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☆☆☆ UEFA Champions League 2016-17 ☆☆☆



Champions League Twitter account suffers EPIC emoji fail

By Alex Young
Aug 24, 2016 23:30:00

Instead of posting a jovial thumbs up to their 12.3 million followers, the official social media account inadvertently posted a less position message ahead of the group stage

The official Champions League Twitter account has an extra-special message for all those teams, players and fans heading to the group stage. A big ol' middle finger.

But they don't really mean it, honest. It was a simple copy-and-paste error for the poor social media guy. Fingers - not middle ones - should really be pointed at whoever position the far more jovial 'Thumbs Up' emoji so close to The Bird.

The tweet was quickly deleted and amended but here is the inadvertent message sent to a mere 12.3 million followers.

We are unsure which tweet Yann Sommer prefers.




Pique hoping Barcelona's Champions League is as 'easy' as Madrid's

Aug 24, 2016 21:11:12

The Barcelona defender is known for sticking the knife into the club's great Spanish rivals, and he is hoping for as 'easy' a run to glory as Zinedine Zidane's men this year

When Gerard Pique revealed his favoured route for Barcelona to grab Champions League glory, it looked strangely familiar.

Real Madrid took down Roma, Wolfsburg, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid in last year's knockout phase to take the title, enjoying a rather soft draw away from the heavyweights.

And the Barcelona defender could not help drawing attention to that fact on Twitter.

Pique was asked by a fan who his preference would be ahead of the upcoming Champions League draw.

Grupo fácil. Octavos el 3º de Italia, Cuartos el 8º de Alemania, Semis el 4º de Inglaterra. Vuelta siempre en casa. https://t.co/6EW7hWmeGd
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) 24 de agosto de 2016

"An easy group. In the last 16, Italy's third place. In quarters, Germany's eighth place," he said.

"In the semis, England's fourth place. The second leg always at home."

While the defender is known for mocking Barcelona's bitter rivals, he surely wasn't implying they had an easy run to the title, was he?




Champions League draw in full

25 August 2016

The draw for the Champions League group stage is as follows:

Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Basel, Ludogorets

Group B: Benfica, Napoli, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas

Group C: Barcelona, Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach, Celtic

Group D: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, PSV, Rostov

Group E: CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham, Monaco

Group F: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Sporting CP, Legia Warsaw

Group G: Leicester City, Porto, Club Brugge, FC Copenhagen

Group H: Juventus, Sevilla, Lyon, Dinamo Zagreb

The first matchday is the 13/14 September with the final games in the four-team groups taking place on 6/7 December.




Mourinho: The team will always be more important than any player

Peter Staunton
Sep 13, 2016 10:30:50

In an exclusive interview with Goal, the Manchester United manager lifted the lid on his motivational techniques and ability to form close bonds with the players at his disposal


Jose Mourinho has worked with many of the game's elite talents, from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Cristiano Ronaldo, but insists no one player is bigger than the team and makes no special effort to cater for individuals.

Rather than pandering to egos in his pre-match pep talks, the Manchester United manager at all times delivers a unified message to his group.

"For me the team will always be more important than any player," he told Goal. "The individuals are there, like I am, to serve the team, to give their best to the team. Unless any particular situation demands a one-to-one, I coach teams, I don't coach individuals and prefer to talk to everyone."

Master-motivator Mourinho detailed to Goal his pre-match techniques, in which he insists on multiple team talks to catch players' attention in short bursts before pumping them up with a psychological briefing just before the game starts.

The two-time Champions League winner is famed for the bonds he forms with his players, and much of his success is down to his ability to both motivate his men and also convey his own attention to detail in those precious get-togethers before matches.

"I do more than one [talk] because I think the message has to be very short and objective," he said. "I normally start having meetings with the players to prepare [for] a game three days before.

"But the last one, because you did all the work in terms of the game plan and tactical preparation, is very specific for both sides. Normally I leave for the last talk the psychological aspect, the motivational one."

Mourinho also disclosed the details behind his psychological techniques, revealing that while he prepares methodically for his pre-match talks, he prefers to be more instinctive once the match is underway.

"Normally I prepare, especially the pre-match," he said. "You can think and re-think and study a lot interviews until you arrive to the final product.

"The words during the game, the talk at half time, that is a different story; it's more difficult. You have to read and feel the game and the players, reduce the unpredictability of the game, and it's much more automatic and instinctive.

