Champions League: many home wins, many goals and a big surprise

Status: 06.10.2022 12:09

First half of the Champions League group stage: an impressive number of home wins, an average of almost three goals per game and a big surprise.

Football runs in the English weeks leading up to the World Cup. The Champions League runs its schedule partly on a weekly basis. Starting on September 6, half of the 96 group games have already been played a month later. Time for an intermediate balance.

When the groups were drawn at the end of August, the 32 clubs were split into four pots. Presumably the weakest teams ended up in the fourth pot. The tables after three days of play show that these teams actually occupy last place in the group in seven cases.

Glasgow Rangers, Viktoria Pilsen, Olympique Marseille, Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic Glasgow, FC Copenhagen and Maccabi Haifa all collected just eight points. That’s one less than what Club Brugge collected. The Belgian champions, in Pot 4, lead their group with nine points and 7-0 goals.

On a surprise scale of 1 to 100, Brugge’s performance against Atlético Madrid, FC Porto and Bayer Leverkusen is at least 99, while the top scorer is straight. Erling Haaland scored five goals and the fact that he only scored two in the 5-0 win against FC Copenhagen is likely due to coach Pep Guardiola replacing him at half-time.

Behind Haaland, the list has a surprise in store, as FC Bayern’s Leroy Sané is second with four goals. Only behind comes his former teammate Robert Lewandowski from FC Barcelona with three goals, who must share third place with six players. Among them is another Bundesliga player and Jude Bellingham, who has only scored four goals in 69 Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund.

Champions League 2022/23 top scorers list
place Last name Association Gates
1. Erling Haaland Manchester City 5
2. Leroy Sane FC Bayern Munich 4
3. Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 3
Robert Lewandowski Barcelona FC 3
Muhammad Kudus Ajax Amsterdam 3
Kylian Mbappé Paris Saint Germain 3
Noah Okafor RB Salzburg 3
Giacomo Raspadori SSC Napoli 3
Piotr Zielinski SSC Napoli 3

A total of 139 goals have been scored in the previous 48 matches, which corresponds to an average of 2.9 per game. SSC Napoli scored 13 goals, equaling the total of groups D and E. The Italians, also leaders in Serie A, won 4-1 against Liverpool, 3-0 at Rangers and, in comeback, 6-1 all ‘Ajax.

So there was no expectation of all the major successes, as is often the case in the Champions League. Of the 48 games so far, however, nine have actually ended with a difference of three goals, seven even with a difference of four or more goals.

On average, six out of ten games end in a home win

The high home win rate is surprising. The home teams have won 29 out of 48 matches, which equates to a 60% share. There have been 13 away wins and only six draws.

For comparison: the home team has so far only won 27 of the 72 Bundesliga games, which corresponds to a share of 37.5%. There were 24 victories for the guests.

Eight wins for the Bundesliga clubs

The Champions League draw, Frankfurter Eintracht’s 0-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, belongs to a German team. Bundesliga teams have won eight of the 15 games and lost six as a result. As usual, Bayern lead the table with nine points and 9-0 goals, but the other four German sides’ chances of reaching the round of 16 are intact, as a look at the individual groups shows.

Group A: tension behind Napoli

SSC Napoli have nine points and the best cards to win heads up against Liverpool and Ajax, even if they lost the second leg. With an exceptional home game against Glasgow Rangers, useless and without goals, Napoli should go on.

  • Group A, table
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Liverpool currently have three points more than Ajax, another game against Rangers ahead of them and perhaps the advantage that Napoli will already qualify for the round of 16 on the final day of play. But the side of German manager Jürgen Klopp are currently showing many weaknesses, especially in the defensive phase, they have a difficult program in the Premier League ahead of them and the away match in Amsterdam. The Dutch champion therefore rightly hopes to advance.

Group B: It couldn’t be more open

Club Brugge have nine points, the other three teams behind them have three points each. A group can hardly be more open.

  • Group B, table
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Bayer Leverkusen have the advantage of being able to host leaders and FC Porto in their own stadium, possibly with the push of new manager Xabi Alonso.

Group C: Barcelona and Inter face a very important match

Bayern Munich are almost qualified, for the two teams behind them there is a very important game on the fourth day. Inter, who won 1-0 against FC Barcelona on Tuesday 4 October 2022, will then play the second leg in Catalonia.

  • Group C, table
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If the Italians get at least one draw while they are currently three points clear, it will be very difficult for Barcelona to stay in the Champions League.

Group D: Frankfurt with all the possibilities

Sporting have six points in first place, while Olympique Marseille have three in last. In between are Tottenham and Eintracht Frankfurt with four points each.

  • Group D, table
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Means: each team can still win the group, just like being eliminated in fourth place, which does not console even with relegation to the Europa League. There is only one home game left at Frankfurt, but this need not be a disadvantage for Hesse, as the last few months in the Bundesliga and the European Cup have shown.

Group E: Two points between high and low

The fact that Chelsea FC lost to Dinamo Zagreb was one of the biggest surprises of the Champions League so far. The damage, however, is limited, because RB Salzburg, as leaders in the standings, have only one point more than the English who, like Milan, have four points.

  • Group E, table
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With Zagreb on three points, Group E is the tightest game.

Group F: Leipzig with mortgage

Real Madrid lead with nine points and are even further ahead. Leipzig are one point behind Shakhtar Donetsk in third place and also have the disadvantage of losing 4-1 in the first leg to the Ukrainians.

  • Group F, table
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Goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, who tore his cruciate ligament in Celtic’s victory, will also be absent from the remaining three games and beyond.

RB Leipzig won their first Champions League match but lost first-choice goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi. The 32-year-old suffered a serious knee injury.

Group G: Dortmund with the best cards

A 4-1 win at FC Sevilla on Matchday 3 put Borussia Dortmund in a strong starting position. In the return leg on Tuesday (11 October 2022) against the Andalusians, the place in the round of 16 could be made perfect.

  • Group G, table
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The prerequisites for this would be that FC Copenhagen win at most one point against Manchester City and BVB win a second time against Sevilla (with a new manager).

Group H: Juventus under pressure

Juventus may have taken their first win against Maccabi Haifa on matchday three, but the result of the parallel match dampened the joy of the Italians. With Benfica drawing 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain, the Portuguese are four points clear of Juve, as are PSG.

  • Group H, table
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Another advantage for Benfica: the return match against Torino will be played in Lisbon. PSG cannot be expected to fall back to third place.

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