an attempted clearance.

Instead, shortly after Lucas Hernandez survived a tangle with Vitaliy Buyalskiy inside his own area, Thomas Muller dummied Corentin Tolisso's pass and Coman fired in Bayern's second.

Again Dynamo might have responded as Neuer scrambled to save Mykola Shaparenko's deflected effort early in the second half, but the same man could not turn in the rebound.

The home side finally found a way to goal for the first time in this campaign as substitute Harmash nutmegged Neuer, although they lacked the class to then add an equaliser that was perhaps merited, even if Viktor Tsygankov's speculative late strike clipped the post.

What does it mean? Bayern back at it

This win was not of the standard of Bayern's previous Champions League triumphs this season, their narrowest victory of the group stage so far seeing them pass up the opportunity to become the first team to net four in four consecutive matches in the competition since the European Cup was formed.

But with only a draw required, Julian Nagelsmann would have been delighted to avoid a repeat of Friday's slip-up at the hands of Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski adds to his legend

The last time Lewandowski scored in nine straight Champions League matches, his goals took Bayern to the 2019-20 final. That first sequence made him only the third player to net in at least nine in a row even once (also Ruud van Nistelrooy, nine, and Cristiano Ronaldo, 11).

Lewandowski now has a competition-leading nine goals this season, a tally only he has ever topped through matchday five (10, again in 2019-20).

Neuer still not quite convincing

This was Neuer's 124th Champions League appearance, moving level with Gianluigi Buffon behind only Iker Casillas (177) among goalkeepers. But that experience was never really on show, instead continuing his shaky Bundesliga form.

Only one of Neuer's four saves was truly convincing, while he was extremely fortunate to escape after his wild swipe at Goretzka's lunging pass, and Harmash eventually forced the ball beneath him.

What's next?

With European business taken care of, Bayern can return their focus to the Bundesliga, where they will hope to get back on track against Arminia Bielefeld. That fixture is on Saturday, when Dynamo are also in action at Mynai.

Sergi Barjuan gave no thought to his immediate future as Barcelona's interim head coach during their 1-0 Champions League win at Dynamo Kiev, saying god will decide if he is still in charge for Saturday's clash with Celta Vigo.

Barca boosted their hopes of progressing to the last 16 with a second successive victory over Dynamo, despite an unconvincing performance in Kiev on Tuesday.

Ansu Fati's superb second-half strike settled matters for Barca, who clinched a triumph that took them second in Group E amid intense speculation the club is set to appoint club legend Xavi as Ronald Koeman's successor.

Barca visit Celta this weekend, with Sergi unsure whether he will be overseeing that game or back leading Barca's B team in their home game with Sevilla's B outfit at Estadi Johan Cruyff.

"I told them [the players] how important the game was for the club before the game," Sergi said. "There are many players from the cantera that understood.

"I went all out with that, and I don't know whether or not it worked. But at least we won.

"On a personal level, the fact I am here representing the club that has given me everything is amazing. The players know where they are. Every day you fail to win you enter into a dynamic where you are wondering what you can do.

"It is a matter of work, and now that the dynamic is changing we have to take advantage of it. We have to look at what we have done well and do it better.

"I lived the game as if it were my team. The only way for us all to go together is for me to show serenity in order to convince them and help them improve.

"I cannot think about whether I will be there tomorrow. I want to help the club and I want to do what I am doing. There is not the slightest doubt [in that].

"Today we have won. Let's enjoy ourselves a little bit. God will decide if I will finish the week in Vigo or at the Johan Cruyff."

Ansu Fati's superb second-half strike gave Barcelona rare reason to cheer as they boosted their Champions League hopes with a 1-0 win at Dynamo Kiev.

Interim coach Sergi Barjuan saw Barca held to a 1-1 draw by Alaves in his first game in charge and his team were second best for long periods here.

But, amid talk of Barca being set to appoint club legend Xavi as Ronald Koeman's replacement, Sergi's team claimed a narrow win that means he can hand the reins to his successor with their position in Europe much healthier.

It was Fati's vicious close-range strike that made the difference in Kiev, the teenager rifling home in the 70th minute to send Barca second in Group E on Tuesday.

A promising start from Barca soon faded, with the visitors failing to produce a single shot on target in the first half.

