UEFA competitions rewiew

(Feb. 21, 2018 – Source: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com)

This past midweek, half of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first legs, as well as all of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 second legs took place. This was the second week since the end of the continental winter break and the first in which all three German teams that are left there, were active.

Bayern Munich faced Besiktas Istanbul in the first leg of their Champions League encounter, while RB Leipzig took on Italian giants SSC Napoli in the Europa League, where Borussia Dortmund also played Atalanta Bergamo.

On Tuesday, Bayern began its Champions League knockout stage adventure at home against their Turkish opponents, who had won all three away matches in the group stage. That made the Bavarians’ subsequent 5-0 victory all the more impressive.

However, the game was not always easy for the German record champions. Early on, the visitors were the more determined team.

Even after Besikas defender and Croatian international Domagoj Vida fouled Robert Lewandowski and received a red card as the last man, Bayern did not take full advantage of the situation until late in the first half, when Thomas Müller gave them the lead.
Müller scored again in the second half, as did Kingsley Coman once and Lewandowski twice. The five-goal lead all but assures Munich a place in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea and Barcelona drew 1-1 in London that same Tuesday night, while on Wednesday, Manchester United was lucky to go home from Sevilla with a scoreless draw, and Schachtar Donezk came from behind to beat AS Roma 2-1.

On Thursday, the second leg encounters of the Europa League Round of 32 took place. In terms of German teams, Leipzig’s 2-0 home loss to Napoli was enough to send them through on away goals, after a sensational 3-1 win in Italy last week.

Dortmund had beaten Atalanta 3-2 in the first leg, thus their 1-1 draw with them in the second leg was also enough to see them through.

Friday’s Round of 16 draw determined that Dortmund will face Red Bull Salzburg, while Leipzig takes on Zenit St. Petersburg. Both German sides will play at home first.

Denis Knezovic is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

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