Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

By the numbers: Europe's elite strikers shine in Champions League action

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 kicked off Tuesday, with three of Europe’s top strikers putting on impressive individual displays in a pair of entertaining tilts. Tottenham‘s Harry Kane broke through Juventus‘ steadfast backline, Gonzalo Higuain netted a brace in under 10 minutes, and Sergio Aguero helped Manchester City to a resounding 4-0 victory over FC Basel.

The three proved to be the stars of the day, though it was Christian Eriksen‘s free-kick that gave Spurs a 2-2 draw against Juventus. Here are some interesting stats and figures from the first day of this round of continental competition:

0: How many goals Juventus had conceded in all of 2018 before Kane happened.

1: Juventus conceded just one goal in its last 16 matches, which came at Hellas Verona‘s hands in a 3-1 win Dec. 30, 2017.

2: With his second-minute goal, Higuain scored the fastest goal Tottenham has ever conceded in the Champions League. It’s also the first time Juventus has conceded twice in two years – the last coming in February 2016 against Bayern Munich in a 2-2 draw.

4: Aguero has scored in all four of his Champions League away fixtures this season. The only other player to do that? Dwight Yorke for Manchester United in 1998-99.

6:54: Higuain’s first goal was clocked at the 1 minute, 12-second mark, while his second from the penalty spot crossed the line at 8 minutes and 6 seconds. That difference of 6 minutes and 54 seconds accounts for the fastest brace Juventus has scored in European Cup/Champions League history.

7: The number of goals Steven Gerrard scored for Liverpool in the 2008-09 Champions League season, the most by an English player in a single Champions League campaign. With his 35th-minute strike, Kane equaled Gerrard’s tally.

9: Kane has scored nine goals in as many Champions League matches, more than any other player at this interval. Ronaldinho, Simone Inzaghi, Didier Drogba, and Diego Costa all scored eight goals by their nine-match marks, but Kane surpassed them when he rounded Gianluigi Buffon and cut the Old Lady’s lead in half.

33: Kane’s goal also makes him the top scorer among Europe’s top five leagues this season. Not too shabby.

34: The number of matches Manchester City has won in all competitions in its 2017-18 campaign. Last season, the club won 33 matches total.

100: Alex Sandro featured in his 100th match for Juventus today, but it’s also the number of days that Juventus hadn’t conceded at home. The last time the Old Lady allowed a goal at Juventus Stadium was against Benevento‘s Amato Ciciretti on Nov. 5, 2017.

650: The number of days Vincent Kompany had to wait before returning to the field for a Champions League match. The Manchester City veteran’s last appearance in the competitions came May 4, 2016 against Real Madrid.

694: Kane’s goal ended a streak of 694 consecutive minutes in which Buffon hadn’t conceded a goal for either Juventus or Italy. His last one? Sweden‘s World Cup-clinching goal in November.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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