It was only the wayward finishing of Mykola Shaparenko that prevented Barca from going into the interval behind, the midfielder twice shooting wide at the end of well-worked moves either side of Marc-Andre ter Stegen denying Carlos de Pena.

The same story played out in the early stages of the second half, with Barca struggling to create anything of note against a Dynamo defence that looked comfortable for much of the contest.

Fati looked to have won Barca a penalty in the 64th minute when he went down in the box, only for VAR to rule he had kicked his own leg, but he did then provide the crucial breakthrough by emphatically dispatching Oscar Mingueza's deflected cross.

Ter Stegen produced a fine diving save to prevent Viktor Tsygankov from equalising, Dynamo left waiting for their first goal of the campaign as Barca took a step towards the knockout stages.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a second away victory in a week as the Champions League returns, with the 3-0 success at Tottenham on Sunday being his first in six domestic games.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will also be hoping for a win to seal qualification from Group H with two games to spare, having lost back-to-back Serie A matches.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea will expect more of the same after they both won 4-0 against their opponents last time out in the Champions League.

Stats Perform pick out the key Opta facts ahead of Tuesday's Champions League action.

 

Atalanta v Manchester United: Ronaldo aiming to hurt Italians once more

United are looking to record their 150th victory in the European Cup/Champions League, which would make them the first English side to reach this milestone, and fourth overall after Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Having failed to win in five domestic games prior to Sunday, pressure was starting to pile on Solskjaer. A third win in a row in the Champions League will boost confidence further.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be aiming to break Atalanta hearts as he did when he scored the winner in a 3-2 turnaround at Old Trafford on matchday three. Since returning to United, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in all three of his Champions League appearances – the last player to score in four consecutive appearances for the club in the competition was Ruud van Nistelrooy in April 2003.

3 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in three consecutive Champions League games for Manchester United for the second time, previously doing so in November 2007 en route to winning the trophy with the Red Devils. Inevitable. pic.twitter.com/eEYYnJpGV0

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 20, 2021

 

Juventus v Zenit Saint Petersburg: Allegri can cheer up Old Lady by sealing qualification

Things are not looking great for Juventus domestically, trailing Napoli and Milan at the top of Serie A by 16 points after Allegri's men were beaten by Sassuolo and Hellas Verona.

It has been a much smoother Champions League campaign so far, though, as the Turin side have won all three Group H games and will secure qualification to the knockout stage with a win against Zenit.

This will be Juve's 10th time facing Russian opponents in European competition, winning eight of the previous nine (D1) and they have kept six clean sheets. Zenit are also winless in their past nine away games in the Champions League (D1 L8). This is their longest run without an away win in the European Cup/Champions League.

 

Malmo v Chelsea: Blues can expect more goals in Sweden

Chelsea will be confident of another comfortable win against Malmo to go within a point of sealing qualification to the knockout stage. No team has conceded more goals than the Swedish side (11) in the Champions League this season, while only Besiktas (11.1) have a higher expected goals against total than their 8.7.

The holders are unbeaten in their seven meetings with Swedish teams to date, winning four and drawing three against them across all competitions. The past three have all been against Malmo, with each of them ending in Chelsea victories.

Malmo have lost seven of their eight previous games against English opponents in European competition, including each of the most recent four. The only time they have avoided defeat in such games came against Nottingham Forest in September 1995, winning 2-1 in the UEFA Cup.

 

Bayern Munich v Benfica: Bundesliga champions to mark milestone with another win?

This clash with Benfica will be Bayern’s 500th game across all European competitions, becoming only the third team to reach this milestone, after Barcelona (587) and Real Madrid (575). A win would not only be a fitting way to mark the occasion, but will also see them clinch qualification from Group E.

Bayern are unbeaten in all 11 of their meetings with Benfica in European competition, with eight of those ending in victories for the Bundesliga champions. They have faced Benfica more times without losing than against any of their other opponents in European competition.

It is also set to be a historic night for Robert Lewandowski, who could be in line to make his 100th Champions League appearance. The Poland striker has netted 78 goals in the competition to date, which is already the most by a player through their first 100 appearances in the Champions League.

Other fixtures:

Dynamo Kiev v Barcelona

11 – Dynamo Kiev's last victory against a Spanish team in the Champions League came back in March 1999, beating Real Madrid 2-0 in a quarter-final clash. Since then, they have faced Spanish opponents on 11 occasions in the competition and failed to win all of them (D3 L8).

