The Champions League finally got back underway on Tuesday night, with the round of 16 kicking off with the first four first-leg ties. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of last night’s action.
Olympiakos 0-0 Chelsea
Unfortunately, there are no goals to report from this one.
Olympiakos deserve a lot of credit for not giving up an away goal that would have almost certainly doomed them, because on one hand, it’s a heck of a lot better to be fully in it going into the second 90 minutes, than having an uphill climb.
And, on the other side, it’s not so much mission accomplished for Chelsea, but they withstood the home side’s pressure and a very intense, very partisan crowd.
But, for what it’s worth, both sides lacked that…fire, you could say, when it came to making the most of opportunities.
Highlights, if you could call them that, are available below.
Roma 2-1 Real Madrid
Luciano Spalletti’s side will carry a slim advantage to the Bernabeu in two weeks’ time after overcoming an early deficit to defeat Real Madrid at the Stadio Olimpico.
Real went ahead in the eighth minute, with the goal coming from the man who has scored more than anyone else has in Champions League history, as the revitalized Raul added to his record total by flicking out his foot to deflect a shot by Guti past Doni and in.
But, Roma weren’t deterred by Real’s opening salvo, and equalized 16 minutes later, with a little help from the opposition. David Pizarro unleashed a low shot that Iker Casillas only succeeded in deflecting up and behind him right into the net.
In the 58th minute, Roma went ahead, as a little pace went a long way, as Mancini was able to get free, round Iker Casillas, and fire home into an empty net.
Even with the defeat, that early away goal means that Bernd Schuster’s side are still looking pretty good, because they’ve scored at least two goals in 15 of 16 home matches this season, and have been victorious all 15 times.
They won’t (or shouldn’t) need to rack up a lucky seven as they did against Valladolid, but 2-0 or 3-1 will do just fine.
Roma 2-1 Real Madrid: goal highlights
Schalke 1-0 FC Porto
The lead came early for the German side, as Kevin Kuranyi played garbage man to perfection. Defender Rafinha was put through and unleashed a shot that Helton did well to parry away, but his deflection went right into the path of Kuranyi, who smashed home his third Champions League goal of the campaign.
After that, well, not a lot happened. Each side had a couple of good opportunities, and Porto’s Lisandro Lopez missed a glorious opportunity late on, when he had a chance from just a couple of yards out, and had he been upright, it surely would have been 1-1, but alas he was not, and the shot was wayward.
Porto would have had a distinct advantage heading into the second leg if Lopez’s shot had found the net, but the defeat isn’t a terrible result, as they’ve yet to lose at home this season, and have been held to draws only twice in 14 home ties.
Schalke 1-0 Porto: Kuranyi’s 4th minute strike
Lopez’s late miss
Last but not least, there’a also the highlights from Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Inter.