As 90 minutes have passed by, and all throughout Europe. Many teams had some up’s and downs in this first-leg of the UEFA Champions League.
Astonishing performances from the European giants, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid as they all managed to come up on some big wins, teams like Juventus, Porto failed to impress against their opponents.
Here’s a recap of these past UEFA Champions League round of 16 First-legs:
Juventus vs Tottenham
Impressive display, and good control from the Italian giants as it seemed that they had the game in their pockets by the 10th minute of the game winning by a margin of 2-0; both goals scored by the Argentine Gonzalo Higuain. A late Penalty miss was the game changer as Harry Kane did not fail to be on the score line in the 35th minute once again before the halftime as it ended 2-1. An impressive low free-kick managed to sneak past through Buffon and company, as Christian Eriksen completed the English comeback with the final score being 2-2 in favor for the English side. Will The Vecchia Signora make a huge upset in Wembley? Will the English side go through by eliminating last years’ finalist?. One thing is for sure, the return leg will be one not to miss.
FC Basel vs Manchester City
City made light work of the Champions League Round of 16 first leg against FC Basel, cruising past the Swiss champions with a 4-0 win. Two goals from Ilkay Gundogan plus further efforts from both Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero saw the Blues, bar a second leg collapse, plant one foot firmly in the next round of the competition. Clearly we all know how this story will end we just need an extra 90 minutes to confirm that.
Porto vs Liverpool
Clearly a lot of people had doubts about this match-up as The Reds didn’t fail to impress, they clearly showed who was the more dominant side. Liverpool secure an emphatic 5-0 victory over FC Porto in Portugal. Sadio Mane helped himself to a hat-trick, while Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were also on target on a night to savour for the Reds. It will be a tough match for the Portuguese side to turn this around at Anfiel stadium next March, can we call this one… Game Over?
Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain
The Santiago Bernabéu experienced yet another special European night. Real Madrid showed why they were crowned winners in the last two editions of the Champions League, beating PSG in the first leg of the last-16. Los Blancos were the better side for most of the game and were able to mount a comeback after Rabiot’s opening goal. Cristiano Ronaldo was on the scoreline scoring a brace and Marcelo made it 3-1 at the final whistle. Next game should be an exiting one as we can either see an epic PSG comeback or a disastrous PSG defeat. I still think PSG will be the better side and go on to advance.
Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
FC Bayern downed Besiktas 5-0 in the first leg. The visitors went a man down early in the contest, when Domagoj Vida saw a red card for a last-man challenge close to the 16th minute. The Bavarians ensured it was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half, but it took an opportunistic Thomas Müller goal to make the dominance count shortly before half-time. Kingsley Coman, Müller again and two-goal Robert Lewandowski made sure the scoreline reflected the balance of play after the restart, handing the Reds a near-unassailable advantage in the tie. The Turkish side has a lot of work to do over the next few weeks if they want to turn this one around.
Chelsea vs Barcelona
A match that a lot of people were waiting for since the controversial 2009 semi-final match-up game, which saw Chelsea being eliminated by a last minute goal from Andres Iniesta, to a Fernando Torres late goal for a 3-2 aggregate score seeing Chelsea win in 2012, these two teams were about to make history again. William scoring early in the second half after his two previous shots hit the post, it saw the blues winning the game, until an Iniesta-Messi connection saw them earn a 1-1 draw at Stanford Bridge as Lionel Messi ended his streak of not being able to find the target against the Blues. It will all be decided in Camp Nou. Will Messi and company pull a master-class against Conte’s side?
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma
An unpredictable match as it could go either way, both teams were good in the back sharp in their forward lines as finally
Roma were able to score an important goal before the half by the Turkish star Cengiz Under. Facundo Ferreyra quickly leveled things at the second half. Fred with an impressive free kick completed the Ukrainian comeback as they came out victorious against their Italian rivals, although they did secure an away goal so its not finished business yet in Ukraine.
Sevilla vs Manchester United
A big match between the Spaniards and the English, as Sevilla were dominating the game, the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan was filled with excitement for the fans as both sides were clearly wanting to break the lock. A couple of impressive last minute saves from David De Gea made sure the score was still 0-0 at the half. Both were impressive in the second half as the scored maintained, Sevilla did their part to not concede any goals, it will all be settled at Old Trafford as winner will qualify on to the next round.
What will the Return Legs have for us?
The return legs are coming up with this first-leg alone gave us a lot of action, I’m entirely sure that the return legs will have a lot of excitement like these games had for us. We will soon see who has to wait another year for a chance to conquer Europe, and who will still have that opportunity this season. Until next time my friends.