9 – Since the start of the 2018-19 season, no full-back has provided more assists in the Champions League than the nine from Barcelona's Jordi Alba. This is three times as many as any other current Barcelona player in the same period (Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, 3).

Villarreal v Young Boys

8 – Arnaut Danjuma has generated eight shots following carries (moving five or more metres with the ball) for Villareal in the Champions League this season (six shots and two chances created) – only Vinicius Junior (10) and Jack Grealish (9) have produced more.

10 – Young Boys have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 10 games in the European Cup/Champions League (W2 D1 L7), with their last one coming back in September 1986 versus Real Madrid (1-0).

Wolfsburg v Salzburg

1 – Wolfsburg have lost just one of their nine home matches in the Champions League (W6 D2) and remain unbeaten in six on home soil in the competition since a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in December 2009.

3 – Salzburg could become the first Austrian side to win three consecutive European Cup/Champions League matches since Rapid Vienna in 1982.

Sevilla v Lille

1 – Sevilla have only lost one of their past seven home games in the group stage of the Champions League (W4 D2), with that lone defeat coming against Chelsea in December 2020.

3 – Since scoring in six consecutive Champions League appearances between October 2012 and March 2013 for Galatasaray, Lille striker Burak Yilmaz has only scored in three of his past 20 appearances in the competition.

Sergi Barjuan says the Barcelona players can feel the pressure ahead of their crunch Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev but knows a win will change the tense mood at the club.

A 1-1 home draw in LaLiga against Deportivo Alaves on Saturday did little to lift spirits at Camp Nou following Ronald Koeman's sacking.

Barca will now travel to Kiev for a crucial contest that will play a huge part in determining their prospects of progression in Europe.

A 1-0 win in the reverse fixture gave Barca their first points in Group E but they still trail Bayern Munich and Benfica with three matches to play.

"The players need to find a way, whatever way they can, to achieve this victory," said interim head coach Sergi. "The players are under a lot of pressure, Tuesday is special and it depends on them. 

"They have everything in their hands. They need to be organised and be the Barcelona that we want and hope for.

"This is enormous for me too – to be the coach in a Champions League match after being a player. 

"You would ask a thousand coaches and they would want to be in my position. As a cule I wish the best for the club and I am going to try everything I can to solve this situation.

"It is difficult to find a smile in the dressing room in these tough moments but finding our style, being the protagonists and being a team will lead us to joy. Winning on Tuesday would help change the mood."

Barca have only scored one goal in the Champions League this season, which is their lowest goal tally after three games of a single campaign in the competition's history.

Sergi added: "The players are used to any scenario and any kind of pressure. We will be better if we play without anxiety, if we are calm with the ball, if we know how to find the spaces. 

"In training we insisted on the need to be organised and be ourselves, to play with the essence of Barca that we want. 

"We need to find a way to achieve this victory and to enjoy it and to bring back some positivity and joy to the fans as well.

"At Barca you always have to win. We can only make ourselves respected by winning. They all know what's on the table." 

There was a boost for Sergi as defender Ronald Araujo returning to training on Monday, while Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto also took part after knocks.

Forward Ousmane Dembele, who is yet to play this season, was also named in the 23-man squad for the game.

"This game is so important because if we win then our fate is in our own hands once more," added defender Eric Garcia, who also faced the media. 

"We all know how difficult it will be due to the trip and the weather. At home they made life tricky for us and away will be no different. Nevertheless, the team is ready mentally and physically.

"Frenkie and Ronald are key players for us and Ansu and Ousmane are players who can win games. It's great news they are back." 

Having lost 3-0 to Benfica in their last away game, Barca are bidding to avoid losing consecutive matches on the road in the competition for the first time since April 2017.

The last occasion that happened in the group stage was back in September 2014, though Barca are at least on a five-game Champions League winning streak against Dynamo that spans 12 years.

Ronald Koeman says Ansu Fati still has plenty of room for improvement and does not expect the youngster to achieve the "impossible" by completely filling Lionel Messi's void.

The 18-year-old has committed his long-term future to Barca by agreeing terms on a new contract, which Los Cules announced on Wednesday.