"But for pre-match you have plenty of time, especially for me - I work so many hours in the day to think about the consequences of the words, to choose the right words."

Mourinho puts his success in extracting the maximum from his troops down to not only coaching his players but also interacting with them on a personal level.

"I love that feeling, influencing a player's career and life and consequently the family's,” he said. "It's a way to have them ready to give everything - plus something - because sometimes everything is not enough! That 'something' comes when the relationship is good between manager and player."




Emery expecting ´great tactical game´ against Wenger´s Arsenal

12 September 2016

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has spoken of his admiration for Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger and is expecting a demanding tactical battle in their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

The teams meet in the group stages at Parc des Princes having both endured mixed starts to their respective league campaigns.

PSG have never beaten Arsenal, with the clubs' only previous meeting a two-legged affair in the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1993-94, edged 2-1 on aggregate by the Gunners, but Emery is looking forward to pitting his wits against Wenger.

"It will be important to have the ball and manage the positioning to attack, and then to defend when we do not have the ball," the Spaniard told a news conference.

"It will be a great tactical game, a great game with great players.

"I admire Arsene for his work and his ability to work in a club like Arsenal for so long - like [Alex] Ferguson at Manchester United before him. Everyone would like to be in his situation."

Emery also confirmed PSG could be boosted by the return to fitness of Thiago Silva, who may play some part against the Gunners.




Zidane expects tough tests for European champions Madrid

13 September 2016

Zinedine Zidane refused to label his side as favourites as Real Madrid prepare to defend their Champions League crown.

A penalty shootout win over city rivals Atletico in Milan gave Madrid their 11th European title in May.

They return to continental action against Sporting CP at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday but Zidane feels last season will do little to enhance his team's chances of glory, while furnishing opponents with extra motivation.

"I wouldn't say we are favourites," the French World Cup-winner told a pre-match news conference. "There are a lot of teams who can win it. You have to compete, you have to play. We are ready and we have a tough game against a good footballing side who will turn up looking to put in a good performance.

"Being in the Champions League comes with the job. The players know the objective out on the pitch is to always win.

"If we're taking part in a game it is to win. It's to advance, to go further, to improve.

"We know it's not meant to be easy. In fact, it will be harder than last season because whenever you go to play at a stadium against any team you are the defending champions. I think every single game will be tough, starting with Wednesday night's fixture."

No team has retained the Champions League since the tournament rebranded and switched to a group-stage format and Zidane feels a weight of expectation has played a part in this peculiarity.

"After you've won a title, people expect more from you," he said. "They expect you to win again.

"Every game is harder because demands are greater and we expect a very complicated game [against Sporting].

"The secret to success is to work hard every day, be ready."

Zidane added: "I know I've got a great team, a great squad, great players and if we all work a bit more each day I'm sure we'll have a greater chance of accomplishing all our objectives."




Preud´homme hopes to capitalise on underdog status

13 September 2016

Michel Preud'homme believes Club Brugge face a tough task to get a good result against Leicester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Belgian title-holders have been struggling domestically, collecting just seven points from their opening six league fixtures.

They will be hoping to rediscover their best form at home to the surprise Premier League winners, but Preud'homme has acknowledged it will not be an easy assignment, despite the Foxes' own struggles early in 2016-17.

"Maybe people are expecting less from us, as in theory they [Leicester] are better than us," Preud'homme said at a news conference.

"It's a great story what they did last season, and they proved that you can go far with the perfect mentality.

"Of course they have their own style, and everyone really knows what they have to do. They can play the long ball but also have the quality to play in the small spaces.

"When they lose the ball they work very hard. That's a basic skill which is often forgotten and that is why they became champions.

"But with good mentality and power we can do it as we have nothing to lose."

Leicester go into the match at Jan Breydelstadion on the back of a 4-1 loss away to Liverpool, while Club Brugge lost 1-0 at Waasland-Beveren last time out.




Pep making City a Champions League challenger - but Gladbach could be his Kryptonite

Sam Lee
Sep 13, 2016 07:51:52

The Catalan has already got the Blues working hard and playing attractive football as they head into the group stage, but he has tended to struggle against the Bundesliga club


Manchester City will begin their Champions League campaign on Tuesday night full of confidence that Pep Guardiola can lead them to new heights, and rightly so.

City unexpectedly reached the semi-finals last season but were accused of lacking fight as they surrendered to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Such meetings at the grandest European cathedrals of football should become the norm over the coming years, but the performances will be vastly different.

