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Europa League stats dive: High achievers of the group stage

Who made the most saves, crosses, clearances, ball recoveries and completed passes across the entire group stage?

Marseille's William Saliba, Frankfurt's Filip Kostić and Lazio's Francesco Acerbi
Marseille's William Saliba, Frankfurt's Filip Kostić and Lazio's Francesco Acerbi

UEFA.com has a treasure trove of statistics covering many aspects of play to enhance the UEFA Europa League.

In this piece, presented by Swissquote, we sift through the data to pick out the stand-out displays across the entire group stage.

Check out the Europa League stats

Most passes completed

Highlights: Marseille 1-0 Lokomotiv Moskva

522: William Saliba (Marseille)
392: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio)
387: Luan Peres (Marseille)
368: Olivier Boscagli (PSV)
356: Çağlar Söyüncü (Leicester)

Saliba has been a class apart in this category from the word go. The 20-year-old centre-back topped the standings on the first and last matchdays courtesy of his two displays against Lokomotiv Moskva and was fourth on Matchdays 2 and 3 too. Acerbi, Peres and Boscagli can thank consistency for their high positions – the latter two have not made the top five on any individual matchday – with Söyüncü the only other name on this list to earn a first place so far this season after his efforts against Spartak Moskva on Matchday 4.

Crosses completed

Highlights: Frankfurt 3-1 Olympiacos

22: Filip Kostić (Frankfurt)
22: Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)
18: Borna Barišić (Rangers)
17: James Tavernier (Rangers)
17: Aaron Cresswell (West Ham)

Kostić and Januzaj forged alternative paths to take their places at the head of this table. The Frankfurt schemer won the category on Matchdays 2 and 3 while it was not until the latter game that Real Sociedad's livewire truly emerged, ending with a first and second billing in the matchweek rankings from that point on. The manner of their inclusion was different too, with Kostić completing no more than six crosses in any of his five appearances whereas Januzaj racked up ten on Matchday 4 alone. Rangers duo Barišić and Tavernier were in the front three on three and two matchdays respectively to cement their status in the final group-stage reckoning.

Balls recovered

Highlights: Sparta Praha 2-0 Brøndby

54: Andreas Maxsø (Brøndby)
46: David Pavelka (Sparta Praha)
44: Olivier Boscagli (PSV)
42: Dinis Almeida (Antwerp)
41: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio)

Maxsø went from a murmur to a crescendo to romp clear in this category. The Brøndby stopper had to wait until Matchday 4 to feature on any list but sealed his place atop the group-stage chart with 14 recoveries in their final outing at Sparta Praha. Pavelka's dozen in the same game ensured he ranked second here, with Boscagli's position enhanced by his 12 interventions on Matchday 2. A side note on Maxsø, Boscagli and Acerbi: they are the only three players to merit a place in these overall group ratings in more than one category.


Highlights: Real Sociedad 1-1 Sturm

39: David Affengruber (Sturm)
36: Igor Plastun (Ludogorets)
32: Samuel Gigot (Spartak Moskva)
31: Mateusz Wieteska (Legia)
30: Andreas Maxsø (Brøndby)
30: Georgi Dzhikiya (Spartak Moskva)

Joint-third in the maiden matchweek rankings, 20-year-old Affengruber underlined his potential with a group-stage high 16 clearances in their Matchday 4 draw at Real Sociedad. That tally remains three higher than anyone else managed in any other Europa League game. Plastun's category-winning dozen in Ludogorets' final outing sealed second place for him ahead of the remarkably consistent Gigot – the Spartak Moskva centre-back figured in the top four on no less than three occasions.

Most saves

Highlights: Celtic 2-0 Ferencváros

24: Dénes Dibusz (Ferencváros)
23: Joe Hart (Celtic)
20: Lukas Hradecky (Leverkusen)
20: Mads Hermansen (Brøndby)
20: Cezary Miszta (Legia)
20: Maarten Vandevoordt (Genk)

The early birds caught the worms in this classification. An action-packed Group G spawned 44 goals but that total would have been even higher were it not for the exploits of the Ferencváros and Celtic goalkeepers, who had a first and second place in these rankings in the first three editions. Miszta, meanwhile, actually topped the charts twice and made his 20 saves over only four matches. Experience may have won the day here with Dibusz, Hart and Hradecky taking the honours but the future is certainly bright with chasers Hermansen, Miszta and Vandevoordt all aged 21 or under.

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