Conquerors of Lazio, Portuguese league leaders Porto face another tricky tie as they take on Lyon, who registered the most points in this season's group stage.
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Conquerors of Lazio in the knockout round play-offs, Portuguese league leaders Porto face another tricky UEFA Europa League tie as they take on Lyon, who registered more points than any other team in this season's group stage.
• Porto failed to make it five successive qualifications from the UEFA Champions League group stage in the autumn as they lost their final Group B fixture at home to Atlético de Madrid, who consequently went through at their expense. Instead Sérgio Conceição's team moved across to the UEFA Europa League, where they came out on top in a closely contested tie with Lazio, winning 2-1 at home before holding the Italian side to a 2-2 draw in Rome.
• Lyon cruised through UEFA Europa League Group A, ensuring top spot in a section containing Rangers, Sparta Praha and Brøndby with two games to spare and dropping points only in their final fixture, a 1-1 home draw with the Scottish champions, who finished eight points adrift as runners-up.
• Porto have had the better of the clubs' past meetings, winning both ties – in the 1964/65 European Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round (3-0 h, 1-0 a) and the quarter-final of the their triumphant 2003/04 UEFA Champions League campaign, when José Mourinho's side overcame Paul Le Guen's Lyon 4-2 on aggregate (2-0 h, 2-2 a).
• Porto's all-time record against French clubs is W16 D6 L5. Three-nil victors against another Ligue 1 outfit, Monaco, in the 2004 UEFA Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen, they have won all but one of their five two-legged ties with teams from France, losing only the first – to Nantes in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round (0-2 h, 1-1 a). At home they are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against French visitors (W10 D2), winning the last six. Home and away, they are also on a six-match winning run, having done the double over Marseille (3-0 h, 2-0 a) in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Lyon have won just five of their 15 UEFA matches against Portuguese clubs (D4 L6), two of those in Portugal – against Farense and Vitória SC. Most recently they lost 2-1 at Benfica on Matchday 3 of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League but won the return 3-1 at home and returned to Lisbon for the latter stages, where they shocked Manchester City with a 3-1 victory in the quarter-final before losing 3-0 in the semi-final to eventual champions Bayern München.
• Porto finished second in the 2020/21 Portuguese Liga, five points behind champions Sporting CP, and also reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were knocked out by eventual winners Chelsea, both matches having been staged in Seville (0-2 h, 1-0 a).
• Porto recorded just five points in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage – eight fewer than last season – but were still in a strong position to finish second behind runaway leaders Liverpool in Group B going into their final fixture. However, a 1-3 loss to Atlético at the Estádio do Dragão left them in third place, two points behind the Spanish side but one ahead of fourth-placed AC Milan, against whom they registered their only win of the section, 1-0 at home on Matchday 3.
• This is the third time that Porto have participated in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. Competition winners in their debut campaign, under André Villas-Boas in 2010/11, when they ousted CSKA Moskva at this stage (1-0 a, 2-1 h), they also came through the round of 16 in 2013/14, beating Napoli (1-0 h, 2-2 a), before losing in the last eight to Sevilla.
• Porto's victory against Lazio on 17 February was the first time they had ever won their opening home game in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase (D1 L4) – though they have won all five from the round of 16 onwards. The club's elimination from Europe in each of the last six seasons has come in ties in which they were defeated at home.
• Lyon finished the 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign in fourth place, seven points behind champions LOSC Lille, to return to European competition after a rare season's absence as direct qualifiers for the UEFA Europa League group stage. In their most recent continental campaign they reached the semi-finals of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League.
• Peter Bosz's side beat Rangers 2-0 away in their opening UEFA Europa League group game before doing the double over both Sparta (4-3 a, 3-0 h) and Brøndby (3-0 h, 3-1 a). A full set of victories eluded them when they were held at home by Rangers on Matchday 6, but their final tally of 16 points was three more than any other team managed across the eight groups.
• Les Gones have won more matches in the UEFA Europa League than any other French club (26), also scoring more goals (86). This is their fourth participation in the round of 16, and while they were victorious at this stage at the first two attempts – against Viktoria Plzeň in 2013/14 (4-1 h, 1-2 a) and Roma in 2016/17 (4-2 h, 1-2 a) – they missed out in their most recent contest, succumbing on away goals to CSKA Moskva in 2017/18 (1-0 a, 2-3 h).
• Lyon have won their last five away matches in the UEFA Europa League, including knockout phase successes at Villarreal (1-0) and CSKA four seasons ago. However, their overall record on the road in the competition during the spring is W3 D1 L6. They have also lost their last six away games in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, failing to win any of the last 11 (D2 L9).
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Galeno (Braga), Rúben Semedo (Olympiacos, loan), Stephen Eustáquio (Paços de Ferreira, loan)
Out: Jesús Corona (Sevilla), Luis Díaz (Liverpool), Nanu (Dallas, loan), Sérgio Oliveira (Roma, loan)
In: Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham, loan), Romain Faivre (Brest)
Out: Cédric Augarreau (Virton, loan), Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle), Florent Da Silva (Villefranche, loan), Reo Griffiths (Doncaster), Marcelo (Bordeaux), Islam Slimani (Sporting CP), Eli Wissa (Villefranche, loan)
Links and trivia
• Porto's Pepe and Lyon's Anthony Lopes were both members of the Portugal squad that won UEFA EURO 2016 in France, the former earning the Man of the Match award in the 1-0 final win against the hosts.
• Porto's Diogo Costa is a current rival to Lopes for the national team goalkeeper's jersey, while his club colleagues Otávio and Rúben Semedo have also been capped by Portugal.
• Pepe faced Lyon four times in the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and was never on the losing side (W3 D1).
• Lyon's Jérôme Boateng scored for Bayern München in their 6-1 home win against Porto in the second leg of the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League quarter-final. He had also been in the Bayern side that lost the first leg 3-1 at the Estádio do Dragão.
• Sérgio Conceição was the head coach of French Ligue 1 club Nantes between December 2016 and June 2017, when he left to take over at Porto.
• Lyon head coach Bosz was the man in charge of the Bayer Leverkusen side that knocked Conceição's Porto out of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League in the round of 32 (2-1 h, 3-1 a).
• Porto's January signing Galeno scored six goals in the UEFA Europa League group stage for Braga and remains the competition's joint top scorer entering the round of 16 alongside Lyon's Karl Toko Ekambi.
• Porto defeated Lyon 5-3 at home in a pre-season friendly on 31 July 2021.
• Porto are one of two clubs involved in the round of 16 that have previously won the UEFA Europa League, the other four-time winners Sevilla. They are also one of three former European Cup/UEFA Champions League winners taking part – together with Barcelona and Crvena zvezda.
• Porto are unbeaten in this season's Portuguese Liga with 21 wins in 25 matches, the latest 4-2 at Paços de Ferreira on Sunday, and top the table six points ahead of defending champions Sporting CP. Lyon, meanwhile, sit ninth in Ligue 1, 21 points adrift of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.