Champions League assists: Bruno Fernandes finishes group stages as best in Europe
The Champions League group stages are now over, with Villarreal beating Atalanta last night in their postponed group match due to snow on Wednesday.
The Spanish side finish as runners-up to Manchester United in the group and reach the knockout rounds. United won’t be able to draw them in the last 16.
The group stages being over mean there are number of individual feats which can be compared, with United’s stars coming out pretty favourably.
Bruno Fernandes is Champions League’s most creative player
Bruno Fernandes ranks number one for assists with six in the Champions League. This is good going considering he did not even play in the final group game.
Ajax’s Antony managed five, while Bayern’s Leroy Sane and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe each managed four assists.
Per FBRef.com, when comparing assists per 90 minutes, Fernandes is averaging 1.49 per game, with the next nearest player Antony, averaging 1.14.
The highlight of Fernandes’ assists was undoubtedly his backheel for Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal away at Atalanta.
Ronaldo among the top goalscorers
The big surprise of the Champions League this season is Ajax forward Sebastien Haller, with the former West Ham man scoring 10 goals in six games. Robert Lewandowski was not far behind with nine.
Ronaldo has a very creditable six goals in five games. United supporters are very thankful for his goals, as without him, who knows if we would have made it through to the knockout stages.
Six goals is a good return from Ronaldo, and surely if he had played in the final group game at home to Young Boys, he would have added to his figures and got a bit closer to Haller.
Numbers from FBRef.com show Ronaldo had 13 shots on target, the joint-highest of all players in the Champions League so far this season.
Rangnick’s pressing imprint can be seen in the numbers for top ‘pressures’. Three of the top four players for successfull pressures and four of the top eight, play either for Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, two clubs where Rangnick implemented his plans and core beliefs.
Who can Manchester United draw?
There are six teams United can draw in the last 16, of varying degrees of difficulty.
These are: Paris Saint-Germain, Sporting, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Benfica, Red Bull Salzburg.
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