Messi's home comforts and mission impossible for Chelsea – Champions League in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk August 08, 2020

Lionel Messi's sublime home record for Barcelona makes worrying reading for Napoli, whose task is not nearly as tricky as the one Chelsea face against a Bayern Munich side spearheaded by the sensational Robert Lewandowski. 

The final two rearranged Champions League last-16 games take place on Saturday before the competition, which was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, heads for Lisbon. 

Barca, who drew 1-1 at the San Paolo in the first leg, host Napoli for the first time in a competitive match, with Gennaro Gattuso's visitors aiming to become the first team to win their first away trip to Camp Nou since Rubin Kazan in October 2009. 

Bayern's squad and coaching team will surely be having their passports stamped for a trip to Portugal having hammered Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard's Blues will have to do something that has never been done if they are to progress.


Barcelona v Napoli

6 - Napoli's Dries Mertens has scored six Champions League goals this season, one shy of the record for goals in a single season in UEFA competition for the club; both Edinson Cavani (2012-13 Europa League) and Gonzalo Higuain (2014-15 Europa League) scored seven each. 

11 - Messi has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last five home Champions League knockout matches at Camp Nou (8 goals, 3 assists), scoring a brace in four of those five games. 

12 - Barcelona have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals in each of the last 12 campaigns, last failing in 2006-07 under Frank Rijkaard; no other team has qualified for the last-eight of the competition in more than eight consecutive seasons. They have also progressed from each of their last 19 Champions League knockout ties after avoiding defeat in the first leg away from home, only failing to do so once (vs Juventus in the 2002-03 quarter-final). 

2 - Napoli's two previous away Champions League knockout matches have ended in defeat, losing 4-1 to Chelsea in March 2012 and 3-1 to Real Madrid in February 2017. They have failed to progress from nine of their last 10 UEFA European knockout ties when failing to win the first leg. 

1 - This is Quique Setien's first home Champions League match as Barcelona boss – 10 of their previous 11 managers have won their first in charge at Camp Nou, with only Louis van Gaal failing to do so in a 2-2 draw against PSV in October 1997. 


Bayern Munich v Chelsea

6 - All six of Serge Gnabry's Champions League goals for Bayern this season have come against English teams (four vs Spurs, two vs Chelsea). Only two players have scored more goals against teams from a single nation in one season – Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14 vs German teams (7) and Luiz Adriano in 2014-15 vs Belarusian teams (8). 

41 - Lewandowski has scored 11 goals and assisted two more in six Champions League appearances this season, averaging a goal or assist every 41 minutes. The German side have failed to win any of their last five knockout stage games in the Champions League in which Lewandowski has not been on the scoresheet (D3 L2). 

1- Chelsea have only scored three goals in an away Champions League knockout match once previously, winning 3-1 at Liverpool in April 2009; Bayern have only conceded three times in three of their 43 home Champions League knockout games, though did so most recently in a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in March 2019. 

0 - In the entire history of the European Cup and Champions League, no team has ever won by three or more goals in the first leg of a knockout match away from home and failed to progress, going through on all 92 previous occasions. 

3- Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick is looking to become only the third manager in Champions League history to win his first five matches in charge, after Fabio Capello (first six with Milan in 1992-93) and Luis Fernandez (first six with PSG in 1994-95). 

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Messi and Ronaldo to meet in Champions League group stage BREAKING NEWS: Messi and Ronaldo to meet in Champions League group stage

    Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will do battle in the 2020/21 Champions League after Barcelona and Juventus were drawn in the same group.

  • Southgate backs dropped England duo Foden and Greenwood to bounce back Southgate backs dropped England duo Foden and Greenwood to bounce back

    England boss Gareth Southgate has told Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood to make the most of a "period of reflection" after dropping both for the games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

    A breach of coronavirus isolation rules while in Iceland last month has proven costly for Manchester City playmaker Foden and Manchester United forward Greenwood, but the England door will be open to them in future.

    That means both could still play a key role for the Three Lions at next year's delayed Euro 2020 finals.

    Foden, 20, and Greenwood, who turned 19 on Thursday, appeared to be shown in a Snapchat video posted by one of the women they were said to be socialising with at England's team hotel in Iceland, a meeting forbidden under the country's strict rules in response to COVID-19.

    Both were sent home and missed a subsequent game against Denmark, with Southgate taking a dim view of the episode.

    Speaking as he named a 30-man squad on Thursday for the October triple-header, Southgate was asked about the conspicuous exclusion of Foden and Greenwood.

    He said: "They're two very talented players. I think with that happened there's two parts: one is we have to send a message to all the players in our teams at every age level that that sort of thing isn't how we do things with England, but then we also have to rehabilitate these two boys.

    "Young people will make mistakes. I do a lot of work with the Prince's Trust [charity] who are brilliant at helping youngsters to get back on their feet when things haven't gone right.

    "These lads have suffered now enough. We didn't think it was right - I think they need this period of reflection - but then that gives them the opportunity to get back on their feet with their clubs, enjoy their football again.

    "They're both starting to play well again which is important. Then I can speak to them after this camp and it will just be about their form as to whether they're selected next time round."

    Harry Maguire was recalled, the Manchester United captain having been picked by England and then dropped ahead of last month's games after he was originally found guilty of assault following an incident on holiday in Mykonos, Greece.

    Maguire's legal representatives lodged an appeal, meaning the court's initial verdict was nullified and a full retrial will now take place at a more senior court, with Southgate saying there was "no reason we couldn't pick him."

    England play Wales in a friendly on October 8 before Nations League games against Belgium three days later and Denmark on October 14, with all the fixtures being played at Wembley.

  • Pogba returns to Deschamps' squad as Camavinga retains France place Pogba returns to Deschamps' squad as Camavinga retains France place

    Paul Pogba is set to make his first appearance for France since June 2019 after he was included in Didier Deschamps' 24-man squad for the October internationals, with Eduardo Camavinga keeping his place.

    Pogba, who last featured for Les Bleus in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Andorra 16 months ago, was due to be included in France's squad for games against Sweden and Croatia in September, but tested positive for coronavirus.

    Rennes teenager Camavinga was a surprise replacement, and went on to make his debut in a 4-2 win over Croatia on September 8.

    The 17-year-old has once again been selected by Deschamps, who was able to welcome back Manchester United star Pogba.

    "He knows the place he has in the group," Deschamps said of Pogba in a news conference on Thursday.

    "He had a very complicated last season. I prefer to have him there, available."

    Camavinga also drew the praise of France's World Cup-winning coach.

    "He has the ability to do things very well. Especially in the use of the ball," Deschamps said. "He is not at all rushed on the ball. He has everything going for him."

    France face Ukraine in a friendly on October 7, before a Nations League double-header against defending champions Portugal and World Cup 2018 runners up Croatia.

    Deschamps, however, insists he has no complaints over a pile up of fixtures after a 10-month absence from international football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "I'm not going to say that there are too many games. We went 10 months without a game," Deschamps added. "There will be rotation. All the players will have a longer playing time."

    Also included in the squad is Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar, who also tested positive for coronavirus prior to the September fixtures.

    Aouar has been strongly linked with Arsenal, with Deschamps acknowledging the youngster may not join up with the squad on Monday – or could leave the camp – if a deadline day move is being pushed through.

    France squad in full:

    Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Rennes), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Houssem Aouar (Lyon); Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (PSG).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.