Low Limit Futbol

Champions League Round of 16 Week In Review

We kicked off the Round of 16 in the 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League this week, and this week certainly didn’t disappoint. We saw our share of dominance from the biggest teams in Europe, an abundance of goals, and one giant surprise. Here’s a quick recap of this week’s matches, and a look at the second leg for these ties.

 

Benfica 1 Borussia Dortmund 0

A second half goal from Konstantinos Mitroglu was enough to see the home side take a narrow advantage in this tie. But it wasn’t so much the form that Mitroglu is on, as it is the plethora of misses by dynamic striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabonian striker missed multiple chances during the match, forcing Thomas Tuchel to sub him off for Andre Schurrle in the 62′.The change did not bring the cherished away goal, and the teams move on to Dortmund for the second leg of this tie. For Dortmund to advance, they’re gonna need better finishing out of their striker. He has managed only four goals in his last ten matches, while his counterpart Mitroglu has been on much better form, scoring nine goals in his last 10 matches. Dortmund remain optimistic as they have not lost at home this season in league play. Prediction: Dortmund advance with a moderate sized win at home.

Real Madrid 3 Napoli 1

In the match that most pundits (including myself) thought there would be an upset, there was none. Sparks were stoked when Lorenzo Insigne provided a brilliant finish to thrust the Partenopei into the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu. But a Karim Benzema goal ten minutes later, combined with second half goals from Toni Kroos and Casemiro sent Los Blancos to the commanding lead in this tie. Since two of the four goals in this match were nothing short of magical (Insigne and Casemiro), one can only hope the second leg will be as entertaining as the first. Napoli’s only loss at home in league play this season was back in October to Roma. Since the San Paolo is a difficult place to play, Real Madrid are not out of the woods yet in this one. Prediction: The class of Madrid may be too much for Napoli at this point, despite the away goal. The Casemiro goal will be the decider in this tie.

PSG 4 Barcelona 0

From the “You Can’t Be Serious” file, no one saw this coming! I’m not sure what’s more surprising, the fact that PSG scored four, or the fact that Barcelona scored none. This match was one way traffic, with Angel DiMaria opening the scoring with he first of his two goals in the 18′, followed by goals from newcomer Julian Draxler, and closing with a goal by French League leading scorer Edinson Cavani. Unai Emery has his team positioned to advance to the quarterfinals, a spot PSG is very familiar with. Luis Enrique is in a different position however, feeling the heat from the Barca fans and front office, and multiple names being thrown around to replace him. Can he save his job at this point?? Prediction: You’ll probably want to wear a helmet for this second leg, as five or six goals in this one won’t be out of the question. But I think the Catalan giants will be watching the next round from home.

Bayern Munich 5 Arsenal 1

This match was easily the most lopsided of the four, with Bayern holding a whopping 69% of the possession! Combine that with 24 shots (11 on target) and some sloppy defending, and you have the makings of a lopsided victory. It is amazing to think that this match was tied 1-1 at the half too. This match showed the difference between the top class at Bayern and the lack of it at Arsenal. Aside from Alexis Sanchez, and his periodic heroics (the poise to finish after having his penalty saved) is not enough to see the London side to any hope of an advantage for the second leg at the Emirates. As they are calling for Luis Enrique’s head in Barcelona, the same cries translate to the sack for Arsene Wenger in England. Prediction: More of the same, with Bayern moving through comfortably.

Next week, we’ll re-cap the other half of the matches, and predict winners there as well. Tune in to the show Monday night at 6pm EST to hear our preview of those matches.

 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login