Champions League – Round of 16, 1st leg

It’s February, which means the UEFA Champions League is back! We had 4 great matches this week, the 1st leg of some of the Round of 16 matches.

AC Milan1Tottenham0
Brahim Díaz 7′

Location: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: Sandro Scharer, Switzerland

AC Milan
Manager: S. Pioli
Starting 11: C. Tătărușanu, P. Kalulu, S. Kjær, M. Thiaw, A. Saelemaekers, R. Krunić, S. Tonali, T. Hernández, Brahim Díaz, Rafael Leão, Giroud
Subs: Junior Mesias 77′, De Ketelaere 77′, S. Tonali 86′, Pobega 90′

Manager: A. Conte
Starting 11: F. Forster, C. Romero, E. Dier, C. Lenglet, Emerson, O. Skipp, P. Sarr, I. Perišić, D. Kulusevski, Son Heung-Min, Kane
Subs: Richarlison 70′, Ben Davies 81′, Danjuma 81′

It was an evenly contested match in Milano, with Tottenham holding the ball more, however Milan being more dangerous in front of goal. Pioli’s squad has been struggling in Serie A recently, however Conte’s side has not been doing too well either. The two Italian managers had a great tactical battle and at the end, Milan walked away with the win.

Paris Saint Germain0Bayern Munich1
K. Coman 53′

Location: Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: Michael Oliver, England

Paris Saint Germain
Manager: C. Galtier
Starting 11: G. Donnarumma, A. Hakimi, Marquinhos, Sergio Ramos, Nuno Mendes, W. Zaïre-Emery, M. Verratti, Danilo Pereira, Carlos Soler, L. Messi, Neymar
Subs: Kimpembe 46′, Mbappe 57′, Fabian Ruiz 57′, Vitinha 75′

Bayern Munich
Manager: J. Nagelsmann
Starting 11: Y. Sommer, B. Pavard, D. Upamecano, M. de Ligt, João Cancelo, J. Kimmich, L. Goretzka, K. Coman, L. Sané, J. Musiala, Chuopo-Moting
Subs: A. Davies 46′, Gnabry 75′, T. Muller 76′, Gravenberch 87′, Stanisic 90′

In the highlight match of the week, we had PSG facing Bayern at the Parc des Princes. It was the German champions who were more dangerous, creating more chances, however it was a very close game, especially after the introduction of Mbappe. Bayern won the match and they will be the more comfortable side, heading into the second leg.

Club Brugge KV0Benfica2
João Mário 51′
David Neres 88′

Location: Jan Breydelstadion, Brugge
Referee: Davide Massa, Italy

Club Brugge KV
Manager: S. Parker
Starting 11: Simon Mignolet, Clinton Mata, Jack Hendry, Brandon Mechele, Bjorn Meijer, Denis Odoi, Raphael Onyedika, Kamal Sowah, Hans Vanaken, Tajon Buchanan
Subs: D. Odoi 65′, K. Sowah 79′,

Manager: R. Schmidt
Starting 11: Odysseas Vlachodimos, Alexander Bah, António Silva, Nicolás Otamendi, Alejandro Grimaldo, Florentino Luís, Chiquinho, João Mário, Rafa Silva, Fredrik Aursnes, Goncalo Ramos
Subs: Rafa 65′, Gonçalo Ramos 65′, João Mário 90′

In the battle of the underdogs, it was Portuguese leaders Benfica who took the initiative and dominated their Belgian adversaries. Joao Mario opened the scoring in the second half, only for David Neres to score close to the end. With a 2-0 lead and the 2nd leg being played in Portugal, Benfica will be feeling comfortable.

Borussia Dortmund1Chelsea0
K. Adeyemi 63′

Location: SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, Dortmund
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano, Spain

Borussia Dortmund
Manager: E. Terzić
Starting 11: Gregor Kobel, Marius Wolf, Niklas Süle, Nico Schlotterbeck, Raphaël Guerreiro, Emre Can, Julian Brandt, Jude Bellingham, Salih Özcan, Karim Adeyemi, Haller
Subs: Modeste 68′, Ryerson 73′, Bynoe-Gittens 79′,

Manager: G. Potter
Starting 11: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Reece James, Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ben Chilwell, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Enzo Fernández, Hakim Ziyech, João Félix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Havertz
Subs: M. Mount 71′, Cucurella 71′

High spending Chelsea travelled to Germany, for a chance to get into a decent position in order to go through, as things are looking rather grim for Potter’s side when it comes to qualifying to next season’s UCL by finishing top 4 in the Prem. The English side did play quite well and got into a few good situations to score, however it was Dortmund who managed to win the game, thanks to a great counter attacking goal, by Adeyemi. Still, the 2nd leg will be very interesting.