The City players have shown already this season that they are firmly getting to grips with Guardiola’s demands - they are top of the Premier League having scored the most goals, have played some wonderful football and, crucially given the style with which it is mixed, ran more than any other team.

There is effort and elegance and the signs are that things are only going to get better.

City dominated the first 40 minutes of the Manchester derby and adapted their game after half-time to provide a threat on the counter-attack.

But as Guardiola sat down into his chair in the Old Trafford press room after the match he was keen to caution against getting carried away.

When he faced the media on Monday afternoon ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Monchengladbach it was the same message once again.

“We are far away, we are far away from the best,” he said once he had finished discussing the derby victory again. “We are looking forward to competing with the best teams in the Premier League and in Europe but we are far, far away.”

There is no better indication of Guardiola’s high standards than that. City have won their first six competitive games of the season and passed their first stern test with flying colours, but the Catalan wants much, much more.

He will know, too, that there are answers he is yet to find as a coach, let alone as coach of Manchester City.

His record on the road in the knock-out stages is surprisingly poor - he has won just four of 21 matches, and once with Bayern - and there is the (unfair) criticism hanging over him that he failed at Bayern Munich because he did not win the Champions League.

Given City did reach the last four under Manuel Pellegrini there will now also be the expectation that he takes them at least that far in his first season, but he knows the group stage cannot be taken for granted.

Barcelona’s threat speaks for itself, and Celtic have caused plenty of upsets on home soil in recent years, but Guardiola knows all too well that Gladbach are to be taken seriously.

In his six games against the club during his time in the Bundesliga he won just two - the first two. In fact, Gladbach were his very first Bundesliga opponents and although Bayern won 3-1, he was amazed by his opposition’s mastery of the counter-attack. It is one of the biggest things that struck him about the Bundesliga - and still does to this day - but although he went on to win all three league titles, his record against Gladbach only got worse.

“It’s a brave team, a brave coach, and one of the most talented teams and players in Europe right now,” he said on Monday. “If we let them play, we will suffer, they have a lot of quality.”

Guardiola has spent much of his time with the press discussing his tactics. After the Premier League opener against Sunderland he stressed how his side work on creating overloads - five against four, six against five - in training. It is a key part of the Guardiola way. So, too, is the “build-up”, which he referred to dozens of times during the continued Joe Hart saga. At one stage he discussed the importance of a goalkeeper to the “build-up” for nearly three minutes.

Listening to his analysis of Gladbach’s approach under coach Andre Schubert, then, it is clear to see the Catalan will not be taking these games lightly.

“They are aggressive, they bring the game one against one, man to man in the build-up, two against one, three against two, and when that happens it’s a fight.

“With the ball they are so so intelligent, the people who play in the middle, like Stindl, like Kramer, Dahoud, Raffael, Hazard, Traore, Wendl, they are so, so offensive. They receive behind our midfield line five players, they attack five against four.

“They are a German team so they use the counter attack like a master, they do it very well. But they have a good build-up, Sommer is a goalkeeper who’s not tall but he reads the game looking for the build-up, the two against one, the short and the long passes, so they create a good environment for a good way to play, and that’s why it’s complicated. They are a really, really good team.

“The draw was difficult for us. Of course Barcelona is there, but especially for Gladbach. I know them, they are a very, very good team.”

Given how City breezed past Jose Mourinho’s United, with all their firepower, to maintain their 100 per cent record, it may be hard to remember that Guardiola’s teams might have an Achilles heel.

Gladbach’s approach is not easy to replicate - they are counter-attack experts as Guardiola says, and they also take risks that many other teams would not - but these are the kind of obstacles City will have to overcome if they are to dominate Europe, as is the hope in Abu Dhabi.

The Blues squeezed past the Germans in their two group stage meetings last year but, somewhat ironically, they are set-up to do maximum damage to Guardiola teams. It is a clash of styles similar to that which has seen Guardiola best Mourinho more often than not.

Throw Barcelona and Celtic Park into the mix and City have a huge challenge ahead. But there are few coaches, if any, better equipped to find the solutions than Guardiola.




Ranieri: If players think about Champions League music I ring my bell

16 September 2016

Leicester City's players have been told to focus on the Premier League by manager Claudio Ranieri, who says he will ring his bell if he feels they are becoming distracted by the Champions League.

The Foxes got their European campaign off to a flying start by crushing Club Brugge 3-0 on Wednesday, with a home match against Burnley up next for Leicester on Saturday.

