FOOTBALL - Four German teams qualified for the Champions League knockout stages for the first time ever.
FOOTBALL - Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer became the oldest Champions League debutant at 41 years 66 days, when he started in Chelsea’s 1-0 home win over Steaua Bucuresti on Wednesday.
FOOTBALL - Galatasaray made it through the Champions League group phase scoring eight and conceding 14. No other team has ever qualified with a goal differential lower than minus four. The 14 goals conceded equalled a record high by a team that survived the group phase. Anderlecht conceded as many in 2000/01.
FOOTBALL - Bayern’s record streak of 10 consecutive CL wins came to an end, as the titleholders succumbed to a resurgent Manchester City after taking a 2-0 lead. Bayern lose a home match after going 2-0 up for the first time in almost 39 years, since 25 January 1975 (Bundesliga: Bayern München - Kickers Offenbach 2-3). City fell one goal short of winning the group. With 15 points won, Manchester City are ‘the best’ number two in a CL group ever.
FOOTBALL - Anderlecht set a new CL record of receiving three red cards in a single CL match as it saw Cheikhou Kouyaté, Fabrice N’Sakala and Silvio Proto be sent off. Olympiacos became only the second team to be awarded three penalties in a single CL match, after Tottenham Hotspur who scored two and missed one in their group match against FC Twente (4-1 home win) in September 2010.
FOOTBALL - Ryan Giggs becomes the 10th player aged 40 or older to play in the Champions League. He also becomes the fifth outfield player at that, behind Alessandro Costacurta (40-211), David Weir (40-211), Tasos Mitropoulos (40-109) and Donato (40-051). Giggs is 40 years and 11 days old today.
FOOTBALL - Ajax striker Danny Hoesen netted for his team in their 2-1 triumph over FC Barcelona. It was his first Champions League goal this season. He had already scored in the Dutch top flight and in the Dutch second tier as he had also represented Ajax’ youth team. He is the first player to score at these three particular levels in the same season.
FOOTBALL - On Tuesday, 26 November, AC Milan became the third team in Champions League history to field a starting line-up not containing any numbers from 1 to 11, following Valencia CF (05 December 2006) and Arsenal (09 December 2009). Milan’s lowest starting number today was 14 (Valter Birsa) and their highest was 45 (Mario Balotelli).
FOOTBALL - FC Barcelona join Arsenal (10 and running) and Real Madrid (16-running) as the only clubs to reach the CL KO stages in 10+ seasons in a row. From the 15 times that FC Barcelona advanced from the (first) group phase, they have done so with at least one matchday to spare on 12 occasions. They secured progress six times on Matchday 4, six times on Matchday 5 and three times on Matchday 6.
FOOTBALL - Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 14th CL goal in 2013, setting a new record for most CL goals in a calendar year. He was tied with Lionel Messi and himself on 13 goals they scored in 2012. He has now scored eight goals after four CL matchdays, equalling Filippo Inzaghi’s record, who had eight goals after four matches in 2002/03.
FOOTBALL - For a professional statistician, the greatest joys lie in charting uncharted territories and the temptation of the seemingly impossible. This week, Real Madrid treated us to both in the Champions League and on Thursday, Tottenham Hotspur will do the same in the Europa League. How is it possible to qualify from the CL/EL group stage after only THREE matches? We will try to explain here.
FOOTBALL - Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his first Champions League hat-trick. Ibrahimovic became the third Swedish player to score at least four goals in one European match, alongside Tore Cervin (4) for Malmö FF on 3 October 1973 (Cup Winners Cup) and Ove Ohlsson (5) for IFK Göteborg) on 23 September 1959 (Champions Cup). Ibrahimovic became the third player to score four Champions League goals in one match for a French side, after Dado Prso for AS Monaco on 5 November 2003 (8-3 against Deportivo) and Bafetimbi Gomis for Olympique Lyon on 7 December 2011 (1-7 against Dinamo Zagreb).
FOOTBALL - Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 57th and 58th goals in
European competition and has overtaken the Portuguese record of 57 by Eusébio. With his second goal, Cristiano Ronaldo equalled Filippo Inzaghi for most goals after three matches of a CL campaign (seven). He has extended his total for CL braces to 16, closing the gap to Lionel Messi’s competition record (17) to one.
FOOTBALL - Lionel Messi set a new all-time Champions League record by scoring his fourth hat-trick, as Barcelona beat Ajax 4-0 on Wednesday. Messi surpassed Mario Gomez and Filippo Inzaghi who have both scored three Champions League hat-tricks.