Fati inherited Messi's number 10 shirt following the latter's shock switch to Paris Saint-Germain and is considered Barca's big hope now the club's all-time leading scorer is no longer around.

But he was guilty of missing a great opportunity in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev, which Barca only won 1-0 despite controlling the contest.

The Spain international has scored 15 goals in 48 games for Barca in total, a tally that is bettered only by Luis Suarez (21), Antoine Griezmann (35) and Messi (69) – none of whom are still at the club – since his debut 26 months ago.

Still regaining fitness after nearly a year on the sidelines with a knee injury, Koeman does not want supporters to get carried away when it comes to Fati's development.

"Ansu's chance today shows he still lacks things. He needs to improve," Koeman said at his post-match news conference.

"That is entirely normal. He will only turn 19 at the end of the month. He cannot be expected to solve all our problems, or what Leo Messi left behind. It's impossible.

"You have to help each other go step by step. We cannot expect miracles, especially when he has been out injured for a long time and is still only 18."

Barca had 11 shots against Dynamo but only found the target from three of those, with Gerard Pique scoring what proved to be the winner with 36 minutes played.

As well as becoming Barca's oldest Champions League goalscorer at 34 years and 260 days, Pique is now also the joint-leading goalscorer among defenders in the competition's history, level with Roberto Carlos (16 each).

Koeman felt his side should have won by a more comfortable margin against accommodating opponents Kiev, who failed to muster a single attempt on target at Camp Nou.

"I'm happy with the performance, but not because of our effectiveness," he said. "In a game when we were so superior and created opportunities, we should have scored more.

"If they don't have opportunities, you can't ask for more from the attackers, but they did. The normal outcome today would have been 3-0 or 4-0.

"I understand that people leave upset, because I am too. We have achieved the result we wanted, but with the opportunities we have created, we have to score more."

Barcelona's victory was their first in the Champions League in six attempts since December 2020, a run that includes back-to-back 3-0 losses to Bayern Munich and Benfica to begin their 2021-22 campaign.

The LaLiga club are now back in contention for a top-two finish in Group E at the midway point, but full-back Jordi Alba – who set up Pique's winner – accepts his side were made to work harder for the points than they perhaps needed to.

"In the first half we had chances to score more than once," he told Movistar. "In the second half we weren't so good under pressure and we suffered a bit.

"They did not create opportunities but we were still not in a good place. We have to improve on the second-half display."

In a worrying update ahead of Sunday's Clasico clash with Real Madrid, Alba confirmed he sustained an injury during the Kiev match despite playing the full 90 minutes.

"It's my toe. We'll have to wait and see what it is," he said. "But now we look forward to the Clasico. We have won our last two games and the fans have responded to that, helping us grow. 

"We are expecting a tough game against Madrid, but we hope to bring more joy to the fans."

Gerard Pique scored the only goal as Barcelona beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 at Camp Nou to get off the mark with their first victory in this season's Champions League.

Barca had lost their opening two group games for the first time ever, going down 3-0 to both Bayern Munich and Benfica, but they were good value for the three points.

Pique volleyed in a first-half opener to end a run of 287 minutes without a goal in the competition for the Catalans and they looked comfortable without adding to their scoring.

The win moves Ronald Koeman's men above Kiev into third place in Group E, a point behind Benfica and three off Bayern Munich, with those two sides meeting later on Wednesday.

Barca had recorded fewer shots on target (one) than any side in the competition heading into gameweek three and that lack of cutting edge was again on show as Sergino Dest failed to test Georgi Bushchan with a close-range header early on.

Luuk de Jong was also off target with a headed attempt from six yards, though the striker did at least manage to force Bushchan into a first save three minutes later with a curled shot from the edge of the box.

The hosts' breakthrough duly arrived through Pique with 36 minutes played, the centre-back being left in space to guide in Jordi Alba's latest exquisite cross with a first-time finish.

Ansu Fati, brought on for the ineffective De Jong at half-time, wasted a good chance to score Barca's second when getting his angles all wrong and sending an overhead kick wide of the target.

Barca could not fashion any more opportunities, but the Ukrainian champions failed to ask any questions of their opponents, not registering a single shot on target as Pique's goal proved the difference.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman is under immense pressure and needs a convincing win over Dynamo Kiev, having failed to earn any points from the first two Champions League games of the campaign.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also in great need of a positive result, having won just two of his past seven games across all competitions, losing four.

