• Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

United Hours

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Champions League last 16: Ronaldo, Haaland focus

The Champions League is back but who’s in shape for the last 16? Get the lowdown as Chelsea, Man City and Bayern gear up for their first legs.

Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea

Luis Suarez scored 16 goals in his first 17 games for Atletico
  • First leg: February 23, National Arena, Bucharest (8pm)
  • Second leg: March 17, Stamford Bridge (8pm)

What to look out for

There will be no Diego Costa – the former Chelsea forward is still seeking a new club after leaving Atletico in January – but Luis Suarez is another familiar face with previous when it comes to the Blues. The ex-Liverpool player, who infamously bit Branislav Ivanovic during a 2013 clash with Chelsea in which he also scored a late equaliser, has been the impetus behind Atletico’s title tilt, scoring a league-high 16 goals.

Chelsea were the last team to beat Atletico on their own turf in European competition – back in September 2017 – but to repeat the trick, they will need to keep Suarez quiet.

Lazio vs Bayern Munich

  • First leg: February 23, Olimpico (8pm)
  • Second leg: March 17, Allianz Arena (8pm)

What to look out for

Bayern warmed up for the knockout stage of their Champions League title defence by lifting another trophy at the Club World Cup. The holders have gone almost two years without defeat in the Champions League, have failed to score only once in their last 27 matches and have won 16 of their last 17 games in the competition with an overall goal difference of +48.

That looks ominous for Lazio, but both sides have forwards in deadly form. Robert Lewandowski has scored 31 goals in 33 Champions League games since the start of the 2017/18 season – more than any other player – but Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has eight in his last nine Champions League starts and outscored Lewandowski across Europe’s top leagues last term.

Borussia Monchengladbach vs Manchester City

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says people laughed when he suggested Ilkay Gundogan could be used as a striker, following his two goals in the 3-0 win over Tottenham

  • First leg: February 24, Puskas Arena, Budapest (8pm)
  • Second leg: March 16, Etihad Stadium (8pm)

What to look out for

Get ready to hear quadruple and Manchester City in the same sentence again. Streaking clear at the top of the Premier League, in the EFL Cup final and FA Cup last eight, it’s time for the spotlight to turn back onto the trophy that has so far eluded City but Pep Guardiola’s side are purring with 16 wins in a row in all competitions.

Kevin De Bruyne could return against a Gladbach side in fine form themselves; how will Guardiola fit the Belgian and in-form Ilkay Gundogan in the same midfield? “It will not be a problem, I promise you!”.

Atalanta vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard (AP image)
Eden Hazard is back in training after a muscle problem
  • First leg: February 24, Gewiss Stadium (8pm)
  • Second leg: March 16, Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium (8pm)

What to look out for

Real Madrid are five points behind La Liga leaders Atletico (having played two games more) and are out of the Copa del Rey and Spanish Cup. It’s crunch time now for Zinedine Zidane. Zidane’s side came back from the brink to reach the last 16 as Group B winners but all eyes are now on their European challenge, with reports in Spain claiming the Frenchman’s job is on the line.

Another man under scrutiny, Eden Hazard, could return after his latest injury setback. His boss will hope he can finally find fitness and form.

Last 16 results so far…

Porto 2-1 Juventus: Ronaldo quiet as hosts gain edge

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Champions League round of 16, first leg, soccer match between FC Porto and Juventus at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo failed to fire against Porto

Early goals at the start of each half from Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega saw Porto beat Juventus 2-1 in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie on a night Cristiano Ronaldo was kept quiet.

Sevilla 2-3 Borussia Dortmund: Haaland stars again

17 February 2021, Spain, Sevilla: Football: Champions League, knockout round, round of 16, first leg Sevilla FC - Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Dortmund's Erling Haaland (r) celebrates after scoring the goal to make it 1:2. Photo by: Daniel Gonzalez Acuna/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
Erling Haaland scored twice against Sevilla

Erling Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund ended Sevilla’s nine-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.

RB Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool: Salah, Mane put Reds in control

Mohamed Salah is congratulated after giving Liverpool the lead against RB Leipzig
Mohamed Salah is congratulated after giving Liverpool the lead against RB Leipzig

Liverpool broke a run of three straight defeats and put one foot in the last eight of the Champions League with a 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig.

Barcelona 1-4 PSG: Mbappe hits hat-trick in big win

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Barcelona
PSG’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal against Barcelona

Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick inspired Paris Saint-Germain to an emphatic 4-1 victory at Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Champions League key dates

Round of 16 first legs: February 16/17/23/24

Round of 16 second legs: March 9/10/16/17

Quarter-final and semi-final draws: March 19

Quarter-finals first legs: April 6/7

Quarter-finals second legs: April 13/14

Semi-finals first legs: April 27/28

Semi-finals second legs: May 4/5

Final: May 29 (Atatürk Olympic Stadium)

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