Lukaku and Haaland seek to maintain scoring records as Inter and Man City plot path to last eight –
Tuesday will bring two finely poised contests in the Champions League last 16 as the second legs continue.
A late goal from Romelu Lukaku gave Inter a narrow 1-0 advantage against Porto at San Siro heading into the return fixture in Portugal.
The Serie A giants did not exactly prepare well, though, losing 2-1 at lowly Spezia on Friday, while Sergio Conceicao’s side earned a hard-fought 3-2 win against Estoril Praia the same day.
Manchester City host RB Leipzig fresh off a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace thanks to an Erling Haaland penalty, while the Bundesliga club moved up to third in the table following a comfortable 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.
After their 1-1 draw in the first leg in Germany, Pep Guardiola will be hoping that home advantage can keep the club’s dream alive of a first Champions League title.
Stats Perform has picked out the standout Opta data to preview Tuesday’s games.
Just four spots remain
Who’ll reach the last eight? #UCL pic.twitter.com/hKJXBNDNqA
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 13, 2023
Porto v Inter
Porto have lost three of their five matches against Inter in the Champions League, though all three of those defeats came away from home. The return leg at the Estadio do Dragao could mean a different story, as they have earned one win and one draw against Inter on home soil.
Having said that, Porto have lost four of their last six home matches in the knockout stages of the Champions League, conceding 13 goals across those four defeats.
They have, though, won each of their last four home matches in Europe against Italian clubs, beating Roma, Juventus, Milan and Lazio in succession. The last Italian side to defeat them away from home was Juventus in February 2017.
Inter have progressed from four of their five two-legged Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg, only being eliminated from such a position in 2005-06 by Villarreal.
Porto have been eliminated from six of their seven two-legged Champions League knockout ties when losing the first leg, only progressing in 2018-19 against Roma.
Lukaku’s winning goal in the first leg meant he has scored eight goals in 12 appearances for Inter in the Champions League. His record of 111 minutes per goal is the best of any player to have scored five or more goals for the club in the European Cup/Champions League.
Manchester City v RB Leipzig
City are unbeaten across their last 23 home matches in the Champions League, winning 21. If they avoid defeat in this match, they will equal Arsenal’s record for the longest home unbeaten run by an English club in the competition (24 games between September 2004 and April 2009).
Leipzig are unbeaten in five matches in the Champions League (W4 D1), their longest unbeaten run in the competition since a seven-game stretch in 2019-20 when they reached the semi-final.
The last team to defeat City at the Etihad Stadium in a Champions League knockout stage match was Liverpool in the 2017-18 quarter-final second leg – visiting sides have avoided defeat just once in eight matches since.
Marco Rose has taken charge of three matches in the Champions League knockout stages, with all three coming against City, after his Monchengladbach side were eliminated by the club in the last 16 in 2020-21. The only previous instance of a head coach facing the same opponent in his first four Champions League knockout stage matches is Frank Rijkaard against Chelsea between 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Haaland has scored 17 goals in 11 home matches in the Champions League for Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and City, scoring at least two goals in seven of those games. The Norwegian has scored a goal every 49 minutes on average in these matches.
Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku has scored 10 goals across his last 12 starts in the Champions League, including a hat-trick against City at the Etihad Stadium in September 2021. Nkunku is one of two players to score a hat-trick against City in the competition, the other being Lionel Messi in October 2016.
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