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June 22, 2024
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Eight teams will now advance to the quarter-finals and a strong penalty shootout has guaranteed Atlético de Madrid’s spot amongst the best in Europe.  

Hi, everyone — welcome back from break! As soccer players all around the world come back from their own (international) breaks, let’s start up the UEFA Champions League’s (UCL) discussion. Here’s a recap of everything that happened in the Round of 16. Keep an eye out for our predictions as we draw closer to quarter-final matches. 

City vs. Copenhagen: (agg 6-2)

Manchester City swept FC Copenhagen away, fulfilling the expectations of pundits and spectators alike. Pep Guardiola’s heavyweights won by 3-1 in both legs of the match, as the likes of Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Manuel Akanji got their names on the scoresheet. The Blues pull through to the next stage of the competition as competition in their home league intensifies

Bayern Munich vs. S.S. Lazio: (agg 3-1)

FC Bayern Munich was able to breathe a sigh of relief after the second leg of the game following a surprising 1-0 loss to the Rome-based team in the first game. Harry Kane was the hero of the day with two goals that helped send the Bavarians through, as Thomas Müller scored one in added time to raise the aggregate score to 3-1. In light of Bayern’s domestic league woes — they were eliminated early from the DFB-Pokal and may lose their first Bundesliga in 12 years — Kane described the match as a “perfect evening.” He further expressed that this moment could be a “turning point for the rest of the season.”

Real Madrid vs. RB Leipzig: (agg 2-1)

RB Leipzig was able to put the pressure on Los Blancos, holding the scoreline down to a modest 2-1 in favor of Real. Carlo Ancelotti’s star-studded line-up scraped into the quarter-finals with defender Antonio Rüdiger explaining that the team will not be celebrating but rather looking at how they can improve in the competition.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Sociedad: (agg 4-1)

With this result, the great underdog story of this UCL season comes to an end. The Qatari-backed Ligue 1 victor proved a high challenge to the academy-powered La Real, with front-man Kylian Mbappé walking away with a dazzling three goals from this matchup. He joins Antoine Griezmann, Haaland and Kane at the top scorer leaderboard

Borussia Dortmund vs. PSV Eindhoven: (agg 3-1)

One of the most evenly-matched contests we have seen so far in UCL 2023-24, this had the potential to be a bit of wild ride. Both teams count on high verticality and a rapid attacking style that builds pressure in the box. The Dutch Rood-Witten fought valiantly in the second leg of the game, almost firing home an equalizer in the last couple of minutes, before talisman Marco Reus sealed BVB’s quarter-final spot with a goal in added time

Barcelona vs. Napoli: (agg 4-2) 

FC Barcelona rallied to knock out SSC Napoli in the round of 16 and push their way to the quarter-finals. After a first-round draw where the Napolitans held their own, Xavi Hernández’s starting eleven roared back in their home stadium, providing one of the best performances we have seen from the team this season. This will be their first quarter-final since the 2019-20 season, but most impressively, it was achieved by a team with several injury casualties (Frenkie de Jong, Pedro González López and Pablo Gavira). 

Arsenal vs. Porto: (agg 1-1), P(4-2)

FC Porto’s and Arsenal FC’s evening was decided through penalties after a first-half strike by Leandro Trossard — set up by a brilliant Martin Ødegaard pass — brought the Gunners level with Porto. Mikel Arteta’s team put the pressure on Porto consistently during the final minutes but were unable to stop the game from going to injury time. Nevertheless, Arsenal swept the penalty shootout with four goals to Porto’s two, advancing to the UCL “quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.”

Atletico Madrid vs. Inter Milan: (agg 2-2), P(3-2)

The Colchoneros advanced after a tense two games saw them tie with last year’s runners-up Inter Milan. Although odds were initially leaning in favor of Inter Milan heading into the final eight, Atlético de Madrid had the advantage of experience — it has participated in the past four of five penalty shootouts in the UCL. Goalie Jan Oblak had a brilliant night as he stopped two shots and drove his team to the next stage. 


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