Manchester City 3 - 1 Copenhagen

UCL Round of 16 Second Leg Review (Part One)

The first clubs to progress to the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals have now been confirmed, and one of them is reigning European Champions Manchester City.

The latest week of 2023/24 UEFA Champions League football has now come to an end, following two days of enthralling football. Some of the best teams and players went head to head under enormous pressure to guide their clubs to this year’s Quarter-Final.

Tuesday saw 6 time European Champions Bayern Munich go head to head with Lazio once more, with Harry Kane and his teammates having some work to do at the Allianz Arena with the Bavarian Giants down 1 – 0 ahead of the game. The other game that took place that day was a game between Real Sociedad and reigning French Ligue 1 Champions Paris Saint Germain, with PSG holding a comfortable 2 – 0 lead going into the second leg in Spain.

Moving on to the second and final day of action for this week, on Wednesday evening, 14-time European Champions Real Madrid welcomed German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig to the iconic Santiago Bernabéu. The Spanish giants held a slender one-goal advantage after securing a 1 – 0 win in Leipzig in the first leg thanks to a Brahim Diaz goal in the early stages of the second half (48’).

The fourth and final second leg Round of 16 game that took place in the UEFA Champions League this week was between reigning European Champions Manchester City, who, led by Head Coach Pep Guardiola, faced Danish Champions FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg on Wednesday evening. The Cityzens held a solid 3 – 1 lead from the first leg a few weeks earlier.

The draw for the Quarter Finals will come once the Round of 16 second leg action concludes next week. Here, we will review all of the matches that took place this week, starting with Tuesday night’s action.

Bayern Munich (Germany) 3 – 0 (3 – 1 Agg.) Lazio (Italy)

Bayern Munich knew that they had plenty of work in store for them were they to be able to turn around their one goal deficit against their Italian Serie A counterparts Lazio at the Allianz Arena. In the end, Harry Kane and his Bayern teammates were able to comfortably book a place in the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals with a 3 – 0 victory in Bavaria on the night, meaning that Thomas Tuchel’s side had secured a 3 – 1 win on aggregate.

Harry Kane gave Bayern the lead late on in the first half. The former Spurs forward found the back of the net with a diving header following some impressive build-up play leading up to the goal from the home team (38’). Thomas Muller was then on hand in stoppage time at the end of the first half to score, doubling his side’s advantage with a fantastic glancing header (45+2’).

The Bavarians added their third and final goal of the tie with barely more than 20 minutes of the game to go. It was Kane again, with the England international this time finding the back of the net from close range after Lazio Goalkeeper Ivan Provedel pushed the ball into the forward’s path (66’).

The final whistle did go, with Bayern Munich comfortably booking their place in the quarter-finals. They had more possession (62%) and more attempts on goal, with 22 compared to Lazio’s 5.

Real Sociedad (Spain) 1 – 2 (1 – 4 Agg.) Paris Saint-Germain (France)

The second leg of this Round of 16 tie saw Luis Enrique’s Paris Saint-Germain make the trip to the Basque region of Spain to face Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena on Wednesday night. The visiting Parisians came into the final leg of this UEFA Champions League tie with a comfortable 2 – 0 lead they had earned at home at the Parc des Princes in Paris. In the end, PSG won 2 – 1 in Spain in a tense and competitive game. The French giants had won this Round of 16 tie with a 4 – 1 win on aggregate.

Kylian Mbappe broke the deadlock to give the visiting PSG side the lead early on in the second half thanks to a powerful, close-range effort that found the bottom left corner from a tight angle (15’). Mbappe was then on hand again to complete his brace early in the second half when he doubled his team’s advantage thanks to a calm, close-range finish after being found with an excellent through ball from Kang-In Lee (56’). Mikel Merino, formerly of Newcastle United, got a consolation goal for Real Sociedad in the dying embers of the second half (89’). The full-time whistle did then go not long after, confirming Paris Saint-Germain’s victory.

The away side dominated possession with 53% compared to 47% for their Spanish hosts. PSG also had more attempts on goal, with 14 compared to Real Sociedad’s 10.

Real Madrid (Spain) 1 – 1 (2 – 1 Agg.) RB Leipzig (Germany)

14-time European Champions Real Madrid welcome German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig to the Santiago Bernabéu for the second leg of their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. Los Blancos held a narrow 1 – 0 advantage from the first leg, where Brahim Diaz had scored the winning goal (48’). This game saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side sneak into the Quarter Final following a 1 – 1 draw on Wednesday night.

It was Real Madrid who took the lead in the Spanish Capital thanks to a Vinicius Junior goal – the Brazilian scored with a superb finish following a superb counter attack that led to a through ball finding the feet of the forward with 25 minutes of the game remaining (65’). It provoked a quick response from RB Leipzig, who equalised a few minutes later following a stylish headed goal from their Hungarian central defender Willi Orbán (68’).

The final whistle did eventually go in order to confirm Real Madrid’s progression into the Quarter Finals of this season’s competition.

Los Blancos had the most possession, edging it with 53% of the ball compared to 47 % for the visiting Leipzig. RB Leipzig did have more attempts on goal on Wednesday night, with 21 compared to 12 for Real Madrid.

Manchester City (England) 3 – 1 (6 – 2 Agg.) Copenhagen (Denmark)

The final game here to review from this week is the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg tie between reigning European Champions Manchester City and the reigning Danish Champions Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening. City had a comfortable 3 – 1 lead, and they would go on to win by the same score line in Manchester to secure their place in the Quarter Finals at 6 – 2 on aggregate.

It took just five minutes for the Cityzens to grab the lead, and the breakthrough on the night came thanks to Manuel Akanji. The Swiss central defender found the back of the Copenhagen net with a powerful, close-range volley into the top corner (5’). Julian Alvarez got the second goal before ten minutes had even passed when his cross into the opponent’s penalty area squirmed past former Liverpool stopper Kamil Grabara and into the back of his net to make it 2 – 0 to the home side (9’). Former Southampton forward Mohamed Elyounoussi halved the deficit on the night with a goal with just under half an hour of the game having elapsed (29’). City’s third and final goal came from top scorer Erling Haaland in first-half stoppage time when the Norway international fired the ball in at the near post after taking down the ball with his chest before taking his shot on goal (45+3’). 3 – 1, game over.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City did dominate possession in this game on Wednesday night with no less than 67% of the ball compared to Copenhagen’s 33%. The hosts also had more attempts at goal, with 12 compared to their visitors’ 10.

Excitement is building ahead of the final week of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 next week, where Arsenal are in action against Portuguese heavyweights FC Porto at the Emirates Stadium.

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