Group-stage picture painted by number

From Alberto Zapater’s opening goal to FC Salzburg’s perfect haul of 18 points from six games, looks back at the stand-out facts and figures of the inaugural UEFA Europa League group stage.1 Hat-trick scored: Liedson (Sporting Clube de Portugal 3-2 SC Heerenveen).

2 Number of FC Timişoara goalkeepers who saved Luis Suárez penalties on Matchday 5: Costel Pantilimon and, after he was dismissed, Pedro Taborda. AFC Ajax nevertheless won 2-1 with Suárez scoring the opening goal.

2.56 Average goals per game in the group stage. A total of 369 goals in 144 matches ensuring a marginally higher ratio than the UEFA Champions League (2.48).

4 Minutes it took for Genoa CFC’s Alberto Zapater to score the first ever UEFA Europa League group-stage goal.

5 Biggest winning margin: SL Benfica 5-0 Everton on Matchday 3.

6 Goals scored by the competition’s leading scorer so far, Athletic Club striker Fernando Llorente.

8 Nations represented by the eight teams transferring from the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa League this winter: Italy, Germany, France, Spain, England, Russia, Romania and Belgium.

9 Own goals scored, including two apiece by Panathinaikos FC and FK Partizan.

14.83 Average attempts on goal by Ajax per match.

16 Number of European Champion Clubs’ Cups won between the sides that will line up in the round of 32: Liverpool FC 5, Ajax 4, Juventus 2, Benfica 2, Olympique de Marseille 1, Hamburger SV 1, PSV Eindhoven 1.

17 Losing finalists in May’s UEFA Cup showpiece, Werder Bremen were the highest scorers in the group stage.

18 Points picked up by FC Salzburg, the only side to finish the group stage with a 100 per cent record.

20 Panathinaikos striker Djibril Cissé was caught offside once every 20 minutes, 18 times in total.

22 S.S. Lazio were shown more yellow cards than any other team.

23 Goals scored in second-half added time in 144 games, compared to just six in additional time at the end of the first period. As this statistic shows, clubs were increasing susceptible as games wore on.

24 National associations represented in the group stage including – for the first time in any UEFA club competition – Moldova and Latvia.

26 Number of successfully converted penalties.

34 Shots on target in FC Twente’s goalless draw with FC Steaua Bucureşti. The most of any match.

39 Age of SK Slavia Praha’s Martin Vaniak, the competition’s oldest player.

37 Players sent off in 144 group-stage games.

53 Sparta Praha’s win against CFR 1907 Cluj on Matchday 4 included more fouls – not to mention a record-equalling 34 shots on goal – than any other game.

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