3 potential milestones awaiting in the Round of 16 second-leg matches | Champions League 2019-20
- A look at potential milestones awaiting in the 2019-20 Champions League Round of 16 second leg.
The Round of 16 stage of the 2019-20 Champions League boasts of a series of European powehouses like Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea, and Borussia Dortmund. Among the other teams in contention for the title are Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia, and Atletico Madrid, who are former finalists in the Champions League era. Tournament debutants Atalanta are the only team to have qualified for the competition after losing their first three games while RB Leipzig will be the other debutants in the Round of 16.
In this article, we take a look at three potential milestones that could be achieved in this season's Round of 16 second-leg matches.
#1 Bayern Munich could become the first team to win their first 8 games in a season
Bayern Munich became the sixth team in Champions League history to win all their six group-stage games as the Bavarians recorded the highest goal-difference while topping a Champions League group.
However, unlike four of the previous five teams, the Bundesliga giants followed up their winning run in the group stage with a convincing 3-0 win at Chelsea in their Round of 16, joining Real Madrid (2014-15) and Barcelona (2002-03) as the only teams to win their first 7 Champions League games in a season.
A win in the second leg at home against the Londoners would see Bayern become the first team to win their first 8 games in the European competition in a season.
#2 Lionel Messi could join Cristiano Ronaldo as the only player to score 50 knockout stage goals
Lionel Messi (114 goals) is the Champions League's most prolific goalscorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo (128 goals). The Argentine's tally of 48 goals in the knockout stage of the competition is only behind Ronaldo's total of 66 goals.
Messi, who did not score in Barcelona's 1-1 Round of 16 first-leg draw away at Napoli, is the all-time top scorer in the Round of 16 stage of the competition. He also became the only player to score a five-goal hat-trick in the Round of 16 when he did so against Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of Barcelona's 2011-12 tie with the German club.
#3 Either Messi or Ronaldo could take the outright lead for most Champions League hat-tricks
Messi and Ronaldo are the players with the most hat-tricks (8) in the Champions League.
Last season, Ronaldo's hat-trick in Juventus' 3-0 second-leg win over Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 made the Portugal captain the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick as he joined Messi for most hat-tricks in the competition. It was Ronaldo's first Round of 16 hat-trick and a record 4th in the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Like Ronaldo, Messi also has a lone Round of 16 hat-trick to his name when the diminutive Argentine scored five past Bayer Leverkusen in 2011-12.
A hat-trick for either player in this season's Round of 16 second leg, when both their respective teams - Barcelona and Juventus would be at home, would make either player the sole leader for most hat-tricks in the competition.
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