UEFA Champions League Recap

An Entertaining First Leg

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This year’s UEFA Champions League has been entertaining as always and the round of 16 has been no exception this far. In this tournament, the best teams from the best European Leagues have assembled to bring us the best football in the world. Throughout the first leg of the round of 16, we have seen many evenly matched football clubs.

RB Leipzig and Manchester City put on quite the show for a 1-1 draw. Man City was able to dominate the game for the most part. They had 62% possession and conducted an astonishing 55 attacks in the match. Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez was able to net a goal in the 27th minute.

Although Leipzig was dominated in the match, they were able to match Man City with a goal from center back Joško Gvardiol in the 70th minute.

Next, two titans of football matched up. Real Madrid and Liverpool faced off and the result of the match was not as appealing as the names of the clubs.

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 5-2. Vinĺcius Junior scored two goals for Madrid as well as one from Karim Benzema. Éder Militão scored their other goal.

For Liverpool, this continues a disappointing season as they are currently 7th in the Premier League table. This means that they would not qualify for next year’s Champions League.

Forwards Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah scored the goals for Liverpool. The Reds will have a tough time on their hands in the second leg as they will attempt to make a comeback for the ages.

Napoli then faced Frankfurt. In this match, Napoli beat Frankfurt 2-0 and were dominant throughout. Napoli maintained 67% possession, went on 61 attacks to Frankfurt’s 27, and completed 646 passes to Frankfurt’s 243.

Napoli’s two goals were scored by Victor Osimhen in the 40th minute and Giovanni Di Lorenzo in the 65th minute. Frankfurt will have to adjust in the second leg to avoid being knocked out of the tournament.

FC Porto and Inter Milan played an interesting match. Porto had been on a hot streak prior to this match, winning four straight before losing to Milan.

Milan was able to win 1-0. Their lone goal was scored by Romelu Lukaku. The second leg of this match should be one to watch as these teams matched up very well.

The match between Club Brugge and Benfica wasn’t nearly as one-sided as the score would suggest. Benfica’s two goals were scored by João Mário and David Neres in the 51st and 88th minute respectively, with Mário’s Goal coming by a penalty.

The match was much closer than what the score perceives it to be. Outside of the 14 to 4 shots difference, the rest of the match was about even. With how statistically even this match was, Club Brugge should respond in the second leg.

AC Milan and Tottenham played a thrilling match. Despite the 1-0 Milan win, this game was the most competitive of them all. 

With a near 50/50 ratio of possession, both teams were able to establish their style of play. Tottenham was able to attack more than Milan but could not hit the back of the net. 4 blocks from AC Milan’s defenders allowed them to keep a clean sheet. Brahim Díaz netted the only goal of the day in the 7th minute.

Chelsea faced off against Borussia Dortmund in another competitive fixture. Dortmund was able to secure a win behind a 63rd-minute goal from Adeyemi. This was another match in which both teams had chances to win with a 49/51 split of possession. Dortmund’s Keeper Gregor Kobel notched 8 saves in the win.

Lastly, Paris Saint-Germain played Bayern Munich. Although PSG is considered by many to be the most talented team in the world, they were beaten by Munich 1-0. 

Munich was able to create more chances than PSG. Their lone goal was scored in the 53rd minute by Kingsley Coman. PSG will have to get more shots on target to win the second leg.