Ranieri has demanded his players refocus on the league after their continental commitments, indicating he will ring a bell from the sidelines if he feels they are not performing.

"The problem is if someone is thinking of the music, then I ring my bell," said Ranieri, who gave his players bells as Christmas gifts last year. "If they think about the music then I ring my bell.

"I forget what happened. Of course that is the new challenge. Forget and think about the next match.

"I'm used to this because always, in my career, when something happens it's finished.

"Forget Brugge, forget [the 4-1 loss at] Liverpool. One we lost, one we won - it's finished. Clear your mind because in the next match, the opponent wants to beat us.

"Of course, Burnley want to increase the tempo because they might think we're tired, but I don't believe it."

Asked if the bell specifically applies to Riyad Mahrez, who scored a brace against Club Brugge to prompt suggestions from the Italian that the Champions League music woke him up, Ranieri joked: "No, I put the headphones on him."




We nearly cried at Champions League anthem - Pochettino

16 September 2016

Mauricio Pochettino has refused to blame playing at Wembley for Tottenham's Champions League defeat to Monaco on Wednesday, revealing the competition's famous anthem nearly made him cry.

Tottenham are playing their European matches at Wembley this season as White Hart Lane is being redeveloped.

Pochettino hailed the atmosphere of a club-record attendance at the match and was at a loss to explain his team's unusually flat performance.

"Sometimes you need to explain the reality," he told reporters ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against Sunderland. "The reality was tough to explain. They faced it, and I look at myself too.

"I didn't know how to get the motivation to play on Wednesday night. Maybe I put myself in question too. We share responsibility but we cannot repeat. You can lose, not play well but never concede two goals like we conceded.

"It was a collective problem, not an individual problem. I was the first one guilty in this situation. When we wait six years, many times to play Champions League, after 45 mins you can't go to the changing room with this feeling.

"We had 90,000 people in front of us, waiting for us to play. The atmosphere was amazing. We nearly cried before when you hear the song from the Champions League, it's a dream come true."

Despite the defeat, Pochettino said his side performed at a higher level than Monaco, who won the game thanks to goals by Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar, and backed his team to qualify.

"I think the first half was difficult to manage because I felt very bad afterwards," Pochettino said. "The second half was much better, we played in a way we normally play. We deserved more.

"In the second half we showed a lot of passion and we played very well. [Monaco] didn't shoot, they had zero corners and I was happy with our performance.

"Only in this 45-minute period, we didn't show passion. Why? This is my big question - and not only me. We all have in our minds, why?

"In the end we were much better than Monaco. If you give them a present like we gave it's impossible to come back again and get a result.

"No excuse, it wasn't Wembley that was the problem, it wasn't the pitch that was the problem, we were the problem and we need to be very critical with ourselves.

"We have time to win games, we have the possibility to go to the next round. It's early days."




Racist behaviour and crowd disturbances among six Legia UEFA charges

16 September 2016

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Legia Warsaw and Borussia Dortmund following their Champions League encounter on Wednesday, with the former facing six charges.

A boisterous atmosphere at kick-off in the Group F match at the Polish Army Stadium descended into scenes of violence as Legia fans clashed with stewards, with video footage from the match appearing to show a group of Legia ultras using pepper spray against security staff.

Legia subsequently released a statement vowing "strict consequences" for the perpetrators, but denying racist or anti-Semitic chanting took place.

However, crowd disturbances and racist behaviour are among six charges the Polish club are facing from UEFA.

The other four involve the setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, insufficient organisation and blocked stairways.

Dortmund are also facing charges over the setting off of fireworks and the throwing of objects.

The cases will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on September 28.

Legia, who were making their first appearance in the competition proper in 21 years, went on to lose the match 6-0.




Madrid form draws no concern for Zidane

Dom Farrell
Sep 26, 2016 20:29:20

The Merengue have dropped points in each of their last two La Liga matches but their coach insists the team is in good shape

Zinedine Zidane has no worries over Real Madrid's form despite heading into the mouthwatering Champions League Group F clash against Borussia Dortmund on the back of consecutive LaLiga draws.

Madrid's lead at the summit of Spain's top division is down to a solitary point after Villarreal held them 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu last week and Las Palmas hit back to a retrieve a 2-2 scoreline on Saturday.

Nevertheless, Zidane was in a relaxed mood as he faced a pre-match news conference ahead of Tuesday's match at Signal Iduna Park.

