Bayer Leverkusen 2 FT 4 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid hold two-goal edge as Greizman becomes the spanish outfit’s all time champoins league highest goal scorer
Atletico Madrid opened their Champions League knockout stage with a 4-2 win away to Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 first leg on Tuesday.
Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann put Atletico 2-0 up before Karim Bellarabi got a goal back for the hosts early in the second half. Kevin Gameiro then restored Atletico’s two-goal edge from the penalty spot before a Stefan Savic own goal again reduced Leverkusen’s deficit.
But Fernando Torres, on as a late substitute, had the final say as Atletico came away with a comfortable advantage ahead of their home leg.
Leverkusen nearly gifted Atletico the opener in the 11th minute. Griezmann’s shot was saved by Bernd Leno, but when Filipe Luis put a second ball into the box, Wendell’s clearance clanged off the crossbar.
The hosts had a good response, though, working their way into the Atletico box before Kevin Kampl’s shot deflected wide.
But Atletico were on top on 17 minutes when Saul ran past the sliding Kampl on the wing, cut into the box and unleashed a marvelous curling effort over Leno’s outstretched arm.
It got worse for Leverkusen eight minutes later when Aleksandar Dragovic miscued an attempted header at the centre line, and it fell for Gameiro to run towards goal. He was able to hold the ball up long enough to cross to Griezmann, who fired home off the underside of the bar.
And Atletico were unfortunate not to be 3-0 up when Gameiro again centred for Griezmann, who was in on goal but could not beat Leno.
Leverkusen had a penalty shout just before the break when Javier Hernandez collided with Gabi while jumping for a ball, and though it wasn’t given the incident did seem to spark the hosts to start the second half.
Indeed, Bellarabi found a goal for Leverkusen in the 48th minute as he redirected Benjamin Henrichs’s low cross into the opposite corner of the net.
But Gameiro nearly restored the advantage two minutes later when he struck the corner of the woodwork and then did find Atletico’s third before the hour mark in controversial fashion.
Gameiro tried to run past Aleksandar Dragovic on the side of the goal, and though the Austrian defender appeared to make contact outside the box, Scottish referee William Collum pointed to the penalty spot, and Gameiro converted easily.
Leverkusen were not finished, though, and got a goal back on 68 minutes when Julian Brandt’s cross was pushed away by Mayo but only against the leg of defender Savic, who could do nothing as the ball entered the net.
The hosts pushed for an equaliser and thought they had one with 10 minutes to play, only for Luis to clear Hernandez’s effort off the line.
And in the 86th minute it was Atletico who restored their two-goal advantage, with Torres flicking home a header from Sime Vrsaljko’s cross to cap the scoring ahead of the second leg in Madrid.
Man City edge eight-goal thriller in UCL against Monaco as John Stones blunders and then atones
Manchester City 5 FT 3 AS Monaco
Manchester City overcame Monaco in an eight-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium, coming from behind to run out 5-3 winners in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg.
Radamel Falcao’s brace had looked to set Monaco on their way to a 3-2 victory after the hour-mark, but goals from Sergio Aguero — his second of the night — John Stones and Leroy Sane turned the game on its head.
The match got off to a lively start with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent, though the first real chance did not come until the 15th minute when Raheem Sterling attempted to round Danijel Subasic, with the loose ball falling to Aguero who tried to beat the Monaco keeper from a tight angle only to see his effort saved.
Monaco had an opportunity of their own to break the deadlock after 18 minutes when Benjamin Mendy was picked out by Kylian Mbappe, but he was unable to beat Willy Caballero at his near post.
A minute later and the visitors had another sight of goal after Yaya Toure failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Kamil Glik at the far post, but the defender sent his header wide from close range.
City managed to open the scoring in the 26th minute through Sterling, who arrived in the box to convert Sane’s cross from close range after the Germany international had linked up well with David Silva.
However, Monaco were level six minutes later as Falcao got on the end of a Fabinho cross to head home after the Brazilian had intercepted a poor Caballero clearance.
City thought they had a penalty moments later when Aguero, through on goal, went to ground after attempting to round Subasic but the striker was shown a yellow card for allegedly diving.
Mbappe had a chance to edge Monaco in front on 36 minutes when Falcao’s flick-on played the ball into his path inside the box but he sent his effort just over the bar.
Mbappe did not make the same mistake four minutes later, though, when latching onto Fabinho’s ball over the top that opened up the City defence, with the 18-year-old firing first time into the roof of the net to stun the home support.
It could well have been another just before the break for Monaco — dangerous with every attack against a struggling City defence — when Falcao found himself free with the ball inside the area but he could only strike into side netting.
Monaco started the second half as they ended the first and won a penalty just four minutes after the restart when Nicolas Otamendi was adjudged to have brought down Falcao in the area.
Falcao got back on to his feet to take the penalty, but his weak effort was comfortably saved by Caballero who guessed the right way.
City were gifted a way back into the game in the 58th minute by Subasic when Aguero, who had been played in by Sterling, fired a strike straight at him that he somehow allowed to slip through his fingers and into the back of the net.
But just two minutes later and Monaco’s advantage was restored when Falcao outmuscled Stones in the box before clipping a stunning chip over Caballero.
The game continued to remain open as the second half wore on with another chance presenting itself to Mbappe on 69 minutes, but the forward’s effort from a tight angle smashed into the side netting.
Two minutes later and City had levelled the game again, with Silva picking out Aguero with a cross and the Argentina international burying a volley into the far corner.
And after 77 minutes the hosts had completed the turnaround when Stones arrived at the far post to turn Toure’s header into the back of the net to send the Etihad wild.
Aguero could have added another for City just a few moments later only to see his strike saved, before Sane did make it five on 82 minutes, slotting home from close range after being teed up by the Argentine.