With the Champions League underway, we’ve witnessed many exciting moments thus far. It’s only getting hotter with each passing round, with the goal of being called the champion of Europe. With the group round done, there’s no room for any mistakes.
Adding to that, since the “away goals” rule is gone, both legs count, and every goal is worth the same. Whether the first or second leg, teams need to score as many goals as possible. With the Champions League raging on, here are a few top talking points.
A Showdown in Madrid, and Benzema to the Rescue
Real Madrid’s Parisian trip ended in a defeat on a late goal by Kylian Mbappe, giving them a tough battle returning to the Bernabeu. PSG had a leg into the quarterfinals as they were clear favorites after the first-leg showdown. However, what happened in Spain is one for the ages.
PSG coming to Madrid wasn’t supposed to be a tough assignment, They only had to replicate what happened in Paris, which they did for the first 45 minutes after Mbappe’s sumptuous finishing foray. However, the tides changed when an awful error from PSG’s goalie, Donnaruma, gave Real a window of opportunity.
PSG crumbled for the next 17 minutes, and Benzema recorded a hat-trick, the oldest player to do so in the competition. That sent Real Madrid to the last eight..
Lewandowksi and Bayern Cruise Through
Bayern and Salzburg’s first leg was a bittersweet experience for Munich, as they were lucky to get a draw in Austria. The was a game that had everything, from intensity to flair to prowess on defense. We had a showdown that was never expected.
Going into the match, Bayern Munich were the clear favorites. However, the youngsters from Salzburg showed they could be giant slayers, too. In the first half, a goal from Adamu gave RB Salzburg the edge. It wasn’t until very late into the second half before Bayern could level on a Kingsley Coman goal, giving the German champions a lifeline.
Returning to Germany, the story was different, and we could see the changing of the tide. Salzburg did all they could, but early goals from Robert Lewandowksi took the game away from them. It ended in a complete annihilation, as Bayern cruised past the Austrians, 6-1.
Narrow Escape at Anfield
European nights at Anfield have a different feel. With so many emotions and an incredible atmosphere, visiting teams find it difficult to come away with anything. However, the case was different as the Italian champions were in town, even though they already fell, 2-0, in the opener.
With two quick succession goals from Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino at San Siro, Inter Milan had plenty of work to do at Anfield. They were up to the task, however, and for some minutes, it felt like the impossible might just happen. They were able to get one back after a beauty by Lautaro Matinez. However, this was short-lived when Sanchez was red-carded.
As a result, Liverpool was able to hold on, securing a narrow win to book a place in the quarterfinals.
As the UCL continues, expect to see more great moments, with the road to the final as exciting as the final itself. We’re here to enjoy every moment they offer. The battle lines are being drawn across Europe.