United and City struggle in the CL

November, 22, 2011

Here is a look at five noteworthy stats and trends from today's Champions League action, along with Soccer Power Index predictions for the two Manchester squads.

• Manchester City fell 2-1 to Napoli, losing control of its destiny in the Champions League in the process. Napoli is now unbeaten in its last 11 home European matches, last losing in 1994.

• In the defeat City dominated possession for the entire match, completing 673 passes compared with 242 for Napoli. City also outpassed Napoli in the final third 147 to 55.

• The loss ensures that Napoli will own the tiebreaker against City should the two wind up level on points after their final matches. On the last match day City hosts group winners Bayern Munich while Napoli will travel to Villarreal. City will need to beat Bayern and hope for a Napoli draw or loss. According to ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) Napoli is a 73 percent favorite to advance to the group stage.

• The "other" squad in Manchester also struggled as United was able to muster only a draw against Benfica. The draw means Benfica is through to the knockout round and United must win or draw on the road to Basel on the last match to reach the knockouts. SPI gives United an 83 percent chance of accomplishing just that.

• Elsewhere Real Madrid and Bayern Munich each secured the top spot in their respective groups. Madrid and Bayern completed 734 and 717 passes respectively, the two highest team passing outputs in a Champions League match this season for squads not named Barcelona. Barcelona has the top three Champions League passing outputs of the season and the top seven dating back to 2010-11.

Paul Carr

Stats & Information



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