So that’s that then. Well, almost. The group stage of the 2022-22 UEFA Champions League is done with and we have 15 of the 16 teams advancing to the knockouts – Manchester City, PSG, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Ajax, Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Lille, RB Salzburg, Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and one of Villarreal and Atalanta. The round-of-16 promises to be great fun, but before that the last group stage match day threw up some great stats, and By The Numbers is here to hoover them all up for you –
No one in CL history has beaten Barcelona quite like Bayern Munich. Barca’s goal difference against Bayern is -15! Their second worst GD in this competition is against Atletico Madrid and is… -2.
FC Salzburg is the first Austrian team to reach the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Sebastien Haller is only the second player in CL history to score in all six matches of a single group stage, after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017-18.
A Thomas Tuchel side has conceded 3+ goals in consecutive games (West Ham 3 -2 Chelsea, Zenit 3 – 3 Chelsea) for the first time since April 2019 (Lille 5-1 PSG, Nantes 3-2 PSG).
Barcelona has been knocked out from a CL group stage for the fourth time ever, the first one since 2000/01, when they played the UEFA Cup.
Mohamed Salah is in some form. Such good form, in fact, that he’s the first player to score 20+ goals in five consecutive seasons for Liverpool in all competitions since Ian Rush from 1981-82 to 1986-87 (six in a row).
Manchester United featured six teenagers on Wednesday night, only the fifth time that’s ever happened in a match in CL history and the second time by an English side, after Arsenal vs. Olympiakos in December 2009.
Against Club Brugge, Kylian Mbappe scored the second-fastest brace by a player from the start of a UEFA Champions League match (six minutes, 23 seconds), behind only Rodrygo for Real Madrid against Galatasaray in November 2019 (06:13).
Thomas Muller has scored 8 goals in 7 appearances against Barcelona in the CL. That’s his most against a single opponent in the competition and the most any player has scored against Barca in the history of the European Cup/CL.
Haller scored 10 UCL goals in 6 games, breaking the CL record for fastest to score 10 goals, previously set by Erling Haaland (7 games). In fact, Haller joins Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski as the only players to score 10+ goals in a single UCL Group Stage. Now, that’s an elite list to get onto.
Barcelona’s 17 straight CL knockout round appearances have been snapped. It had been the 2nd longest in CL history behind Real Madrid’s active 25-season streak. Barca’s streak started in 2004-05, which just happened to be Lionel Messi’s first season in the first team. It has now ended in the first season since he left.
18 & 19
With 18 points and a +19 goal difference, Bayern Munich have equalled the best ever record in a group stage by a team in CL history, with Bayern themselves also winning maximum points with a +19 GD in 2019-20.
Mbappe has become the youngest player to score 30 CL goals (he now has 31), at 22 years and 352 days old. He’s beaten a teammate’s record – Lionel Messi was 23 years, 131 days old when he hit the 30-goal mark.
Thomas Muller is the eighth player and first German to score 50+ CL goals.
This is some record. Entering this season, only 7 clubs had gone a perfect 6-0-0 in the group stage, and never more than one in the same season. This season, we’ve seen Liverpool, Ajax and Bayern all do it!
Toni Kroos’ goal against Inter Milan was Real Madrid’s 1,000th European Cup/Champions League goal, making them the first club to reach that landmark total (excl. qualifiers). European royalty.
MESSI RONALDO WATCH
Cristiano Ronaldo was rested by Ralf Ragnick but Lionel Messi did play, and he did score. Of course.
Club Brugge are the 38th different side Messi has scored against in the CL, which is the joint-most with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to RSSSF (and you can dispute that – https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4542216/has-messi-overtaken-peles-career-goals-record-it-depends-who-you-ask), Lionel Messi has now passed Pele’s career tally with 758 goals vs Pele’s 757. Whether the great man’s record has been surpassed or not, 758 is still such an astounding number.
(Stats courtesy ESPN’s Stats & Information Group)