Wednesday evening brought an end to a historic Champions League group stage.
There were 33 goals scored in the night’s eight games and 50 in total across matchday six to bring up several new landmarks for the competition.
:: For the first time in the competition’s history, the number of goals in the group stage exceeded 300. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second for Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid equalled the previous record of 292 and Philippe Coutinho’s third for Liverpool against Spartak Moscow set a new mark – before a madcap last half-hour took the season’s total to 306.
:: Paris St Germain, with 25 goals, and Liverpool with 23 both beat the previous record tally for a single team in their six group games, set by Dortmund last season with 21. Liverpool’s tally, ich included 7-0 wins over Spartak and Maribor, was a record for an English club, beating Manchester United’s 20 en route to winning the 1998-99 competition.
:: Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six games of a Champions League group, with Neymar coming up just short after being kept at bay by Bayern Munich in PSG’s last game. Ronaldo’s tally of nine goals was short of his record 11 in 2015-16 but extended his record career tally of Champions League goals to 114 and took him level with Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s record 60 in the group stage.
:: For the first time, there will be five teams from the same country in the last 16 of the competition. A quarter of the Premier League booked seats at Europe’s top table in the new year as Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all qualified – all bar Chelsea as group winners.
:: PSG, along with Manchester City, missed out on another piece of history. Each won their first five games but failed to make it a complete set, with Bayern winning 3-1 against the French giants and City beaten 2-1 by Shakhtar Donetsk. Only six teams have ever gone through a group stage with a 100 per cent record – Real in 2011-12 and 2014-15, PSG themselves in 1994-95, AC Milan (1992-93), Spartak Moscow (1995-96) and Barcelona (2002-03).
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