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UEFA Champions League: Round of 16 Results

Andrew Seah |
February 19, 2014 | 7:09 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired PSG to a 4-0 victory. (Creative Commons)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired PSG to a 4-0 victory. (Creative Commons)
The knockout stages of this season's UEFA Champions League has finally kicked off. 

This week's biggest takeaway? Home court advantage is not a given; all four teams lost the first-leg of their respective matchups at home. ______________________________________________________________

Arsenal 0-2 Bayern Munich: 

The Gunners couldn't capitalize on home-ground advantage at the Emirates Stadium. Defeating reigning European champions Bayern Munich is a tall order, but Arsene Wenger’s side was sloppy, off-the-pace and lacked the clinical precision that their opponents had in spades. Newest gunner Mesut Ozil won an early penalty but failed to convert. Then their goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, got himself sent off with a reckless challenge. According to Wenger, the referee’s decision “killed the game.” From there, it was the Bavarians’ game to lose. Enter Toni Kroos: Bayern’s midfield stalwart produced a sublime performance, none more so impressive than his 54th minute strike. His through pass also set up Arjen Robben’s first-half penalty, and the German struck the post once again in the waning stages of the match. With a two-goal deficit and a trip to the Allianz Arena to come, the Gunners’ chances of advancing to the next round are slim at best. 

Manchester City 0-2 FC Barcelona: 

Another match-up between giants, another silly red card that marred the occasion. The Etihad Stadium faithful have veteran defender Martin Demichelis to blame. The 33-year-old center back brought Lionel Messi down in the 53rd minute. The Argentine forward glided swiftly into the box and was shoulder-to-shoulder with the laden-footed Demichelis, who then lunged in recklessly. Penalty. 1-0. Game over. There is some debate within the footballing circle as to whether the foul occurred inside or outside the penalty box. But there is no debate about the outcome: Manchester City is in a deep hole. Much like Arsenal, they will trudge into Barcelona knowing that their quarter-finals berth is in serious jeopardy. 

Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 Paris Saint-Germain 

The standout performance of the night goes to PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The mercurial Swede scored two goals – one of them a sensational 18-yard bullet in the 42nd minute – and inspired his side to a 4-0 rout against Bayer Leverkusen at the Bay Arena. Ibrahimovic is now the Champions league’s leading scorer, with 10 goals from six matches. The Ligue 1 champions are now in pole position to reach the quarterfinals, and they are looking as formidable as they’ve been in recent memory. Former Germany international Christian Worns has compared the French side’s talent with that of Bayern Munich. Following the victory, PSG coach Laurent Blanc also admitted that he is “spoilt for choice” at the club. With Ibrahimovic enjoying his most prolific season (in terms of goals) so far, and a deep, talented squad boasting the likes of Edison Cavani and Thiago Silva, PSG look like genuine contenders for the crown. 

AC Milan 0-1 Atlético Madrid 

Brazilian striker Diego Costa may get most of the plaudits for his match-winning header in the 83rd minute, but Atlético Madrid should be thanking their custodian Thibaut Courtois for saving their blushes. The 21-year-old goalkeeper, who is currently on loan from Chelsea, was inspired form. He made two outstanding saves at full stretch early on during an onslaught by the Italian side. It would be disingenuous to say Milan deserved the defeat. The Serie A side – and Kaka in particular – looked threatening but never really came close to scoring. Midfielders Andrea Poli and Kaka spurned great chances in the first half, and Milan’s attacking impetus eventually faded as the match wore on. 



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