Asked whether Madrid's dropped points were a concern for him, he said: "No, absolutely not and not because we are changing competitions, either. This can happen and it may happen again.

Why even Guardiola may miss De Bruyne

"We know what we want to do, we know what we need to be working on to achieve things.

"The team is in good shape. Nobody likes to lose four points in two games but football is like that.

"Sometimes it's good to give you a warning and then you continue on your way with your work."

On whether the reasons for the recent stumble were rooted in defence or attack, he added: "It's a bit of everything but I'm not worried specifically about anything. We can do things better.

"When you have chances to score goals I would like to obviously score more goals.

"When [Las Palmas] score two goals against us, of course you have to think about the defence. There are things that we can identify but it's a combination of everything together."

Zidane, who announced fit-again duo Keylor Navas and Fabio Coentrao are ready to play 90 minutes if called upon, substituted Cristiano Ronaldo with Madrid 2-1 to the good at the weekend but he insists he will continue to rotate his squad as they bid for honours at home, along with the retention of their European crown.

"They [the players] know that anything can happen. Squad rotation is an idea that I have," he explained.

Barcelona's Champions League record is better WITHOUT Messi

"Everything is normal. I'm not silly and he [Ronaldo] is clever. We all want the same thing.

"When there's a game that one player doesn’t play in… you can't always ask players to be 100 per cent

"If you change the side around and spread the minute around the squad there is more chance of a player being 100 per cent and that is important."




'Tottenham one of the best teams in the world'

Alex Young
Sep 26, 2016 21:55:18

CSKA Moscow head coach Leonid Slutsky hosts Mauricio Pochettino's side in the Champions League on Tuesday as both teams look for their first win in the competition

Tottenham are "one of the best sides in the world", according to CSKA Moscow head coach Leonid Slutsky.

Kane injury not as bad as first feared

Mauricio Pochettino's side take on the Russian champions on Tuesday as they search for their first points in the Champions League this season.

A 2-1 loss at Wembley in their opening group game leaves Spurs bottom of Group E, with CSKA and Bayer Leverkusen sharing the spoils in the other clash, but Slutsky has underlined Tottenham's talents despite the false start.

"Tottenham are one of the best sides in England, which automatically makes them one of the best in the world," the former Russia head coach told reporters.

He added: "We can talk about Son [Heung-min], [Vincent] Janssen, [Christian] Eriksen, [Erik] Lamela - all these players are pretty dangerous.

Son delighted to stay at Spurs

"The question is not how are we going to defend against them at set-pieces, but how we are going defend against their attacking potential overall.

"Last year, Spurs had an amazing team and tried to win the [Premier League] title. This season, they play a little different because many teams sit back against them."




Champions League Matchday Two: Madrid look for first win in Dortmund

26 September 2016

Real Madrid's trip to Borussia Dortmund takes centre stage in Tuesday's Champions League matchday two action, while Monaco and Leicester City attempt to build on potentially crucial away victories last time out.

Defending champions Madrid left it late to beat Sporting CP in their opening Group F fixture and will be looking to alter some unwanted history at Signal Iduna Park.

Leicester, having so convincingly beaten Club Brugge last time out, host a Champions League game for the first time at the King Power Stadium, while fellow Premier League side Tottenham are aiming to kick-start their European campaign.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the best stats ahead of Tuesday's eight group-stage matches.


- Monaco are unbeaten in their four previous competitive encounters with Bayer Leverkusen, all in the Champions League (W3 D1). They won 1-0 in each of their two group games against Roger Schmidt's team in the 2014-15 campaign.

- Monaco have won six of their last seven competitive meetings with German sides (D1), keeping a clean sheet in each of those six wins.

- Bayer Leverkusen are winless in their last six Champions League games (D4 L2), the last three of which have all been score draws.

- The German side have also won just twice in their last 23 away games in the competition (D6 L15).

- Monaco have lost just two of their last 17 home games in the Champions League (W12 D3), although both defeats in that run came in their last six fixtures there.


- This is the first competitive meeting between CSKA Moscow and Tottenham.

- CSKA have failed to keep clean sheet in their last eight Champions League games against English opposition.

- Spurs failed to win any of their away Group Stage games in their only other Champions League appearance in 2010-11 (W0 D2 L1); their only away victory that season came at San Siro against AC Milan in the Last 16 (1-0).

