Europe’s top teams took centre stage once again with the remaining last 16 contests in the Champions League.
The second batch of round of 16 matches provided a host of interesting ties. Atlético Madrid against Chelsea pited Diego Simeone’s side, who have lost momentum in La Liga, up against Thomas Tuchel’s rejuvenated side. Meanwhile in-form Atalanta hosted a patchy Real Madrid team. Also in action were current Champions League winners Bayern Munich, who took on Lazio, and Borussia Mönchengladbach faced Europe’s current top team in Manchester City — with an imperious 18-match winning streak.
Let’s check out the five takeaways from these Champions League last 16 matches:
Champions League Knockout Stage: Chelsea Stun Atlético, Manchester City Win Again
Chelsea Thwart Atlético Madrid
Chelsea produced an impressive performance in nullifying Diego Simeone’s side. The Blues dominated the ball with complete authority and controlled the majority of the match. The night belonged to Olivier Giroud. He produced a tremendous bicycle kick to deservingly win the game for his team. It was another organised and polished performance for Thomas Tuchel’s side. Meanwhile, the German manager remains undefeated in eight matches with six victories and two draws.
Atlético’s Alarming Drop In Form
Not so long ago, the Colchoneros looked bulletproof both in La Liga and in Europe, yet February is proving to be a very bad month with only one win in five matches. The team look devoured of ideas and without any fluidity. Suddenly, an early exit from the Champions League and losing their lead in La Liga are on the cards.
Bayern Show Their Hand
Bayern Munich powered past Lazio with a clinical performance and 4-1 victory. The champions were three goals to the good by half time. On the scoresheet was, as always, Robert Lewandowski, but the headline goal came from Jamal Musiala. The 18-year-old German attacker became the second youngest goalscorer in the competition and produced an impressive performance. Europe take note, another star is born. As for the Bavarians, they showed that they are ready to challenge to retain their coveted title and mean business.
Hi Ho Silva
Manchester City won their 19th match in a row, beating Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0. Their latest dominant victory came from a well taken header by Bernardo Silva. It was a superb cross too by João Cancelo, arguably playing the best football of his career. The goalscorer then turned provider as Silva curled in a beautiful cross which was ultimately converted by Gabriel Jesús. City continue in unstoppable form.
The Late Late Madrid Show
Real Madrid left it late – the 86th minute late – but Los Blancos earned a priceless away goal and victory against Atalanta. Frenchman Ferland Mendy came up trumps for the former European champions. It was heartbreak for the Serie A side, who bravely held on with ten men from the 17th minute. Midfielder Remo Freuler earned a straight red card for the home side and his side put up a spirited fight. But it is Real Madrid who take a slender advantage back to the Spanish capital. Zinedine Zidane’s side are the only La Liga team to win in the last 16, with defeats for Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla.