Champions League: Real Madrid and Juventus on the wrong foot

Kevin De Bruyne Real Madrid
Kevin de Bruyne scored and assisted to give Manchester City advantage against Real Madrid. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)

Last week we saw PSG and Liverpool start the Champions League round of 16 trailing. This week the remaining four fixtures happened and another two heavy favorites were left behind.

Juventus was surprised on their away trip, as they may have overlooked Lyon’s potential. Sure, the French side is not having their best season, being 7th on the Ligue 1 table and having lost their star upfront, Memphis Depay. However, as shown yesterday, they will present some threat.

Meanwhile, 12-time Champions Real Madrid might be seeing the quarterfinals on the sofa once again. They had one of the toughest draws, as they got Manchester City and Pep Guardiola took the lead in Madrid.

As for their archenemies, Barcelona, they got away with a 1×1 draw, which gives them some leverage for the returning fixture. Finally, Bayern had once again a fun trip to London as they smashed another crest from England’s capital.

Check out the highlights of this week and here is the top 11 best performers:

Napoli 1 x 1 Barcelona

The past weekend was marked by the Coronavirus postponing several Serie A matches. However, despite the warnings, Napoli still hosted Barcelona for the first leg of their Champions League knockout match.

The hosts were seen as underdogs but they still smiled at the end of the first half, when Mertens curled shot got past Ter Stegen.

Barcelona got an away goal in the second half, which will be important to get past Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli. Antoine Griezzman with the finish, following an assist from Nelson Semedo.

The draw was not the result that Quique Setien must want, but if they do not suffer any goals in Camp Nou they will go through on away goals.

Chelsea 0 x 3 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich seems to love a good trip to London. In the group stages, they faced Spurs and the result was a confident 2×7, with Gnabry scoring a total of 4 goals.

Chelsea was warned, but the Bavarians were hungry to avenge the 2013 final, lost to the Blues in Munich. During the first half the deadlock was not broken, but during the second Gnabry once again did a one-man show.

The German winger scored twice, both times assisted by Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker had no mercy on Chelsea and scored the 3rd, after an incredible run by Canadian prodigy Alphonso Davies.

A miracle in Munich is unlikely, especially as Chelsea got reduced to 10 men, with Marcos Alonso being sent off. Frank Lampard’s Champions League dreams seem to have ended prematurely.

Lyon 1 x 0 Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus played an underwhelming game, as they were overshone by a confident Lyon side. Rudi Garcia’s tactics left the Italian champions with high ball possession, but not enough actual shots on target.

The star man was probably Bruno Guimarães. The Brazilian was signed by Lyon this Summer to Atlético Paranaense and the game against Juventus was his second game for the club.

Guimarães won 88% of his duels and completed 100% of his dribblings. With 4 successful interceptions and 3 important tackles, he was a proper anchorman in the pitch.

The goal, however, came through the other two midfielders. Aouar assisted Tousart, who appeared unmarked to head the ball past Szczesny.

Juventus was unable to get a goal and a conversation recorded by Ronaldo and Dybala in the halftime break might show us why. The forwards were apparently complaining by the lack of help from the midfield, which might show that Sarri’s tactics are not being well perceived.

Tough job for Juve on the upcoming second leg.

Real Madrid 1 x 2 Manchester City

It has not been an easy season for Real Madrid. Despite being still on the run for La Liga, on a tight race with Barcelona, the Galacticos have suffered many injuries and have crashed out of Copa del Rey.

Besides that, their defeat against Levante last weekend brought to spotlight Real Madrid’s offensive and defensive flaws.

However, after a stalemate first half, it was Real Madrid who opened the score by Isco. Manchester City, still Premier League title holders, fought well and with 15 minutes on the clock, Gabriel Jesus completed the equalizer, after Kevin de Bruyne’s assist.

The same Kevin de Bruyne put his name on the scoresheet and he converted a penalty, following a reckless foul of Carvajal on Sterling.

Real Madrid could not expect a worse end to the game, as Sergio Ramos got an immediate red card after following Gabriel Jesus outside the box. ‘Los Blancos’ will need to make a ‘remontada’ on their away game at the Etihad.

About Jorge Costa 140 Articles
Jorge Costa is a freelance journalist, with a Masters Degree in Journalism and Communication, through the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He specializes in sports and soccer in particular.

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