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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: There can be only one

And then there were two! Desh Parthab takes a look at a few key stats as Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare to do battle in the 2022 Champions League final in Paris!

Mo Salah of Liverpool - Champions League Final

And then there were two! Desh Parthab takes a look at a few key stats as Liverpool and Real Madrid prepare to do battle in the 2022 Champions League final in Paris!

Champions League

Liverpool have reached their 10th European Cup/Champions League final – the most by an English side. They have become just the fourth side to reach double figures for finals appearances, after Real Madrid (17), Bayern Munich (11) and AC Milan (11).

Despite having more than five UCL final appearances than any other club, it’s the first final appearance for Los Blancos since 2017/18 where they beat the Reds 3-1 to lift the coveted trophy.

Indeed, Liverpool quickly put that loss behind them as they lifted the trophy just 12 months later – beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in an all-English final. Despite these heavyweights demonstrating their prowess in front of goal all season long.

No Real Madrid player has missed more than two big chances in the competition – whilst Salah, Jota and Diaz have squandered a total of 16 big chances collectively this season.

Brilliant Benzema

In the Champions League this season, no player has made more accurate passes in the final third than Karim Benzema (215). His prowess in the advanced areas of the pitch has shown itself; 86.67% of his goals in the competition have come in the penalty area (13/15). The current Pichichi (LaLiga golden boot) holder netted 27 times, with all 27 league goals coming from inside the box, emphasising his poaching ability. Furthermore, the forward is the only player to have scored 10+ UCL goals with his right foot, this season.

Super Salah

The Liverpool talisman has hit the woodwork twice this Champions League campaign, only Paulinho (3) has hit the post more often this season. The African forward claimed the English Premier League’s golden boot with 23 strikes to his name and will be looking to break into double digits in the European competition, a feat only managed by three players this season. A total of 96% of his league goals have come from inside the box – with 87.5% of them coming from inside the box in Europe. Furthermore, all of Salah’s Champions League goals (8) have come via his left foot.

Los Blancos Ride Again

The reigning LaLiga champs have recorded the most shots ending and goal ending high turnovers in Spain, highlighting their ability on the counterattack – this is backed up by their possession stats in Europe. Gone are the days where Los Blancos want to dominate the ball throughout the 90, they’re more than happy to sit back and absorb before nailing teams on the counter. Ancelotti’s side is the only club to have launched 100+ direct attacks in LaLiga this season, at least 30 more than any other topflight club has managed. They have rested extensively since wrapping up their domestic trophy in April and come into this one with just 1 defeat across their previous six outings (across all competitions).

Les Rouges à Paris

Liverpool have become just the first English club to reach the final of the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season. Following their 2-0 victory in the first leg semi-final at Anfield against Villarreal, Liverpool have won both legs of a knockout stage tie against Spanish opposition in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League for only the second time – previously doing so against Real Madrid in 2008/09. The Merseyside club have registered 200 shots in the UCL this season, 26 more than their Spanish opponents.

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