Some games are very close for the second leg games and then some look to be set and done
By: Emmanuel Mendez
The Champions League returned after the group stages ended back in December. There are 16 teams left in the competition with the Round of 16 starting off the knockout stages.
The current champions Bayern Munich are back in the round of 16 to try and retain their title while other new teams in this year’s competition like Borussia Monchengladbach and Lazio look to surprise many teams.
In the first week back of the Champions League, the first two games were RB Leipzig versus Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona versus PSG. Liverpool got a 2-0 win away from home thanks to goals from their forwards Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah.
Both goals were from errors from Leipzig`s defense that left both Liverpool attackers one on one with the goalkeeper.
The FC Barcelona versus PSG game was one of the most anticipated games of the round of 16 as PSG thrashed Barca with a 4-1 away win. A penalty goal from Barca`s legend Lionel Messi wasn’t enough to keep Barca in the game and PSG`s Moise Kean and Kylian Mbappe scored. Mbappe scored an impressive hattrick that made him the man of the match.
All eyes and pressure are on Barca as this looks to be possibly being Messi’s final year with the club. They would have to win 4-0 away from home to advance.
On the following day, the games that took place were FC Porto versus Juventus and Sevilla versus Borussia Dortmund. FC Porto defeated Juventus 2-1 after some shocking defending from the Italian team.
Both goals from Porto were scored at the very start of the first and second half of the game. Federico Chiesa scored for Juventus which gives a bit of hope for the Italian giants in the second leg.
Meanwhile, in Seville, Dortmund defeated Sevilla 3-1 thanks to two goals and one assist from 20-year-old Erling Haaland. This gives Dortmund a comfortable position to advance to the quarterfinals.
In this competition, away goals are very important to advance to the next round, so Liverpool, PSG, and Dortmund not only scored away goals but also won their respective games.
The remaining four games took place the following week. Next up was Atletico Madrid versus Chelsea FC and Lazio versus Bayern Munich.
Chelsea got a 1-0 win away from home thanks to a stunning bicycle kick goal from French striker Olivier Giroud. Although the win is huge for the English team, the game is still close and will be a close game in the second leg.
Bayern Munich destroyed Lazio away from home after they won 4-1. This match showed how powerful Bayern are and they look favorites again to go all the way to the final. Bayern with four away goals looks good to advance to the next round.
The last two games were Atalanta versus Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach versus Manchester City. The trend of away team winning continued as Real Madrid beat Atalanta 1-0 and Man city defeated Monchengladbach 2-0.
Madrid had 11 major players out injured for the game but still managed to get a win against a strong Atalanta team. The game is still very close and will be close in their next game.
Man City continues their great form in winning 19 games in a row in all competitions. Man City are heavy favorites as well in winning the Champions League this year but will have to keep consistency to make their first-ever Champions League final.
So now the second legs of the round of 16 are up next with many teams already halfway in the next round after securing big wins. Meanwhile, some games look too close to call after very tight score lines.