By: Andrea M
During the month of February and March, the round of 16 of the Champions league are played. The Champions league is an annual continental club football competition and one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. The champions league begins in July, with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 teams that survive, qualify for the group stages together with other 22 teams that already qualified. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other twice. The two teams that have more points in their groups go on to the round of 16. And here we are. This year has been going well for the stronger teams, the ones that are probable to win the Champions league at the end of the year. We are talking about Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and another couple 2. However, there definitely have been some surprises in these round of 16, which not necessarily did fantastic in this last round, but just to have arrived there is a big result. Now let’s go and see how the Round of 16 of this year’s Champions league have gone
Let’s start off with the first two games that were played in this round of 16. I am talking about Psg- Chelsea and Benfica-Zenit. These two games were played on Tuesday, 16th of February and on Wednesday, March 9th. As already said, the ones played in February were the two games that “inaugurated” the round of 16. The Psg- Chelsea game ended with a 2-1 win for the French side, with goals from Ibrahimovic and Cavani in the first game, Rabiot and Ibra again on the second game for Psg, and the two “useless” goals from Mikel and Diego Costa for Chelsea. With Psg, in the quarterfinals, let’s see how the other matches ended. The game Benfica-Zenit ended on a 1-0 win for the home team, and another win 2-1 in the return match. Therefore, Benfica managed to arrive to the quarter finals thanks to goals from Nicolas Gaitan, Anderson talisca and Jonas in the two games. The next game is Gent-Wolsfburg. This game is an interesting game especially for the fact that Gent was in it. This is because this was Gent’s first time in the round of 16, making it a big event for the team and it’s supporters. Because of this, Gent was considered one of the less strong teams out there on the round of 16, however, they managed to perform well, even though they got eliminated by the German side of Wolfsburg. In fact, Gent lost 3-2 in the first game and 1-0 in the second one, letting Wolfsburg go through the quarter finals. Moving on, we have Roma- Real Madrid, which ended both in Rome and in Madrid, 2-0 for the Spanish, despite a good performing from the “giallorossi”, which didn’t manage to capitalize their chances. For Real, Ronaldo scored two goals, Jesé Rodriguez and James Rodriguez scored the other 2. Arsenal- Barcelona, a game that happened often in the last years in the Champions league, had Barcelona winning 2-0 in the first match in London thanks to two goals by Messi. Just like Roma, Arsenal had their chances, especially in the first half, but they didn’t score, and in the end, in football, that’s what counts. In the game at Barcelona, the Spanish managed to win 3-1 thanks to goals of the Neymar-Messi-Suarez trio. Juventus-Bayern Munich, which ended on a 2-2 in the first match, was a very fascinating game to watch in the second match. Juventus literally dominated the first half, ending on a 2-0 advantage. However, Bayern Munich, thanks mostly to their coaches substitutions, managed to make a 2-2, therefore making the game last another 30 minutes because of the extra time, where Bayern ended the game with two goals in 5 minutes, which made them go through to the quarter finals. Another curious match to follow in this round of 16 was definitely Psv Eindhoven- Atletico Madrid. The first match was played at Eindhoven, and despite the potential of both sides, the game ended 0-0. The second game, played on Tuesday, march 15th, also ended 0-0. What’s next? Over time. And guess what, no goals even there. Penalties next. After taking 16 penalties, we finally knew the team who would go on to the quarter finals, and it is Atletico Madrid. A very balanced game, with no goal for 210 minutes. Penalties decided who would go on, but the truth is that these were two equal teams, that fought to achieve this quarter final, and Atletico Madrid was just luckier in finding them. The last game of the round of 16 was Dynamo Kiev- Manchester City, which saw the English team winning for 3-1 on the first game and drawing 0-0 on the second match in Manchester. So, to recap, these following teams are the ones that are going to play in this year’s Champions league quarter final round: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Wolfsburg, Benfica, Manchester City, Psg, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. What we all hope is that the quarter finals will be just as good and exciting as the round of 16 have been, and it will be interesting to see what matches there will be and which teams will be going through to the semifinals!