The Champions League Returns
Europe’s most prestigious club competition is finally back with the round of 16 kicking off its first leg this past week. It is the first round of 16 in the Champions League with road goals no longer considered to be tie breakers.
Four matches occurred over Tuesday and Wednesday with the other four set to take place next week on the same days. The second legs of this round will be played in mid-March.
Starting off with the most boring match of the last week, Manchester City took Sporting CP to the cleaners winning 5-0. The Citizens were led by Bernardo Silva who nearly had a hat trick if it was not for VAR ruling him offsides.
Manchester City will likely be on cruise control when they return home for the second leg.
One of the most highly competitive matches of the week was between Real Madrid and PSG at the Parc des Princes.
The two highly touted sides battled it out in a 0-0 game until Kylian Mbappé scored a superb goal in the 94th minute to give PSG the win over possibly his future team.
The surprising match of the week took place at Red Bull Arena in Austria where Salzburg gave Bayern Munich a run for its money.
Salzburg led all game, but Champions League magic struck again when Kingsley Coman scored a 90th minute game tying goal to force the draw.
This will certainly be one of the matches to keep an eye on when the two sides meet for the second leg in Germany.
Finally, Liverpool increased its Champions League win streak to seven as the Reds won at Inter Milan 2-0.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp took advantage of one of the healthiest and fruitful teams he has had suit up all season, using all five substitutions the competition allows effectively.
Forward Roberto Firmino came off the bench and scored a splendid header while Egyptian winger Mohammad Salah padded the league with a deflected shot to make it 2-0.
Liverpool should have no problems handling Inter Milan with the current form they are in, especially playing at home.
Next week, eight more Champions League hopefuls will play their first legs in the round of 16.
One interesting matchup is between two sides that have been underachieving this season. Atletico Madrid and Manchester United will battle it out in Spain this coming Wednesday.
Manchester United had high expectations after bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Red Devils sit at fourth in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid is in fifth place in La Liga, 15 points behind the leaders in Real Madrid.
It should be interesting to see which side is able to sort itself out and defeat the other.
There is no bigger stage in club soccer than the Champions League, so it should be exciting to see which players and teams can bump up their play in these knockout stages.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second Year / Broadcast Journalism