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Kick-off for the round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions League

oitavas de final da champions league 2023/24 real madrid brahim diaz bayern lazio rb leipzig psg manchester city copenhage ottavi di finale della Champions League 2023/24

The round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions League has begun. In the matches played last Tuesday and Wednesday (February 13th and 14th, 2024), Real Madrid, Manchester City, Lazio, and PSG took important steps towards qualification, although nothing is decided yet.

Join us as we cover the key highlights of these matches and the prospects for the return leg.

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Copenhagen 1 x 3 Manchester City – Round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions League

Having had an excellent group stage and qualifying from a group with much more tradition in the competition, such as Manchester United and Galatasaray, the Danish team didn’t fare well in the draw and faced the current champion.

Especially when we see Manchester City’s excellent performance. It wasn’t enough to face one of, if not the best team in the competition; they were also highly inspired.

That’s why they started in the best Pep Guardiola style. An absurd amount of pressure. With the field widened, using Foden and Doku glued to the sidelines, these winger playmakers made diagonal passes, finding Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne’s dagger runs.

Thus, within 30 minutes of the game, the Cityzens could have already opened a three or four-goal lead.

However, they only managed to score one goal. Reversing roles, Foden provides a through pass to De Bruyne, who makes the run and delivers a beautiful cross shot.

After several missed chances, City’s victory was in doubt. Always playing their way and as requested by their coach, the Manchester team made a supported exit, but this time, it didn’t work.

Ederson tries to play out from the back, but he plays the ball to Copenhagen’s feet. In the scramble, the ball falls kindly to Mattisson, who delivers a beautifully placed shot into the top corner to equalize.

However, Manchester City’s dominance was overwhelming, and even before the end of the first half, De Bruyne provides an “accidental” assist. In a 50-50 ball, it falls perfectly for Bernardo Silva to finish past the goalkeeper.

Once again, the midfielders making diagonal runs.

The second half comes, and the game’s tone remains the same. City had many chances to extend their lead, including a shot hitting the post from Haaland.

The score was sealed in injury time with another beautiful partnership between Foden and De Bruyne. The diagonal infiltrations worked once again.

The English forward provides a through ball to the Belgian, who returns it with a one-two. Foden goes one-on-one with the goalkeeper and scores another goal, celebrating his excellent form.

The Cityzens are confirming their favouritism, and only a tragedy at the Etihad Stadium would prevent their qualification.

Copenhagen 1 x 3 Manchester City | Champions League: melhores momentos

Image: Getty Images

RB Leipzig 0 X 1 Real Madrid – Round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions League

RB Leipzig and Real Madrid provided a beautiful Champions League match.

Both teams played well and created several opportunities. If it wasn’t for the goalkeepers’ performances, the score could have been much more significant.

Just one minute into the game, Leipzig scored. A corner kick, cleared by the Merengue defense, is put back into the box. Sesko heads it in with the goal gaping.

However, the goal was disallowed. The claim is that another Leipzig player, who was behind Lunin, participated in the play by touching the goalkeeper. A very controversial decision.

Nevertheless, the German team didn’t give up and kept attacking. Sesko had two more opportunities, inside the box, to open the scoring. One of them was a great save by Lunin, and the other went wide.

Real Madrid, towards the end of the first half, started to find better connections in their plays. Vini Jr receives a good ball from Brahim Diaz but shoots poorly.

The Spanish midfielder replaced Bellingham effectively. Early in the second half, he scored a spectacular goal. He receives the ball on the right wing, gets past two markers, despite being fouled in the first attempt, and places the ball into the top corner. Real Madrid 1×0.

And that’s not all. Brahim Diaz was involved in all dangerous plays by the Merengues. At 70′, he initiates a counter-attack and sets up Vini Jr. The Brazilian forward makes a beautiful play and delicately touches the ball. It hits the post agonizingly.

RB Leipzig created several opportunities to equalize, but Lunin stood firm, highlighting the almost sensational goal Xavi Simons could have scored. The Dutch midfielder chips the ball over Kroos and unleashes a bomb from outside the box. The ball bounces just before reaching the goal, but the Ukrainian goalkeeper does well and prevents the equalizing goal.

