Champions League round of 16

Source: Niger Delta Connect

The Champions League round of 16 games kicked off this week. As of now, eight teams have completed their first leg and the results are astonishing. As always, this year’s round of 16 came up with a fierce battle between teams to safeguard their position in the next leg. So what happened in this week’s round of 16 games? Who has the better edge before going to the second leg? Let’s find out:

Paris Saint-German has an advantage over Real Madrid.

The first game of the Champions League round of 16 between PSG and Real Madrid was a treat to watch. The game involved superstar players on both sides. However, this time, the Paris side had the advantage from Kylian Mbappe’s goal before going to play the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu. The game came up with lots of talking points where Real Madrid lost 1-0 to the French club. Moreover, the 13th time UCL champions were lucky to concede just 1 goal after Thibaut Courtois saved a 12 yard penalty from Lionel Messi. 

PSG players celebrating Mbappe goal against Real Madrid. Source: beIN Sports

Moreover, Real Madrid failed to register a shot whereas PSG had eight, with almost 60% of possession. On the other hand, PSG could not capitalize on the chances they got. However, PSG will be full of confidence before travelling to Spain for the second leg on March 9. Also, Carlo Ancelloti will have to adjust his side in the absence of Casemiro and Mendy. The pair were both shown yellow cards and will be suspended for collecting three yellows in the competition.

Cakewalk for Manchester City against Sporting Lisbon

Manchester City has one foot in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League already. Pep Guardiola’s side bullied the Portuguese club, netting five goals in the other half. Throughout the game, the English side controlled the game and scored four goals in the first half. The goals came from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and a brace from Bernado Silva. Upon winning the game, City became the first team to score four goals in the knockout stages of UCL after Manchester United’s 7-1 win over Roma in 2007.

Mancity players celebrating Bernado Silva’s goal against Sporting Lisbon. Source: The Independent

Similarly, Raheem Sterling scored his 150th club career goal to make it 5-0 for Manchester. The goal made the Manchester side the 14th team to score 200 goals in the Champions League. Also, City kept their first Champions League clean sheet this year. Man City welcomed the sporting side on March 9 to be played at the Etihad stadium. Pep’s side will make sure to go through the next round so as to fulfill their dream of winning the maiden Champions League in the club’s history.

Liverpool dominated Inter Milan

Liverpool showed a classic performance on Wednesday to secure their place in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League. The reds scored 2 goals against the Italian side Inter Milan. The reds dominated the game, which looked like it was going to end in a 0-0 draw as the seconds passed by. However, Roberto Firmino and Egyptian Mohammad Salah gave them a comfortable lead in the final quarter of the game. The reds can now sit back and defend in Anfield’s second leg game to qualify for the quarter-final. 

Liverpool players celebrating Salah’s goal against Inter Milan. Source: Sports Illustrated

Moreover, Inter Milan looked dull throughout the game with zero shots on target. It never looked like they would score aside from a crossbar hit from Hakan Calhanoglu in the first half. The Liverpool side should thank center-back Van Dijk and Ibrahim Konate for not conceding a goal. The pair dominated the Italian attack by holding striker Edin Dzeko and Lauturo Martinez, who touched the ball 16 times in 70 minutes. 

Bayern strike late to draw against Salzburg 

Bayern against Salzburg went on to become the most exciting match among others this week. The game was expected to be a cake walk for the German Champions, but a disciplined Austrian side made it difficult for Bayern until the very end. Salzburg took the lead in the 21st minute thanks to Chukwubuike Adamu, who curled past from the 18-yard box to give them the lead. Likewise, Salzburg could have added a second through a penalty on the stroke of half time after Benjamin Pavard tackled Karim Adeyemi. However, the referee ruled the penalty stating Pavard did not make any contact with the Salzburg attacker. 

Kingsley Coman shot in the final minute against Salzburg. Source: Eurosport

Furthermore, Bayern scored 1 goal in the half and returned with more intensity in the second half. Bayern pressed throughout the second half and scored a goal through Coman in the 90th minute. Bayern did not play as per their standard but will feel relief before the second leg at Allianz Arena. Meanwhile, it was Salzburg’s first-ever match in the knockout stage of the Champions League. The second leg will take place in Munich on March 8.