a spectacular and enjoyable first leg

The confrontation in a few Opta stats

– Ajax Amsterdam have not lost any of their 3 trips to Benfica in C1 (1 win, 2 draws), including the most recent with a 1-1 draw in the group stage in November 2018.
Benfica have won only 2 of their last 11 C1 matches against a Dutch club (4 draws, 5 losses), against Feyenoord in March 1972 and against PSV Eindhoven in September 1998.

– Since 2018/19, Ajax Amsterdam have not lost any of their 4 Champions League matches against Portuguese clubs (3 wins, 1 draw), including 2 wins against Sporting Portugal in the group stage this season. Ajax have scored 9 goals in those 2 encounters, the highest tally for a team against the same opponent in 2021/22 (along with Bayern Munich v Benfica and Manchester City v Club Brugge).

– Ajax Amsterdam have each won their 6 Champions League matches this season, the longest winning streak for a Dutch club in C1. If successful, Ajax would establish the longest streak of consecutive victories in the most prestigious of European competitions for a club not playing in one of the 5 major championships (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

– Benfica have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 Champions League matches, including the 2 most recent. Bayern Munich is the only team to have scored against the Lisbon club over this period (9 goals scored in the 2 group stage matches this season).

– Ajax Amsterdam striker Sébastien Haller has scored 10 goals in 6 Champions League matches, the highest tally for a player in his first 6 appearances in the competition. Erling Haaland is the only other player to have scored 7 goals in his first 7 LdC matches, including a double against Paris in his 7th meeting (in the round of 16). Haller will, meanwhile, play his first knockout match in the event.

– Since his Champions League debut in September 2018, Dusan Tadic (Ajax Amsterdam) has delivered more last passes before a shot in play than any other player in the competition (77). 11 of these passes resulted in an assist, only Kylian Mbappé (16) did better over the period.

– Benfica coach Nelson Verissimo will take charge of his first Champions League game, having replaced Jorge Jesus at the end of the group stage. Only one of the last 5 coaches to have started in the knockout phase in the event managed to win (3 draws, 1 loss), it was Edin Terzic with Dortmund against Sevilla in the round of 16 of the season past.

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