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El Paisano

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Recap

Jesus Manriquez, Reporter

The UEFA Champions League returned this week after a two month waiting period for the round of 16 phase. Controversy, upsets, and great match-ups took part in football’s biggest competition. Here’s a recap of this week’s games:

Manchester United 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain.

Paris St. Germain turned Manchester United’s “Theater of Dreams” into a nightmare by beating the Red Devils 2-0 in the first leg of the round of 16 at Manchester’s Old Trafford.

 

The first half, neither team managed to create any real opportunities on goal. In the second half, it would be PSG who would control the game and get the best out of it. Ex-Man United player, Ángel Di María, assisted defender Presnel Kimpembe in the 53rd minute and forward Kylian Mbappe in the 60th minute to give PSG the victory.

 

The Red Devils suffered their first defeat in 12 games under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Manchester United will have to make history in the second leg in order to advance. No team has ever advanced after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg.

 

AS Roma 2-1 FC Porto.

Roma’s teenage sensation Nicolò Zaniolo netted a brace late in the second half to give his team the lead. Porto forward Adrian Lopez got his team a vital away goal in the 79th minute, only 10 minutes after coming in as a substitute. A 1-0 win in the second half for Porto would be enough to put them in the quarterfinals. AS Roma will be looking to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight year.

 

Ajax 1-2 Real Madrid

Perhaps the most controversial game of the week was played in Amsterdam. Ajax could have taken the lead right before the first half ended after an error by Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The goal was called offside by the Video Assistant Referee, a decision that most viewers couldn’t understand.

 

Real Madrid managed to break the deadlock in the 60th minute thanks to forward Karim Benzema. A big reward for a team that hadn’t been the best on the field so far. Ajax managed to tie things up in the 75th minute after a great finish by forward Hakim Ziyech. Ajax continued to dominate the game but it would be Real Madrid who would take the lead right before the final whistle. Super-sub Marco Asensio grabbed himself a goal in the 87th minute to put the game to sleep. Ajax will have to do the almost impossible and grab a win at the Santiago Bernabeu if they are to advance.

 

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Borussia Dortmund

After a scoreless first half and a struggle by both teams to find a goal, it was Tottenham who got the better outcome in the second half. Just two minutes into the second half, forward Son Heung-Min broke the deadlock for Tottenham. Defender Jan Vertonghen doubled the lead for Tottenham in the 83rd minute with a striker-like finish inside the box. Just four minutes later, Forward substitute Fernando Llorente scored off a corner kick to give Tottenham a comfortable 3-0 win. Tottenham are one game away from reaching the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

The Champions League will return next Tuesday with another double header followed by two more games Wednesday.

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UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Recap