Bayern Munich and Chelsea seem set for comfortable victories, however, with Blues boss Thomas Tuchel targeting the joint-best defensive record after 10 games with a club in the competition.

Read on for more as Stats Perform looks at the key Opta facts ahead of Wednesday's Champions League action.

 

Barcelona v Dynamo Kiev: Can Koeman stop the rot?

Koeman will be desperate to prevent his Champions League record at Barcelona from getting any worse after successive 3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica in which the Blaugrana recorded a collective total of one shot on target, the least of any team in the competition.  

Despite only taking charge of four per cent of Barcelona’s home Champions League matches (5/131), 25 per cent of their total home defeats in the competition have come under the Dutchman (3/12), who is the only Blaugrana manager to lose more than twice at home in the tournament. 

Ansu Fati is perhaps Koeman's best chance of securing a positive result. The 18-year-old forward has been directly involved in three goals in two Champions League starts at Camp Nou (one goal and two assists), including an assist for Gerard Pique's goal in the 2-1 win against Dynamo Kyiv last year.

Benfica v Bayern Munich: Lewandowski-led Bavarians expect to stay unbeaten on the road

Bayern's record of eight European Cup/Champions League games unbeaten against Benfica is the joint-most by a team against an opponent since the tournament began in 1955.

With the Bavarian giants also on a record 19-match unbeaten run away from home in the competition (W15 D4), Julian Nagelsmann's side will feel confident of success in Portugal.

Furthermore, striker Robert Lewandowski - who has scored over a third of their 54 goals from that run (19 - 35 per cent) - has also netted five times in just six Champions League games against Portuguese opponents, including three against Benfica. No player has ever scored more times against sides from Portugal in the competition. 

 

Chelsea v Malmo: Clean-sheet chasing Blues Luk-ing for big win

Both of Chelsea's Champions League games this season have ended 1-0 - a win over Zenit and a loss to Juventus - but the Blues will be hoping for a more convincing scoreline as they host a Malmo side that have already conceded seven goals (the second-most in the tournament) and have lost their last five games in the competition by an aggregate score of 0-24, losing by three or more goals on each occasion.

Chelsea centre-forward Romelu Lukaku, in particular, will be relishing the opportunity to boost his already impressive tally of 14 goals in 18 appearances in European competition since the start of the 2019-20 season. In this period, the only two players who have scored more non-penalty goals than Lukaku (12) across the Champions League and Europa League are Lewandowski (19) and Erling Haaland (18). 

Tuchel will also be hoping for a seventh clean sheet in his 10th Champions League game in charge of Chelsea. The Blues have only conceded three goals under the German so far, which would be the joint-fewest through a manager’s first 10 games of a club in the competition (along with Fabio Capello at AC Milan and Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid).

 

Manchester United v Atalanta: Ronaldo and Fernandes to rescue Solskjaer?

Manchester United boss Solskjaer comes into this game under pressure after a 4-2 loss to Leicester City in the Premier League. The Red Devils have lost 58 per cent of Champions League games (7/12) under the Norwegian - the highest percentage of defeats by any manager to have taken charge of an English side on 10 or more occasions in the competition.

Solskjaer will be relying on his dynamic Portuguese duo to earn a much-needed win at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in 23 Champions League appearances against Italian sides, while Bruno Fernandes' four goals and three assists is the most direct contributions to a goal from any midfielder since his debut in the competition for United.

Atalanta are no pushovers, however. The Serie A side have only lost one of their last seven away games in the Champions League, winning five and drawing the other, and have won three of their six UEFA European matches against English opponents (D1 L2).

 

Other fixtures:

Zenit v Juventus

0  –  Juventus have never lost in eight previous encounters with Russian sides in European competition (W7 D1), scoring 18 times and only conceding three, although their only failure to win came away at Zenit in November 2008.

4  – Juventus have won their last four games in the group stage of the Champions League without conceding a single goal, with two of these coming away from home – 3-0 against Barcelona in December 2020 and 3-0 against Malmo in September 2021. 

Young Boys v Villarreal

 – Villarreal have lost eight of their last nine games in the Champions League (D1), conceding at least two goals in all nine outings in this run. They will be looking for their first win in the competition since March 2009, when they won 2-1 against Panathinaikos under Manuel Pellegrini.

