Salzburg closing on Ajax's record unbeaten run

Salzburg's 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their round of 16 tie was their 18th game without defeat in UEFA European club competition, taking them to within three of Ajax's 22-year-old record.

Valon Berisha leads Salzburg's celebrations at Dortmund
Valon Berisha leads Salzburg's celebrations at Dortmund ©Getty Images

Salzburg's 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie has left them three games away from matching a 22-year-old record.

The match was Salzburg's 18th consecutive without defeat in UEFA European club competition, a run stretching back to a 2-0 group stage win at Nice on 3 November 2016. The only longer streak ever recorded was one of 21 by Ajax between 14 September 1994 and 3 April 1996, during which time they won the UEFA Champions League (drawing twice with Salzburg) and lifted the UEFA Super Cup.

Salzburg's run actually began on the back of losing their first three UEFA Europa League group games last season. They managed seven points in the remaining three games but still went out. In a four-game UEFA Champions League qualifying run at the start of this season, Salzburg beat Hibernians of Malta twice but went out to Rijeka on away goals, drawing 1-1 at home and 0-0 in Croatia.

Highlights: Dortmund 1-2 Salzburg
Highlights: Dortmund 1-2 Salzburg

That took Salzburg in to the UEFA Europa League play-offs, and in their campaign the Austrian champions have won seven games and drawn four to take their total unbeaten run to 18. That equals three more streaks without a loss: Ajax's between 1991 and 1993, all in the UEFA Cup; Juventus at the start of this decade, incorporating the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League and 2012/13 UEFA Champions League and including a nine-game succession of draws (two of them against Salzburg); and Lazio at the turn of the century which won them the last UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1998/99 and a UEFA Super Cup.

Salzburg would be seven off the record if Manchester United's run of 25 unbeaten UEFA Champions League games between 19 September 2007 and 27 May 2009 had not been interrupted after the 13th match by a UEFA Super Cup loss to Zenit. Juventus also recorded a 20-game unbeaten run in Europe between 1969 and 1972, but the first 13 of those were in the non-UEFA Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

1995: Ajax win UEFA Champions League
1995: Ajax win UEFA Champions League

Longest unbeaten runs in UEFA European club competition

21 Ajax (14 September 1994–3 April 1996)
18= Ajax (18 September 1991–3 March 1993)
18= Juventus (29 July 2010–2 April 2013)
18= Lazio (17 September 1998–29 February 2000)
18= Salzburg* (3 November 2016–)
17= Borussia Mönchengladbach (2 October 1974–15 September 1977)
17= Borussia Mönchengladbach (13 September 1978–12 December 1979)

*ongoing

Ajax's record run

Memorable Ajax wins
Memorable Ajax wins

14 September 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: W2-0 v AC Milan (h)
28 September 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: W2-1 v AEK Athens (a)
19 October 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: D0-0 v Salzburg (a)
2 November 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: D1-1 v Salzburg (h)
23 November 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: W2-0 v AC Milan (a,
played in Trieste)
7 December 1994, UEFA Champions League group stage: W2-0 v AEK Athens (h)
1 March 1995, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: D0-0 v Hajduk Split (a)
15 March 1995, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: W3-0 v Hajduk Split (h)
5 April 1995, UEFA Champions League semi-finals: D0-0 v Bayern München (a)
19 April 1995, UEFA Champions League semi-finals: W5-2 v Bayern München (h)
24 May 1995, UEFA Champions League final: W1-0 v AC Milan (n, played in Vienna)
13 September 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: W1-0 v Real Madrid (h)
27 September 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: W5-1 v Ferencváros(a)
18 October 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: W3-0 v Grasshoppers (h)
1 November 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: D0-0 v Grasshoppers (a)
22 November 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: W2-0 v Real Madrid (a)
6 December 1995, UEFA Champions League group stage: W4-0 v Ferencváros (h)
6 February 1996, UEFA Super Cup: D1-1 v Real Zaragoza (a)
28 February 1996, UEFA Super Cup: W4-0 v Real Zaragoza (h)
6 March 1996, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: W2-0 v Borussia Dortmund (a)
20 March 1996, UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: W1-0 v Borussia Dortmund (h)
3 April 1996, UEFA Champions League semi-finals: L0-1 v Panathinaikos (h)

Highlights: Salzburg 2-1 Real Sociedad
Highlights: Salzburg 2-1 Real Sociedad

Salzburg's current run

3 November 2016, UEFA Europa League group stage: W2-0 v Nice (a)
24 November 2016, UEFA Europa League group stage: D1-1 v Krasnodar (a)
8 December 2016, UEFA Europa League group stage: W2-0 v Schalke (h)
11 July 2017, UEFA Champions League second qualifying round: W3-0 v Hibernians (a)
19 July 2017, UEFA Champions League second qualifying round: W3-0 v Hibernians (h)
26 July 2017, UEFA Champions League third qualifying round: D1-1 v Rijeka (h)
2 August 2017, UEFA Champions League third qualifying round: D0-0 v Rijeka (a)
17 August 2017, UEFA Europa League play-offs: W3-1 v Viitorul (a)
24 August 2017, UEFA Europa League play-offs: W4-0 v Viitorul (h)
14 September 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: D1-1 v Vitória SC (a)
28 September 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: W1-0 v Marseille (h)
19 October 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: W2-0 v Konyaspor (a)
2 November 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: D0-0 v Konyaspor (h)
23 November 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: W3-0 v Vitória SC (h)
7 December 2017, UEFA Europa League group stage: D0-0 v Marseille (a)
15 February 2018, UEFA Europa League round of 32: D2-2 v Real Sociedad (a)
22 February 2018, UEFA Europa League round of 32: W2-1 v Real Sociedad (h)
8 March 2018, UEFA Europa League round of 16: W2-1 v Borussia Dortmund (a)

(stats include UEFA Champions League/European Cup, UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup, European/UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup)

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