Interesting data on the UEFA site about this weeks Champions League quarter-final games. Call it a statistical look at this week’s games.
Chelsea v Liverpool (first leg: 3-1)
- Chelsea have never lost a European tie after taking a first-leg advantage back to Stamford Bridge.
- Liverpool have found the net at Stamford Bridge just twice in four previous UEFA Champions League visits, and only twice in 75 visits overall have they achieved a result that would earn them outright victory in this tie.
- Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Anfield in the first leg was Liverpool’s first UEFA Champions League defeat this season and marked the first time the Reds had lost a first-leg tie at Anfield in UEFA club competition. The nearest historical precedent was an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-final against Leeds United in 1970/71 when they went down 1-0 at home before a goalless second leg at Elland Road.
- The London club are unbeaten in 16 home UEFA Champions League games stretching back to February 2006, winning 13 of those, although their 86-match undefeated Premier League run at Stamford Bridge was ended by Liverpool, who were 1-0 winners on their last visit to the ground in October.
- Chelsea conceded three late goals in beating Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in the league on Saturday, the first time in 38 home games in all competitions they had conceded three goals or more at Stamford Bridge, since a 4-4 league draw at home to Aston Villa FC on 26 December 2007.
Bayern Munich v Barcelona (first leg: 0-4)
- No team has ever overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit in the UEFA Champions League. The biggest first-leg deficit a side has salvaged in the UEFA Champions League era was achieved by Deportivo La Coruña in the 2003/04 quarter-finals when they fought back from a 4-1 defeat at AC Milan to win 4-0 at home.
- Bayern have won seven of the 17 ties in UEFA club competition in which they have had to overturn a first-leg deficit at home, although in each previous instance they returned to Munich trailing by only a single goal. Of the ten ties that ended in aggregate defeat, the German side enjoyed the consolation of a second-leg victory seven times.
- Barcelona, meanwhile, have lost only three of 36 two-legged contests in UEFA club competition when they won the first match at home. Curiously, all three defeats came against English clubs: against Chelsea in the 2004/05 first knockout round (2-1, 2-4); Manchester United in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals (2-0, 0-3); and Aston Villa in the 1982 UEFA Super Cup final (1-0, 0-3).
- The Spanish club are the highest-scoring team on their travels in the competition this season with 13 goals from four matches and boast a fine recent away record in the UEFA Champions League, having won eight and drawn three of their last 12 games on the road.
- Lionel Messi’s double in the first leg with Bayern took his total for the season to eight goals, making him the competition’s top scorer this season.
FC Porto v Manchester United (first leg: 2-2)
- Porto have never lost at home to English opposition in eleven matches in UEFA club competition, six of them at the Estádio do Dragão.
- The Portuguese champions have won all bar one of the eight ties in UEFA club competition when they have drawn the first leg away from home, including their first knockout round triumph against Club Atlético de Madrid this season. Their sole defeat came at the hands of Bayern Munich in the 1990/91 European Champion Clubs’ Cup quarter-finals, the German side winning 2-0 in Portugal after a 1-1 draw in Munich.
- United, meanwhile, have travelled away from home after a first-leg home draw on eight occasions in UEFA club competition – and ended up winning four of those ties. They have had mixed fortunes in the UEFA Champions League, winning 3-2 at Juventus after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the 1998/99 semi-finals, but losing on away goals to Bayern Leverkusen at the same stage in 2001/02 after a 2-2 home draw was followed by a 1-1 result in Germany.
- The holders have lost their last four knockout ties in the UEFA Champions League when they have played the second leg away from home.
- Porto have conceded 12 times so far, the worst defensive record of the sides in the last eight.
Arsenal v Villarreal (first leg: 1-1)
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 23 home matches in the UEFA Champions League. Arsène Wenger’s men have not lost at home in the competition proper – be it at their old Highbury home or the Arsenal Stadium – since going down 2-1 to Chelsea FC in a quarter-final second leg in April 2004.
- The Gunners’ impressive sequence includes their 1-0 victory against Villarreal at Highbury in the semi-final first leg in 2005/06, which remains the only defeat that Manuel Pellegrini’s side have suffered on English soil.
- The London club have conceded just seven goals overall during their 23-game unbeaten sequence. With clean sheets in all four of their home matches this season, they have not conceded a UEFA Champions League goal at the Arsenal Stadium in 424 minutes, since Dirk Kuyt’s 26th-minute strike for Liverpool FC in last season’s quarter-final first leg.
- Villarreal, however, have been in this position before, having drawn 1-1 at home to Panathinaikos in the first knockout round before a 2-1 triumph in Greece.
- Whatever the outcome it promises to be an emotional occasion for Villarreal midfielder Robert Pirès. Prior to moving to El Madrigal in summer 2006, the Frenchman had spent six seasons with Arsenal, during which he won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups. Voted the English Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 2002, he made 284 appearances, scoring 84 goals.