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Match facts: Barcelona v Benfica

Published: Sunday 2 December 2012, 2.45CET
Match facts: Barcelona v Benfica
Barcelona secured top spot in Group G on matchday five ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Sunday 2 December 2012, 2.45CET

Match facts: Barcelona v Benfica


UEFA Champions League statistics
• Xavi Hernández has completed 663 passes, over 300 more than any other player in the group stage. Barcelona's pass completion of 3834/4427 is also a competition high.

• Lionel Messi's double on matchday five took his total to 56 UEFA Champions League goals, level with Ruud van Nistelrooy and behind only Raúl González (71).

• Messi has been UEFA Champions League top scorer for an unprecedented four successive campaigns. He has five goals this season and is the joint leading marksman along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan and Burak Yılmaz.

• Víctor Valdés, Javier Mascherano and Messi have played every minute of Barça's group campaign.

• Alex Song, Mascherano and Pedro Rodríguez's next bookings will incur a suspension.

• Gerard Piqué scored his first goal of the season on Saturday as Barcelona beat Athletic Club 5-1. Adriano was also on target with his fourth Liga goal of the season – his best ever top-flight return

• Messi struck twice and has scored 84 goals for club and country in 2012, just one shy of Gerd Müller's all-time record for a calendar year set in 1972. He has now equalled César Rodríguez's club record of 190 Liga goals, having surpassed César's overall record of 232 club goals in March.

• With 13 wins and a draw from their opening 14 games, Barcelona have beaten Real Madrid CF's record for the best-ever start to a Liga campaign set in 1991/92.

• Barcelona have registered at least once in each of their last 30 games, since last season's UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat by Chelsea FC.

• David Villa passed 300 career goals as Barcelona beat Deportivo Alavés 3-1 on 28 November to wrap up a 6-1 aggregate triumph in the Copa del Rey round of 32.

• Daniel Alves has been out with a pulled hamstring sustained in the 4-0 win at Levante UD on 25 November. Alexis Sánchez has not featured since injuring his ankle playing in Chile on 14 November.

• Éric Abidal continues his recovery from a liver transplant carried out on 10 April, while Marc Muniesa damaged knee ligaments in pre-season and is not in the UEFA Champions League squad.

• Andrés Iniesta and Messi are on the three-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award along with Ronaldo, the winner of which will be announced on 7 January in Zurich. Josep Guardiola, José Mourinho and Vicente del Bosque are nominated for the prize of FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football 2012.


UEFA Champions League statistics
• Bruno César and André Almeida will incur a suspension with their next bookings.

• This is Benfica's third successive group stage campaign, equalling a club record set between 2005 and 2007.

• Benfica have been caught offside five times, the joint lowest total along with Borussia Dortmund and CFR 1907 Cluj.

• Artur, Ezequiel Garay and Melgarejo have played every minute of Benfica's group campaign.

• Benfica did not play at the weekend. They won 2-0 against SC Olhanense on 24 November thanks to an Óscar Cardozo penalty, his seventh Liga goal this term and fourth from the spot, and Luisão's first of the season.

• Jorge Jesus' team beat Moreirense FC – Sporting Clube de Portugal's conquerors the previous round – 2-0 in the last 32 of the Portuguese Cup on 16 November in a game held up for 25 minutes after a floodlight failure. Nemanja Matić struck his first goal since January as Luisão made his first appearance since 2 September after suspension.

• Pablo Aimar has been out of action since 2 October because of a thigh injury.

• Benfica had kept five successive clean sheets prior to the visit of Celtic FC on matchday five; Giorgos Samaras's equaliser was the first time they had been breached in 529 minutes, since Jardel's own goal against FC Spartak Moskva on 23 October.

Last updated: 03/12/12 15.34CET

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