The UEFA Europa League threw up its usual mix of drama, surprise and excitement on Thursday – UEFA.com's resident statistician looks back on the round of 16, picking out ten items of interest.
1. For the first time in the four UEFA Europa League seasons, the advantage in the round of 16 went to the teams playing at home second. Five of the eight sides hosting the return leg went through, compared with four in 2009/10 and three apiece in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
2. For the first time in any UEFA Europa League round, more than one tie went to extra time. Indeed, the match between FC Internazionale Milano and Tottenham Hotspur FC was only the second in the competition to be decided by the away goals rule after extra time – following the Liverpool FC v Club Atlético de Madrid semi-final in 2009/10.
3. The Inter-Tottenham tie was also the first in the UEFA Europa League to finish 4-4 on aggregate – the competition's 30th different aggregate scoreline. The most common is 3-2, which has occurred 14 times. This season the most common aggregate is 2-1 (five times).
4. Newcastle United FC's fourth successive clean sheet equalled the competition record – set by four other teams, all this term.
5. S.S. Lazio are the only surviving side from the group stage with an unbeaten record, which stands at ten games – five behind Atlético's competition record. SL Benfica, who transferred over from the UEFA Champions League before the knockout phase, have perfect statistics of four wins from four in the knockout stage.
6. Benfica's victory over FC Girondins de Bordeaux was their 17th in 24 UEFA Europa League outings, giving the Eagles a win ratio of 70.8% – 0.2% higher than that of domestic rivals and 2010/11 winners FC Porto.
7. Despite their elimination by FC Basel 1893, FC Zenit St Petersburg's 1-0 success means they have the best win ratio of any UEFA Europa League participant, at 71.4%. They also have an optimal total of seven home wins out of seven and have never registered a draw in 14 matches – both competition highs.
8. Óscar Cardozo's two goals for Benfica in Bordeaux took his tally in the UEFA Europa League to 16 – making him the second-highest scorer outright, behind Atlético's Falcao (31). He needs one more to match the record haul for one club, Falcao having scored 17 of his goals for Porto.
9. Chelsea were the only team in the last 16 to advance to the quarter-finals after losing the first leg, overturning a 1-0 deficit to beat FC Steaua Bucureşti 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. Steaua themselves had been the sole club to make a successful recovery from a first-leg defeat in the previous round.
10. Two of the eight sides that joined the competition from the UEFA Champions League group stage are through to the quarter-finals – Benfica and Chelsea. They will be hoping to emulate the feat of inaugural winners Atlético, who triumphed in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League after entering at the last 32.
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