- Tottenham are winless in their last four Champions League games (D1 L3), losing the last three in a row and scoring just one goal in total.

- CSKA have conceded in each of their last 23 Champions League matches since recording back to back clean sheets against Trabzonspor in 2011.


- Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid are facing each other for the seventh time in the last five Champions League seasons (2x group stage games, 2x semi-final games and 2x quarter-final games).

- Madrid are winless in their five away games against Dortmund, all in the Champions League (D2 L3). In all European competitions, only against AC Milan and Inter have Madrid travelled more times without ever winning (seven each).

- Borussia Dortmund have won their last four home games against Spanish opposition in European competition, scoring at least twice in each of those games.

- Madrid are unbeaten in their last 22 Champions League Group Stage matches (W18 D4 L0), last losing at this stage against Dortmund in October 2012.

- Dortmund secured their biggest-ever win in the Champions League on MD1 of the 2016-17 campaign against Legia Warsaw (6-0), scoring six goals in the competition for the first time.


- Sporting and Legia's only previous encounters were in the Last 32 of the 2011-12 Europa League. The Lisbon side won 1-0 at home after drawing 2-2 in Poland.

- No Polish side has ever won an away game against Portuguese opposition in 11 previous attempts (W0 D2 L9), with a collective tally of 30 goals conceded and three goals scored.

- Sporting have won just two of their last nine Champions League games (W2 D1 L6), although those two wins came in their last two home fixtures in the competition.

- Sporting have lost just three of their last 27 home games in European competition (excluding qualifying) although all three defeats came in their last eight games there (W17 D7 L3).

- Legia Warsaw have lost their last five in a row away from home in European competition (excluding qualifying), four of those defeat coming via a 1-0 scoreline.


- Copenhagen have never scored at home against a Belgian side, in all competitions (three games).

- Club Brugge won 4-0 on their last visit to FC Copenhagen, in the group stages of the 2014-15 Europa League. Club Brugge forward Lior Refaelov scored a first-half hat-trick.

- In fact, Club Brugge have won four of their last six competitive away trips to Denmark (W4 D2 L0).

- Copenhagen have won just one of their last nine Champions League games, (W1 D3 L5), that win coming against Galatasaray in November 2013.

- In Copenhagen's last 10 Champions League home games there have been just 19 goals in total, Copenhagen scoring 11 and conceding just eight in that run.


- This is the first competitive meeting between Leicester City and Porto.

- Porto have never won a competitive away game against an English side, losing 15 of their 17 trips (W0 D2 L15).

- Leicester's win against Brugge meant they became just the third English club to win on their Champions League debut after Manchester United and Newcastle United.

- Only Milan in November 1992 and Atletico Madrid in 1996 have recorded a bigger margin of victory than Leicester in their first ever Champions League game (both 4-0).

- Porto are winless in their last three Champions League games (W0 D1 L2), this after losing just one in 14 prior to that (W9 D4 L1).


- This is the first competitive meeting between Sevilla and Lyon.

- Sevilla have lost four of their five competitive games against French opposition, the only exception being a 2-0 home win against Lille in the Last 16 of the 2005-06 UEFA Cup.

- Meanwhile, Lyon have won on only two of their 11 trips to Spain in the Champions League (W2 D3 L6): against Real Sociedad in February 2004 (1-0) and Valencia in December 2015 (2-0). These two wins are also the only times Lyon have kept a clean sheet on the road against Spanish clubs.

- Sevilla have won 14 of their last 16 home games in Europe, keeping a clean sheet in nine of those games (W14 D0 L2).

- Lyon have won their last two Champions League games, although they have not won three on the bounce in the competition since October 2010.


- Dinamo Zagreb and Juventus' only previous competitive encounters were in the quarter-finals of the 1966-67 Fairs Cup. Dinamo won 5-2 on aggregate, drawing 2-2 in Turin and winning 3-0 in Zagreb.

- Since that 3-0 victory against Juventus in 1967, Dinamo Zagreb have won only two of their 17 games against Italian opposition (D5 L10).

- In fact, Dinamo are the last Croatian side to win a home game in Europe against an Italian club, it was in November 2000 when they beat Parma in the UEFA Cup (1-0).

- Juventus have won just one of their last seven Champions League games (W1 D4 L2), failing to win any of their last four; their worst run without a win since they went six games without victory in November 2013 (D3 L3).

- The Turin side has won just once in their last six Champions League away games (W1 D3 L2), losing the last two