What a week this is turning out to be for the football fans! The UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg commenced this week, and the games were thrilling, to say the least.
Pep Guardiola's Manchester City hosted Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid, who almost put on a defensive masterclass. But one brief moment of magic from Phil Foden allowed Kevin De Bruyne to break the deadlock and give them a 1-0 win. It's advantage Manchester City as the teams look forward to the second leg next week.
Benfica welcomed Jurgen Klopp's rampant Liverpool side to Lisbon. The team from Merseyside took the lead and threatened to run away in the tie, only for them to gift a goal to Benfica. In the end, however, the Reds managed to seize control of the tie via a Luiz Diaz goal, eventually winning 3-1.
Karim Benzema's mercurial talent led Real Madrid to a huge 3-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in London. The Frenchman lit up the tie for Los Blancos with a brilliant hat-trick. The reigning European Champions will have a mountain to climb as they look forward to traveling to Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg.
Meanwhile, Unai Emery's Villarreal sent shockwaves across the world as they beat Bayern Munich while also keeping a clean sheet (1-0). However, Villareal went toe-to-toe with the German giants and should have won by a bigger goal margin.
So, without further ado, here are the best stats from this week's Champions League action:
Best stats from this week's Champions League action:
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid
- Manchester City have been unbeaten in the UEFA Champions League home games since 2018. In the meantime, they have played 19 games and won 17 of them.
- With the loss against City, Atletico Madrid's six-game winning run has been halted. This was also Atletico's first defeat in their last nine games.
- Manchester City have kept three successive clean sheets in the competition's knockout stages for the first time in their history.
Benfica vs Liverpool
- Liverpool beat Benfica for the very first time since 1984. In the meantime, the Reds lost three successive meetings with the Portuguese giant without scoring a goal.
- Benfica have failed to win against English opponents in their last four European matches at home.
- Liverpool have won their last eight away games in all competitions, their longest such run.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid
- Real Madrid have defeated the reigning European Champions for the sixth time in their history, ahead of Juventus (five times).
- Since Thomas Tuchel took charge, Chelsea have only lost two successive home games for only the second time.
- Karim Benzema has become the only Frenchman to score 10 plus goals in a single European campaign, overtaking Just Fontaine's 10 goal tally in 1958-59.
- Benzema's hat-trick was the first one scored against Cheslea in a European competition.
Villareal vs Bayern Munich
- The win over Bayern was Villareal's first in the competition's knockout stages since April 2006 against Inter Milan.
- Bayern Munich have failed to progress in their last five knockout ties whenever they have lost the first leg, with four of these eliminations coming against Spanish opponents (Barcelona in 2014-15, Atletico in 2015-16 & Real Madrid in 2016-17 & 2017-18).
- Unai Emery won consecutive UEFA Champions League knockout games for the first time in his career. Previously, he won only once in his last seven games (D2 L4).