Kevin De Bruyne scores against FC Copenhagen 2024

Champions League Round of 16 First Leg Review

Following this week’s action in European football’s premier competition, Manchester City is among a number of clubs that have taken a significant step closer to the quarter finals. 

Champions League football finally resumed on Tuesday, where two matches took place. RB Leipzig took on 14 time European Champions Real Madrid at the RB Arena in Germany, whilst Pep Guardiola’s reigning European Champions Manchester City travelled to Copenhagen to take on Danish heavyweights FC Copenhagen at the Parken Stadium.

The following day, Italian side Lazio welcomed 6 time European Champions Bayern Munich to the historic Stadio Olimpico, whilst Paris Saint Germain and Real Sociedad met at the iconic Parc des Princes for the first leg of their Round of 16 tie.

In a two-legged knockout tie, it is, of course, most advantageous if you take a lead into the second leg. However, should you take a draw in the first leg, this is can also be a positive going into the other game, especially if you will have home advantage. Losing by the odd goal, however negative a defeat is, does not necessarily mean that the tie is over, fortunes could be turned around in the next match with the chances of this increasing if at home.

Here we are going to go through all four Champions League Round of 16 first leg ties that were played over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday this week. We will start with Manchester City’s game at the Parken Stadium on Tuesday night against the reigning Danish Superliga Champions FC Copenhagen.

FC Copenhagen (Denmark) 1 – 3 Manchester City (England)

The Champions of Denmark and England came face to face on Tuesday, looking to get the tie off to the best of starts ahead of the second leg at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. In the end, Guardiola’s Cityzens managed to fend off a brave Copenhagen performance to win comfortably 3 – 1.

Belgian midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne got City off to the best of starts when he scored to give his team the lead with just ten minutes gone (10’). Then, against the run of play, Copenhagen found their equaliser, restoring parity through attacking midfielder Magnus Mattsson, who scored in the latter stages of the first half (34’).

Bernardo Silva restored Manchester City’s one goal advantage, making it 2 – 1 in first half stoppage time (45+1’). Phil Foden then scored with seconds to go in the second half to seal a vitally important win in the first leg.

This leaves City with a two-goal advantage going into the away leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 6th March 2024, in an 8pm kick-off.

RB Leipzig (Germany) 0 – 1 Real Madrid (Spain)

Real Madrid are undoubtedly a club with a tremendous history in the European game, having won the UEFA Champions League/European Cup on no less than 15 occasions to date. Their opponents, Germany’s RB Leipzig, are an emerging force in European football, with these two clubs taking each other on at the RB Arena. It was a narrow 1 – 0 win for Los Blancos in the end.

Spanish forward Brahim Diaz scored the only and winning goal of the game when he was able to cut inside and send the ball into the top corner from close range in a spectacular effort (48’).

Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos side will take this slender one-goal advantage into the second leg of this Round Of 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday, 6th March 2024, in a 20:00 kick-off.

Lazio (Italy) 1 – 0 Bayern Munich (Germany)

Lazio and reigning German Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich went head to head at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday night in what was the first leg of their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. In the end, a ten-man Bayern were beaten 1 – 0 by their Serie A counterparts in the Italian Capital.

Just two minutes after French central defender Dayot Upamecano was sent off for the Bavarian heavyweights, Lazio scored the only goal of the match thanks to forward Ciro Immobile, who found the back of the net from the penalty spot with barely more than 20 minutes of the contest remaining (69’).

It is Lazio who take their one goal advantage into the second leg, which will be being played at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on Tuesday 5th March 2024 in an 8pm kick-off.

Paris Saint Germain (France) 2 – 0 Real Sociedad (Spain)

The final 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg tie to take place this week was French Champions Paris Saint Germain taking on Spanish LaLiga club Real Sociedad at the Parc des Princes. The tie took place on Wednesday night, and it was a comfortable 2 – 0 win for the Parisians in the end.

2018 World Cup Winner and star French international forward Kylian Mbappe gave PSG the lead with a superb goal early on in the second half after the opening half of the game had been level at 0 – 0 at half time (58’). Bradley Barcola, signed in the summer from Olympique Lyonnais, scored to double the home side’s advantage with just 20 minutes of the game remaining (70’).

The second leg will be played at Real Sociedad’s Reale Arena on Tuesday 5th March 2024 in a 20:00 kick-off. Paris Saint Germain are going to take a strong two goal advantage into the next match.

It was a superb week of UEFA Champions League football, with the First Legs of Round Of 16 ties set to continue next week.

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