Europa Conference League stats: Alternative stars of the quarter-final first legs
Friday, 8 April 2022
Who made the most saves, crosses, clearances, ball recoveries and completed passes in the quarter-final first legs? Dimitri Payet scored a stunner - but which other ranking does he top?
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UEFA.com has a treasure trove of statistics to highlight the players starring in the UEFA Europa Conference League, Europe's newest club competition.
In this piece, presented by Swissquote, we sift through the data to see who earned top billing across a number of match-defining metrics.
Most passes completed
104 Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
100 Jonny Evans (Leicester)
82 Brede Moe (Bodø/Glimt)
81 William Saliba (Marseille)
77 Duje Ćaleta-Car (Marseille)
The Foxes' 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven was a game of tactical chess at times, with defenders Wesley Fofana and Jonny Evans cast in the knights' roles, guarding their 'king' and keeping play moving. Some 13 of Fofana's 117 pass attempts went astray, but only four of Evans' 104 were incomplete: a 96% completion rate.
5 Dimitri Payet (Marseille)
4 Alexander Bah (Slavia Praha)
3 Cengiz Ünder (Marseille)
2 Ivan Schranz (Slavia Praha)
2 Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester)
2 Orkun Kökçü (Feyenoord)
Dimitri Payet's strike against PAOK was a goal for the ages, but the 35-year-old showed that he had more to his game with his incisive crosses, including the one that set up Gerson for Marseille's opener. Danish right-back Alexander Bah proved to be a useful outlet for Slavia at Feyenoord and will hope to be even more so in the return leg in Prague.
14 André Ramalho (PSV Eindhoven)
13 Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
12 Ricardo Pereira (Leicester)
9 Timothy Castagne (Leicester)
9 Ibrahim Sangaré (PSV Eindhoven)
The Leicester vs PSV game was goalless but full of attacking intent, with both teams repeatedly dispossessing each other as the balls recovered statistics confirm. The top five featured in this one match, with three more PSV players and one Leicester man - Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall - among those who recovered seven balls.
9 Wesley Fofana (Leicester)
7 José Ángel Crespo (PAOK)
7 Marius Høibråten (Bodø/Glimt)
7 André Ramalho (PSV Eindhoven)
7 Mauro Júnior (PSV Eindhoven)
In addition to topping the completed passes list, Fofana did plenty of bread-and-butter defending as well, clearing Leicester's lines nine times. PAOK and Bodø/Glimt are both up against higher-ranked sides in their quarter-finals and had a fair amount of defending to do, though Marseille found their way through the Greek side's rearguard regularly...
8 Alexandros Paschalakis (PAOK)
3 Yvon Mvogo (PSV Eindhoven)
3 Ondřej Kolář (Slavia Praha)
3 Nikita Haikin (Bodø/Glimt)
2 Rui Patrício (Roma)
... and found Alexandros Paschalakis in form. Nettled after conceding early in the second half, Marseille poured forward in a bid to restore their two-goal advantage. Payet's goal may be the thing that is remembered most about this tie in years to come, but the goalkeeper's performance may live longer in PAOK fans' memories if they make it to the semis.