Genk v Salzburg facts
Genk’s UEFA Champions League campaign has come to an early end, although the Belgian champions can still claim the consolation of a UEFA Europa League place as they welcome a Salzburg side who inflicted a heavy defeat on them in their Matchday 1 encounter and still harbour hopes of finishing in the top two in Group E.
• The Austrian club marked their first group game since 1994/95 with a 6-2 victory against Genk – themselves appearing at this stage for the first time in eight years – on the opening night, Erling Braut Haaland serving notice of his emerging talent with a first-half hat-trick on his UEFA Champions League debut. Hee-Chan Hwang (36), Dominik Szoboszlai (45+2) and Andreas Ulmer (66) were also on target as Salzburg marked their return in emphatic fashion, Genk’s consolation goals coming from Jhon Lucumí (40) and Ally Mbwana Samatta (52).
• Salzburg have since added only one point to their tally, however, and trail Liverpool (nine points) and Napoli (eight). The Austrian champions will be unable to finish in the top two if they do not beat Genk, while a draw would confirm them in third place.
• Genk, who parted company with coach Felice Mazzù on 12 November, have a single point to their name and can no longer finish in the top two. They will be confirmed in fourth place unless they beat Salzburg.
• The Matchday 1 defeat at Salzburg was Genk’s heaviest loss in continental competition since a 7-0 defeat at Valencia in the UEFA Champions League group stage in November 2011 – their biggest European defeat. The Belgian side held Napoli 0-0 on Matchday 2 to collect their only point, before going down home (1-4) and away (1-2) against holders Liverpool to confirm their elimination.
• Genk have conceded 16 goals in their last five European fixtures, scoring five.
• Belgian champions for the fourth time in 2018/19, Genk qualified automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stage this season for the first time, their previous appearances, in 2002/03 and 2011/12, having both involved at least one qualifying tie.
• The Belgian club are still awaiting their first victory in the UEFA Champions League proper. In 2002/03 they drew four of their six matches but still finished bottom of a section involving Real Madrid, Roma and AEK Athens; eight years later, they drew all three home games but lost all their away matches in a section also including Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia.
• Genk have played more UEFA Champions League group stage matches without a win (16) than any other participating team.
• In 2018/19 Genk won all six qualifying matches to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage – scoring 22 goals in the process – where they finished ahead of Malmö, Beşiktaş and Sarpsborg. Slavia Praha proved too strong in the round of 32, however, the Czech club winning 4-1 at the KRC Genk Arena after a goalless draw in Prague.
• Genk have lost only three of their 13 home UEFA Champions League matches (W4 D6), qualifying included, and were unbeaten in six (W2 D4), since a 2-1 loss against Sarajevo in the 2007/08 second qualifying round, before losing to Liverpool on Matchday 3.
• Genk have lost only two of their last 18 home European matches (W12 D4), although those defeats, against Slavia last season and Liverpool this, have come in their last three matches.
• Genk have scored at least once in 32 of their last 34 European matches, the exceptions the first leg against Slavia last season and against Napoli on Matchday 2.
• The Belgian side are unbeaten at home against Austrian visitors (W1 D1), most recently defeating Rapid Wien 1-0 in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• In the 6-2 win against Genk on Matchday 1, Salzburg scored five goals in the first half – only the seventh team to do so in the UEFA Champions League.
• Haaland’s three goals made him the eighth player to score a UEFA Champions League debut hat-trick, and the first to do so in the first half. Aged 19 years 58 days, the Norwegian is the third youngest player to score a UEFA Champions League hat-trick, behind Raúl González (18 years 113 days) and Wayne Rooney (18 years 340 days).
• Salzburg scored another three goals in their second fixture, but conceded four to lose against Liverpool at Anfield. Haaland was also on target in that game, adding three against Napoli (2-3 home, 1-1 away) to make it seven goals in his first four UEFA Champions League appearances – the first player to achieve that feat. The Norwegian tops this season’s goal charts, one ahead of Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski.
• The Austrian club won a sixth successive Bundesliga title in 2018/19 – their 13th overall – adding the Austrian Cup to complete a domestic double for the sixth time, all since 2011/12. As Austrian champions, Salzburg qualified automatically for the group stage.
• Salzburg’s sole previous UEFA Champions League group stage appearance came in 1994/95, their European Cup debut, when they finished third in a group involving eventual winners Ajax, a Milan side who went on to lose to the Dutch club in the final, and AEK Athens. With two points then awarded for a win, Salzburg picked up five from their six matches, a 3-1 victory away to AEK their sole success.
• Of Salzburg’s seven consecutive eliminations in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds between 2012/13 and 2018/19, three took place in the play-offs, including last season’s defeat against Crvena zvezda (0-0 a, 2-2 h).
• The Austrian club therefore moved into the UEFA Europa League, a competition in which they had reached the semi-finals in 2017/18, and won all six of their group games for the third time – a competition record – to head a section including Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg. Marco Rose’s side then beat Belgium’s Club Brugge in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 4-0 h), before bowing out against Napoli (0-3 a, 3-1 h).
• Before drawing at Napoli this term, Salzburg had lost three successive European away games having suffered only two defeats in the previous 17 (W9 D6).
• Defeat at Liverpool on Matchday 2 ended Salzburg’s seven-match unbeaten run in UEFA Champions League away games (W4 D3), all qualifiers, stretching back to a 3-0 loss at Malmö in the 2015/16 third qualifying round second leg. They have, however, won only one of their last five away games in the competition (D3 L1), while Matchday 1 is their only competition win in six matches, home and away (D3 L2).
• Salzburg have won seven of their 13 matches against Belgian clubs and four of the last five. Away from home their record is W2 L4, the most recent visit bringing that 2-1 defeat at Club Brugge in last season’s UEFA Europa League.
Links and trivia
• Genk’s Joakim Mæhle was a Denmark team-mate of Salzburg’s Rasmus Kristensen at this summer’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship, scoring twice in a 3-1 win against Austria.
• Have played together:
Paul Onachu & Rasmus Kristensen (Midtjylland 2015–18)
• International team-mates:
Sander Berge & Erling Braut Haaland (Norway)
Joseph Paintsil & Majeed Ashimeru (Ghana)
Junya Ito & Takumi Minamino (Japan)