The Midweek Champions League fixtures are done and dusted. They created a lot of buzz as the English teams again fell short to get something from the first Leg. It was a mixed result for both German and Spanish clubs. Round of 16, Leg 1 is now over and results turned out as follows:
Man City 1-2 Fc Barcelona
The former Liverpool striker demonstrated the quality Premier League has been missing and which defenders have been spared, with two strikes in the opening half-hour to put Barcelona in command of this last-16 first-leg tie.
City improved after the break and was rewarded with Sergio Aguero’s strike but their growing momentum was halted when Gael Clichy was sent off because of a second yellow card.
And even though they still face a mountainous task at the Nou Camp in the second leg on 18 March, they need to score at least twice to have a chance of progressing. They were spared with an even tougher job after keeper Joe Hart saved Lionel Messi’s penalty, virtually the final kick of the game.
But the match had something special too with Suarez again in the spotlight. A video showing Suarez had his mouth on Martin Demichellis fist was released. Suarez denies those claims by saying that he should be given some respect from British media.
Juventus 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Juventus had to settle for a narrow first-leg lead after missing several good chances against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League last-16 tie.
Carlos Tevez put the Italians ahead after Roman’s Weidenfeller spilled at his feet, but Dortmund soon struck back. Marco Reus exploited Giorgio Chiellini’s slip to scamper in and shoot home just three minutes later. Alvaro Morata’s careful finish put Juve back to the front and the hosts could have stretched away in the second half.
After the break, Tevez went close on three occasions, Chiellini rose unmarked to head over the top and Roberto Pereyra shot just wide.
But the Italians ultimately failed to exploit Dortmund’s fragility and will take only a one-goal advantage to Germany. The win took the Serie A champions’ unbeaten home run to 47 games.
Arsenal 1-3 Monaco
Monaco, resilient at the back and capable of punishing Arsenal’s shoddy defense, took the lead in the first half through Geoffrey Kondogbia’s deflected shot.
To add insult to the injury, former United striker Dimitar Berbatov added the second to the tally just after the break. They were caught hopelessly on the counter once more as Yannick Ferreira Carrasco added a third goal.
As Monaco Coach Leonardo Jardim did a Jose Mourinho-style celebration sprinting down the touchline, Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger looked crestfallen.
This stage has become Arsenal’s perennial stumbling block but Wenger would have had high hopes of clearing the hurdle against his former club, even though they had lost only once in their last 17 games.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Athletico Madrid
Hakan Calhanoglu gave Bayer Leverkusen victory in the first leg of their Champions League’s last-16 tie against last year’s finalists Atletico Madrid. Calhanoglu scored the only goal in the 57th minute, firing into the top of the net after Karim Bellarabi’s back heel.
Torres thought he had scored with a header following a corner, but the ball had already gone out of play.
Leverkusen have won just one of their past five Bundesliga matches and none of their previous seven Champions League knockout games. Athletico, who had lost just one of their previous nine away games in the competition, were outfought for most of the first half.
Edited by Shivang Aggarwal