Ronaldo looks to break free of Porto as Haaland aims to continue hot streak - Champions League in Opta Numbers

By Sports Desk March 09, 2021

The Champions League round-of-16 second legs get underway on Tuesday, with Porto and Borussia Dortmund holding the upper hand over Juventus and Sevilla respectively.

Juve's latest bid to bring their domestic dominance to bear on the European stage is hanging by a thread, with Sergio Conceicao's robust side arriving in Turin 2-1 to the good.

If that tie is on a knife edge, Dortmund's task looks slightly more straightforward on paper – their 3-2 first-leg win having come on the road at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

However, Edin Terzic's side might be wounded by their sapping Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich at the weekend and Sevilla boast formidable European pedigree. Stranger things have definitely happened.

So, to help you navigate the potential madness, we take a closer look at both matches using Opta data.

 

Juventus (1) v (2) Porto: Ronaldo aiming to break the shackles

On his return to his homeland, Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo found himself unusually frustrated during the first leg.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner managed just one shot – his lowest return in a Champions League knockout match since he failed to register a shot on goal during the second leg of the 2010-11 semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, Federico Chiesa's crucial late away goal at the Estadio do Dragao snapped a run of five consecutive clean sheets in this season's competition for Porto, who are looking to achieve three consecutive shutouts on the road for the first time since November 2012.

Nevertheless, history is still weighted against the Primeira Liga club finishing the job.

Porto are winless in their previous 13 away games in the Champions League knockout stages, drawing four and losing nine.

You have to go back to a 3-2 win over Milan in 1996 for their most recent victory in Italy, with five defeats on the spin since then.

On the other hand, Juventus have been eliminated on five of the past six occasions they lost the first leg of a Champions League tie.

The exception came when a Ronaldo hat-trick wiped out Atletico Madrid's 2-0 advantage two seasons ago.

Once again, the 36-year-old looks their most likely hero. Ronaldo has 10 goals in 10 Champions League games for Juve at the Allianz Stadium. Only Lionel Messi (14) has more home goals over the period from the start of the 2018-19 campaign onwards.

 

Borussia Dortmund (3) v (2) Sevilla: Haaland at the double again?

Erling Haaland is at the opposite end of his Champions League journey to Ronaldo but certainly seems to have designs on emulating some of the veteran's great deeds and might even breach new ground this week.

The Dortmund striker has scored a brace in each of his past three Champions League appearances. If he nets another double against Sevilla, he will become the first player in the history of the competition to score twice in four consecutive appearances.

Haaland has 18 goals in 13 Champions League outings overall and appears certain to surpass Harry Kane as the quickest man to 20 in terms of games. The England captain reached the landmark in his 24th appearance.

Dortmund are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2017 and are unbeaten in seven Champions League matches at Signal Iduna Park (W5 D2).

Sevilla have never gone through in Europe's top competition after losing the first leg of a knockout tie, going down to Real Madrid in 1957-58, Fenerbahce in 2007-08 and Bayern Munich in 2017-18.

Since beating Borussia Monchengladbach 3-0 in 2015, the Andalusian club have lost three out of four against Bundesliga opponents.

Head coach Julen Lopetegui has similarly unhelpful memories of Germany, having lost his only previous Champions League away match in the country 6-1 when he led Porto against Bayern Munich.

Related items

  • Werner 'lost a bit of the fun' under Tuchel at Chelsea Werner 'lost a bit of the fun' under Tuchel at Chelsea

    Timo Werner "lost a bit of the fun" playing under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea after losing his place in the side ahead of returning to RB Leipzig.

    Germany international Werner sealed a permanent move back to Leipzig last week, just two years on from joining Chelsea in a £47.5million (€50m) deal.

    Werner struggled to live up his price tag at Stamford Bridge as he scored just 10 Premier League goals in 56 appearances, and 23 goals in 89 games overall.

    The 26-year-old found playing time hard to come by in the 2021-22 campaign, starting just 15 out of a possible 38 league matches – only the 15th most of all Chelsea players.

    After bringing an end to his Stamford Bridge stay, Werner has explained he opted for a return to Leipzig as he wants to play regularly again with an eye on Qatar 2022.

    "For me, having fun playing football is the most important thing," Werner, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, told the Einfach mal Luppen podcast. 

    "I was very successful at Chelsea, but in the end I lost a bit of the fun because I didn't play regularly any more.