 – Young Boys are unbeaten in their last three home games in the Champions League (W2 D1), and could equal their longest run without defeat on home soil in the European Cup/Champions League – a run of four games between 1957 and 1959. 

Salzburg v Wolfsburg

21   – In Salzburg’s last four UEFA European competition meetings with German opponents, there have been 21 goals scored (six for, 15 against) – last season’s Champions League games against Bayern Munich alone saw 12 scored (2-6 home defeat, 3-1 away defeat).

 – Karim Adeyemi has won four penalties for RB Salzburg in the Champions League this season. Since 2003-04 (as far back as we have this data), no player has ever won more than four in a single season in the competition. 

Lille v Sevilla

32  – The average age of Sevilla’s starting XI in the Champions League this season is 29 years and 200 days; the oldest of any of the 32 sides. Sevilla have handed starts to five different players aged 30 or older in the competition this season (Jesus Navas, Fernando, Papu Gomez, Ivan Rakitic and Yassine Bounou), with only Malmo (six) having more.

15  – Lille have won just 15 per cent of their home games in the Champions League to date (3/20) – among teams to have played 20 or more home games in the competition, only Romanian side FC Steaua Bucharest have a worse win percentage (9.5 per cent - 2/21).

Barcelona are close to tying Ansu Fati down to a new long-term contract, head coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed.

The Catalans are said to have been focused on handing out bumper deals to their most promising talents after losing Lionel Messi in pre-season, with a rebuild well under way.

Media speculation in recent days suggested their hopes of renewing Fati's deal had hit a stumbling block, with his agent Jorge Mendes apparently unwilling for a €1billion release clause to be inserted into his contract.

Such a clause proved no obstacle to securing Pedri's future and quickly the news reports were turned on their heads, with Mundo Deportivo claiming on Tuesday that a deal has been struck with Fati and Mendes "in principle".

Fati has broken a host of records since his emergence as a 16-year-old in 2019, including becoming Barcelona's youngest ever LaLiga goalscorer, and has looked sharp since returning from a serious knee injury.

He has already scored twice in just 94 minutes of LaLiga action this term, with Koeman easing him back.

Wearing Messi's former number 10 jersey, he looks set to lead Barca for at least the next five years.

"It's true that they are close [to an agreement]," Koeman told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev.

"It's very important news. He's a young player with a lot of quality. He's one of those who should shape the future of this club."

Fati's previous deal was technically due to expire next year, though Barca did have the option to unilaterally extend the agreement until 2024, much like the case with Pedri prior to the signing of his new contract.

Pedri signed on until 2026 and Fati is rumoured to be in line for a similarly lengthy extension.

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn lauded Julian Nagelsmann's fast start to life at the German giants following their 5-0 Champions League rout of Dynamo Kiev.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice while Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were also on target in Wednesday's crushing Group E victory.

Nagelsmann has now won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions since replacing Hansi Flick – the best start by a Bayern coach.

Bayern have kept five clean sheets across all competitions this season to top the Bundesliga and Group E, and former goalkeeper Kahn hailed their stability under highly rated boss Nagelsmann.

"I think it has happened very, very quickly and we can already see his handwriting," Kahn said of former RB Leipzig coach Nagelsmann.

"We conceded too many goals in the past two years. We weren't optimal defensively.

"Now we can keep clean sheets again, which is the basis for success.

"We already saw that against Barcelona. We could see his [Nagelsmann] handwriting, the quality that he has.

"He knows how to teach our players a few changes relatively quickly."

Bayern enjoyed their biggest home Champions League win since February 2018, when they humbled Turkish giants Besiktas 5-0 in the last 16.

Since losing 3-2 to Manchester City in December 2013, Bayern have only dropped two of a possible 66 points available at home in the Champions League group stages, winning 21 of their 22 matches (D1).

On Bayern's latest clean sheet, star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told reporters: "I like that very much as a goalkeeper or as a defensive player, just like our defenders.

"I think it's also important for us as a team to be stable defensively. That's what we've been working on. And I think it's very important for all of us that we have a lot of games with a clean sheet.

"Then, of course, we gain confidence in our defending we and can show our opponents that we can defend really well."

