Europa League stats dive: unsung heroes of Matchday 1
Friday, September 17, 2021
Who made the most saves, crosses and clearances, and who the most completed passes this week?
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Goalscorers get the glory, but there are plenty more measures of a player's contribution than the names on the scoresheet.
UEFA.com sifts through the Matchday 1 stats to pick out some less heralded high-achievers.
Most passes completed
111: William Saliba (Marseille)
111: Boubacar Kamara (Marseille)
100: Valentin Rongier (Marseille)
99: Ruben Aguilar (Monaco)
95: Álvaro González (Marseille)
Four of the top five in terms of pass completion came from Marseille, though they could only draw at Lokomotiv Moskva in their opening game. Arsenal loanee William Saliba's record is slightly better than Boubacar Kamara's in the sense that he attempted only 113 to his team-mate's 117, giving him a 98% completion rate. Leverkusen's Jonathan Tah had an even better completion rate (99%), but was sixth in the rankings in terms of completed passes, with 85.
11: Evander (Midtjylland)
6: Borna Barišić (Rangers)
6: James Tavernier (Rangers)
6: Jota (Celtic)
A 1-1 home draw with Ludogorets may not have been the result Midtjylland were after, but it was not for want of effort on the part of Evander, who set up Gustav Isaksen for the Danish side's third-minute opener and kept finding team-mates from wide positions throughout. The 23-year-old Brazilian had five more completed crosses than any other player in the competition.
12: Bryan Heynen (Genk)
10: Jhon Lucumi (Genk)
9: Aleksandar Dragović (Crvena zvezda)
9: Sébastien Pérez (Marseille)
9: Evan N’Dicka (Frankfurt)
9: Eldar Ćivić (Ferencváros)
9: Serdar Aziz (Fenerbahçe)
9: Henrik Dalsgaard (Midtjylland)
Genk struck late to win 1-0 at Rapid Wien, with midfielder and captain Bryan Heynen and Colombian centre-back Jhon Lucumi both showing plenty of initiative, recovering 22 balls for their team between them. Genk were the away side, but had the bulk of possession (57%) and more passes and shots on goal.
11: Aritz Elustondo (Real Sociedad)
11: Minjae Kim (Fenerbahçe)
9: Samuel Gigot (Spartak Moskva)
9: Jannik Verstergaard (Leicester)
9: Stanislav Makgeev (Lokomotiv Moskva)
9: David Affengruber (Sturm Graz)
9: Samy Mmaee (Ferencváros)
Real Sociedad were overwhelmed at times during their visit to PSV Eindhoven but managed to come away with a 2-2 draw, right-back Aritz Elustondo playing a key role in clearing the lines. Fenerbahçe had their own captain of industry as they held Frankfurt 1-1 in Germany, Korean centre-back Minjae Kim doing plenty of tidying up.
6: Dénes Dibusz (Ferencváros)
5: Joe Hart (Celtic)
5: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)
5: Guilherme (Lokomotiv Moskva)
5: Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray)
Ferencváros lost 2-1 at Leverkusen after taking an eighth-minute lead, but it might have been a much more dramatic turnaround had Dénes Dibusz not made six saves. He was the busiest goalkeeper of Matchday 1 in that respect, though Joe Hart had a frantic night with Celtic at Real Betis, saving five but conceding four.