    "I think the coach's game system didn't suit me perfectly. So it was clear to me that I wanted to take a new step. I'm at an age where I want to play as much as I can."

    As well as playing a part in last year's Champions League triumph, Werner also won the European Super Cup and Club World Cup with Chelsea.

    Werner was spotted in the Stamford Bridge stands during Sunday's 2-2 draw with Tottenham and says he will forever be connected to the west London side.

    "I really associate Chelsea with great successes – the greatest of my career," he said. "It'll always be a special club for me. I'll stay in contact with many players from the team."

     

    Werner contributed to 40 goals in 89 appearances for Chelsea, which was bettered only by Mason Mount (46 goal involvements in 108 games) during his time at the club.

    The ex-Stuttgart star netted just 36 minutes into his second debut for Leipzig in last week's meeting with Koln, scoring from his only attempt, yet it was only enough for a 2-2 draw.

    "I would have liked a win to start," Werner said. "Still, I can't complain because the team have welcomed me back and I was involved right away.

    "We have a great squad here and, if we improve further, we can achieve a lot with this team in terms of trophies."

  • West Ham sign Germany defender Kehrer from PSG West Ham sign Germany defender Kehrer from PSG

    West Ham have signed Germany international defender Thilo Kehrer from Paris Saint-Germain in a reported £10.1million (€12m) deal.

    Kehrer has penned a four-year contract at London Stadium with the option of a further two years and becomes West Ham's sixth signing of the window.

    The 25-year-old has spent the past four seasons with PSG and played 128 times for the Ligue 1 side, a tally bettered only by five others since the start of the 2018-19 season.

    He won seven trophies with the Parisians, including three Ligue 1 titles, and was part of the squad that reached the 2019-20 Champions League final.

    At international level, Kehrer has been capped 20 times by Germany, with no player featuring more times since Hansi Flick took over as head coach in May 2021. 

    Kehrer, who was into the final year of his PSG contract and had also been linked with Sevilla, is now looking forward to beginning a new chapter in the English top flight.

    "I'm very excited to sign for West Ham," Kehrer, who can play at left-back or centre-back, told his new club's official website.

    "This is the best league in the world and I'm excited about coming to play in the Premier League. I talked to the manager and he told me about how he sees me fitting in at the club. 

    "My biggest goal now is to get into the team, integrate myself within the group and enjoy playing for West Ham."

    Kehrer follows Nayef Aguerd, Alphonse Areola, Gianluca Scamacca, Maxwel Cornet and Flynn Downes in joining West Ham this window.

    David Moyes' side have begun their Premier League campaign with back-to-back defeats without scoring and next face Viborg in a Europa Conference League qualifier on Thursday.

  • 'We don't have Azerbaijan to play' – Tite hits back at Mbappe's CONMEBOL comments 'We don't have Azerbaijan to play' – Tite hits back at Mbappe's CONMEBOL comments

    Brazil head coach Tite has rebuffed Kylian Mbappe's suggestion that World Cup qualifying is more difficult for teams in Europe than it is in South America.

    Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Mbappe said in May that European teams have an advantage in the global showpiece due to playing "high-level matches" in qualifying.

    Mbappe, who lifted the World Cup with France in 2018, added that football in South America "is not as developed as in Europe".

    However, Brazil boss Tite does not agree with those comments and feels the quality of football in the CONMEBOL region is as high as anywhere in the world.

    "Maybe he is talking about these Nations League clashes or European friendlies, but not World Cup qualifiers," Tite told ESPN.

    "We don't have, with all due respect, Azerbaijan to play. We don't have anyone that gives you a break.

    "The qualifiers here have a much higher degree of difficulty than the group stage [of European qualifying]."

    The past four editions of the World Cup have been won by European teams – Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010, Germany in 2014 and France in 2018.

    That is the longest run of victories for a single continent in the history of the tournament, with only one runner-up – Argentina in 2014 – coming from outside the continent.

    Indeed, 12 of the previous 21 World Cups have been won by European teams, with South America responsible for the other nine winners.

    France booked their spot at Qatar 2022 by finishing top of their qualifying group with five wins and three draws from their eight matches.

    Brazil also went unbeaten in qualifying thanks to 14 wins and three draws en route to finishing six points ahead of Argentina in top spot in the 10-team pool.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.