It’s important to note how well the front three of each team worked. Both Xavi Simons, Dani Olmo, and Sesko, as well as Rodrygo, Vini Jr, and especially Brahim Diaz, were extremely involved and creative.

Despite the advantage of playing at home, as well as the favorable score, the Santiago Bernabéu game is still open, as Leipzig showed they are capable of creating the necessary opportunities to score.

RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid: Brahim Diaz fills Jude Bellingham's boots as visitors earn Champions League win | Football News | Sky Sports

Image: Reproduction Sky Sports

PSG 2 x 0 Real Sociedad – Round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions Leaguef

In the duel between French and Spanish teams, Mbappé’s team came out on top.

In a tepid first half, which saw more chances for Real Sociedad, the home team relied on luck to end the first half with a 0x0 scoreline.

The Japanese winger, Kubo, had an impressive performance and had the upper hand over the Parisian defense in most plays. Luis Henrique fielded Beraldo, improvised on the left-back, who found it very challenging. But not only him, all dangerous plays went through the winger, who also won duels against Danilo and Marquinhos.

Merimo also struck a rocket from outside the box. The ball hits the crossbar and goes out for a goal kick, in what was the last play of the first half.

But, it’s that old football saying: if you don’t score, you’ll concede.

PSG came out more focused in the second half. They counted, at 57′, on a traditional play from the team. A corner kick. Marquinhos attacks the first post. The ball finds Mbappé (as always), who was closing in at the second post. The French forward opens the scoring and makes everything easier for the home team.

From there, PSG started to apply strong medium-pressure marking and gained greater control of the game. Right after the goal, they regain possession in this sector, and it falls to Mbappé at the edge of the box, who unleashes a shot. The goalkeeper Remiro makes a spectacular save, deflecting the shot onto the post and subsequently out for a corner.

As Real Sociedad pushed forward, spaces opened up. Barcola advanced down the left wing, with little marking. He got past two defenders and finished past Remiro to make it 2×0, crowning his excellent individual play.

Despite the positive result, PSG can’t afford to think that qualification is secured. The return leg in the Basque Country will be fiery.

Com gol de Mbappé, PSG vence o Real Sociedad pela Champions League

Image: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images /Esporte News Mundo

Lazio 1 x 0 Bayern Munich – Round of 16 of the 2023/24 Champions League

Undoubtedly the most surprising result of the round so far.

As expected, Bayern had the best opportunities to open the scoring in the first half. In total, there were at least five clear chances, three of them inside the box. To be more specific, close to the opponent’s six-yard box.

Lazio, on the other hand, sought to defend and bet on counter-attacks. They frightened goalkeeper Neuer with two shots from outside the box, but that was it.

In the second half, the scenario changed. Even though they controlled the game, Bayern didn’t pose as much threat to Lazio’s goal anymore.

The team from the Italian capital had the chance to open the scoring with Isaksen, after an incredible play by Luis Alberto. The midfielder steals the ball from Upamecano, gets past two markers, and delivers a perfect pass to the Danish forward. He goes one-on-one with Neuer, who uses his specialty, closing the angles in one-on-one situations, making a great save.

Shortly after, Felipe Anderson steals the ball in the midfield and initiates a counter-attack for Lazio. Arriving in the box, he passes to Immobile, who manages to get the ball to Isaksen’s feet through some hurdles. At the moment of the shot, Upamecano digs his studs into the Dane’s shin, protagonizing an absolutely criminal tackle.

The referee pointed to the penalty spot and sent off Upamecano immediately.

Thus, at 67′, Ciro Immobile (as always) takes the penalty and sends Neuer the wrong way, opening the scoring for the home team.

With one less player and no strength to react, the match ended 1×0.

Bayern needs to improve significantly if they dream of advancing. Just like in the Bundesliga, the team hasn’t been capitalizing on the chances created, as well as committing childish defensive errors.

Anyway, they are technically superior to Lazio and have everything to overturn the situation at the Allianz Arena.

Who will advance to the next round?

Champions: Lazio surpreende, vence Bayern e abre vantagem nas oitavas

Image: Reproduction X

Written by Vitor F L Miller.

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