Julian Nagelsmann hailed Bayern Munich's greediness as they crushed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Bayern cruised past embattled Barcelona in the Bundesliga champions' European opener before consolidating their perfect start in Group E with their fifth win in as many European home games against Dynamo.

Robert Lewandowski fired in a brace – his second goal representing his 119th strike in just 100 games for Bayern – before Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting completed the rout midweek.

Nagelsmann has now won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions – the best start by a Bayern head coach – but the highly rated German boss still wants improvements from his side.

"For a long time I'm already satisfied," Nagelsmann told DAZN post-match. "It's never easy to keep your concentration high if you lead early. There are still things that can be done better.

"It was symptomatic that the players always wanted to keep going. It's about this greed. To have it in both directions, and we showed this greed today. In the phases in which it might have tipped, the concentration was there."

"The most important scene for me was when [Dayot] Upamecano cleared the ball in the 89th minute and celebrated that we were keeping a clean sheet.

"That was an important step that the guys are so happy about. A zero for the opponent in the result just looks better."

Sane had been whistled off against Cologne by the Bayern supporters in September and Nagelsmann was pleased to see his winger's response as the hosts remained relentless in their thrashing of Mircea Lucescu's Ukrainian outfit.

"It's important for every person, for every footballer, to have a clear head," Nagelsmann continued.

"It's good to just let him [Sane] do his thing. He plays more central with me than last year. That's good for him, he has space there. He is an outstanding player with a very good character."

Robert Lewandowski scored a double to fire Bayern Munich to a 5-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev in Wednesday's Champions League clash.

The Poland forward netted from the penalty spot to open the scoring at the Allianz Arena after 12 minutes, before adding his second 15 minutes later as he curled past Georgi Bushchan.

Serge Gnabry fired in the hosts' third after the interval before Leroy Sane caught the Dynamo goalkeeper off guard at his near post to score the fourth.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded out the scoring with Bayern's fifth to consolidate their Group E top spot as they look firm favourites to progress through to the next stage after two wins in as many games.

Viktor Tsygankov volleyed the first chance of the contest narrowly wide before Bushchan tipped over Lewandowski's header but problems followed from the resulting corner.

Serhiy Sydorchuk was adjudged to have handled inside the area, with Lewandowski coolly rolling the spot-kick home before Thomas Muller setup the second.

The German forward's throughball teed up Lewandowski, who found the bottom-right corner to score his 119th goal in his last 100 matches for Bayern.

Sane's left-footed drive struck the post eight minutes later, with Manuel Neuer forced into a rare save against Carlos de Pena on the stroke of half-time.

Lewandowski hooked wide as he looked for his hat-trick after half-time, with Gnabry then missing the target with a simple header following Alphonso Davies' delivery

However, Gnabry made amends on a rapid counter-attack as he smashed in off the underside of the crossbar following an offload from Sane, who added a fourth after 74 minutes as he whipped in from the left flank and caught Bushcan by surprise.

Choupo-Moting added a fifth as he headed in from Benjamin Pavard's cross as Bayern cruised to their ninth win in nine games in all competitions.


What does it mean? Bayern set early Group E pace

Bayern dominated against Barcelona in their opener and carried on emphatically against the Ukrainian Premier League champions to maintain their Group E lead.

The Bundesliga outfit collected their 33rd win in 35 home group-stage games with a comfortable victory as Barcelona went down to Benfica to offer Nagelsmann's side an early advantage after two games.

Meanwhile, Dynamo remain in third, with just one point from their opening two and Mircea Lucescu's side will need to find some form if they are to mount a charge for the knockout stages.

King Kimmich

Joshua Kimmich controlled proceedings from start to finish in another classy display for Bayern.

The midfielder misplaced just four of his 90 attempted passes, with a game-high 60 of those coming in the opposition half as he enjoyed a game-leading 109 touches.

Terrible Tymchyk

Oleksandr Tymchyk picked up a needless first-half caution for a late challenge on Sane and was treading on thin ice from then on.

Mircea Lucescu hooked the right-back off at half-time following a poor showing in which he won less than 15 per cent of his seven duels as he struggled against Bayern's wealth of attacking riches.

What's next?

Bayern host Eintracht Frankfurt as they return to Bundesliga action on Sunday, while Dynamo are at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on the same day.

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