2013 Champions League- Round of 16- 1st Leg

Feb 12:

– Juventus vs Celtic (3-0): Neil Lennon’s Scottish Team started its home match very aggressively, shooting two shots on goal within the first two minutes. However, Juventus surprised Celtic’s high pressuring defense by counter-attacking and opening the scoring through Alessandro Matri. The Italians, despite their one goal lead, were forced to defend throughout most of the first half due to Celtic’s stubborn aggression to score. On the contrary, the second half was definitely less-intense than the first half, and the late goals by Marchisio and Vucinic gave the men in Bianconeri colors a huge lead heading into the second leg of the round.

– PSG vs Valencia(2-1): The wealthy French team enjoyed a comfortable first leg game. First half goals by Lavezzi and Javier Pastore showed Carlo Ancelotti’s confident French side. AlthoughValenciaplayers did not enjoy as much possession of the ball as they would have liked to, Adil Rami scored late in the match to reduce the goal deficit for the Spanish side. Also, PSG’s exicitng summer signing, Ibrahimovic, was shown a red card following a foul on Andres Guardado. PSG now head to without its star player.

Feb 13:

– Shakhtar Donetsk vs Dortmund (2-2): At the Donbass Arena, Matt Hummels leveled the score through a powerful header passed Shakhtar goal keeper in the dying moments of the game. Shakhtar lead twice through Srna and Douglas Costa but late goals by the German side in each half resulted the score to be level at 2-2. Dortmund gained the advantage going into the second leg due to the two away goals.

– Real Madrid vs Manchester United (1-1): Real Madrid’s star athlete and also a former United player, Cristiano Ronaldo had a emotional game, playing against a team he spent six years of his career. Madrid’s ace met Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s Coach, who was labeled as father-like figure by the Portuguese previously. The two greeted each other happily, meeting for the first time in four years. Jose Mourinho stated before the game that the match would be a classic; and Mourinho was right. Madrid started the match dominating most of the possession. Coentrao hit the goal post to start Madrid’s bombarding of shots throughout the game. However, Madrid was caught flat-footed when United scored on a corner by Danny Welback. Ten minutes later, the former United superstar scored a phenomenal header. Ronaldo jumped so high that his knees touched a United defender’s shoulders. The score was leveled by half time. Madrid continued its offensive threat in the second half by continuously taking shots on goal. But the United goalkeeper, De Gea, kept his team in the game by making numerous saves. The exciting game ended 1-1, and Ronaldo now head to Old Trafford, where he spent six years of his career before his arrival at his current club, Real Madrid.

Feb 19:

– Porto vs Malaga (1-0): It was a rather quiet night at Portugal. Vitor Pereira’s Portuguese side dominated the game, enjoying 61% possession and 17 total shots. As a result, the opponents, Malaga was forced to defend the whole game. However,Malaga’s resolute defense kept the score relatively level, only conceding one goal from the 17 total shots. Pellegrini’s Spanish team head back to Spain for the second leg, where they will hope to enjoy more than just one shot and 39% possession of the ball unlike the first leg.

– Arsenal vs Bayern Munich (1-3): It was also a rather quiet, one sided game at the Emirates Stadium. Just like Porto, Bayern Munich enjoyed most of the possession and had more total shots. Captained by Lahm, Munich scored early in the first half through Toni Kroos, who scored a beautiful volley. Pressure added on the English side when Muller added a second goal from a corner kick just 15 minutes after the first goal. Rest of the first half stayed relatively calm; neither Bayern nor Arsenal provided much threat to each other. The second half was much more exciting than the first. Arsenal looked much more dangerous and energized after the break. The German international, Lucas Podolski of Arsenal scored against his Deutsland teammates on the 55th minute. The goal gave the Gunners a hope of a comeback, but that dream was crushed when Munich’s Mandzukic scored on the 77th minute. Now, Arsenal head to Germany in hope for a miracle, allowing the Germans to enjoy three away goals.

Feb 20:

– Galatasaray vs Schalke (1-1): The Turkish team, Galatasaray, had a rather frustrating game. Galatasaray was the superior team. Yilmaz scored the opener for Turks. However, his goal was soon leveled when Jones of Schalke found the back of the net. Although the number total shots were very similar between the two teams, Galatasaray had more shots on target, even hitting the crossbar once. The team’s recent signing, Didier Drogba, made his first appearance but failed to make an impact. Schalke escaped an almost embarrassing defeat and now head back to Germany to host the game against the Turks in its field.

– Ac Milan vs Barcelona (1-1): Perhaps the greatest surprise in this round of Champions League Tournament, AC Milan of Italy defeated the great Barcelona at San Siro by a score of two to one.Barcelonadominated the whole game, enjoying 66% of the total ball possession. However, the Catalans failed to utilize their advantage by only having two shots on target. The Spaniards clearly controlled the game but did not succeed in finding the back of the net. On the other hand, Ac Milan was successful in its game plan. They looked to wait and defend, which they did superbly, then pick the ball out for a counter-attack. Because Barcelona players were pushed up high in their half, due to their style of play, the men in Rossoneri colors were able to sneak behind for counters. And two players of the Italian side rose up to the occasion, Boateng and Muntari, each scoring to give his side a lead going into the second leg of the round.