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  • Leo Veseli

Champions League round of 16


The most prestigious club competition of the football landscape was back again over the past few weeks for the beginning of the knockout stages. The round of 16, consisting of 16 teams, is the first stage in the competition with direct elimination. Games are carried out over two legs, home and away for each team respectively, with the aggregate score determining a winner. This quick and ruthless system can lead to some upsets and nail-biting fixtures, the games we all live for as football fans.


With a lot of the round of 16 being deemed pushovers for favourites such as Bayern facing Lazio and Real Madrid facing Leipzig, many weren’t as excited as in previous years, though the games that weren’t so easily decided didn’t disappoint. These games included Dortmund edging out PSV to book their place in the quarter finals, with Jason Sancho rediscovering himself in the developing Dortmund team, and a close fought game between Napoli and Barcelona could only be decided in the second leg. This season is unpredictable. Catalan giants have been doing enough to move on with an aggregate score line of 4-2.


The most notable game with everything you would want however, was played out at the Emirates. Porto, the Portuguese veterans of this competition, were large underdogs in this tie with Arsenal coming off a great run of form, scoring five or more goals in three of their last five games and gunning for a premier league title, whilst Porto were rapidly falling behind in the Liga Portugal. Arsenal, however, were stunned in this fixture losing 1-0 to a 94th minute wonder goal by Porto wide man Galeno. The loss wasn’t even the worst of it: Arsenal, with all their attacking threat, didn’t even manage to register a shot on target. With a point to prove in the second leg, Arsenal would start on the front foot managing to break the deadlock through Trossard just before half time. The rest of regulation time and extra time would go by goalless leading to a penalty shootout in which arsenal would clinch victory.

The other results went as follows: Manchester City continued their demolition of the European competition, demolishing Copenhagen 6-1. Paris Saint Germain would cruise to a 4-1 win over real Sociedad, Bayern would overturn a first leg loss to win the tie 3-1 on aggregate against Lazio, Real Madrid snuck past Leipzig with a 2-1 win and Atlético would win on penalties against Inter in Madrid.

 

Up next will be the quarterfinals of the competition, with the draw of the fixtures to be held on Friday, which could set up some massive ties to look forward to with international giants Bayern, Real Madrid and Manchester City wanting to avoid each other at all costs.


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