Thursday, March 17, 2011

Champions League Wrap! Round of 16 comes to an end

The last eight teams standing in Europe have been decided after the last four games of the round of 16 second legs were completed. Some stunning football was on show as the European finalists from 2009/2010 clashed and many games began even on aggregate.

Manchester United vs Marseille began with United knowing that conceding at home would make the task all the more difficult. The Red Devils made sure of it in the first half, scoring in the fifth minute through star signing Hernandez. Marseille wasted a host of opportunities early on. They would prove to be costly late in the scond half as Chicarito went on to score a double and send United through yet again. A late twist saw an own goal from Wes Brown, but it was a mere consilation for the French side who failed to make an impression on the game.

The clash of the round saw defending European Champions Inter face Bayern Munich away from home. Inter went into the match 1-0 down. Things were square just after the start with Eto'o beginning a memorable night with a calm finish in the 4th minute. Things were turned on their head as Gomes capitalised on a Cesar mistake yet again to bring the scored even on the night.

The hopes of the European giants were dashed when Muller put the Germans ahead just 10 minutes later. Inter came out in the second half with an attacking mentality, through the brilliance of Sneijder the Italians equalised sending the travelling fans into a frenzy. Inter were still behind with just minutes remaining until, Eto'o scorer turn provider teed up Pandev who nailed home from inside the 18 yard box to silence the home fans and send inter through 3-3 on aggregate.

After a seemingly one sided affair in the first leg Chelsea looked to have had the tie sealed up against Copenhagen for the second and home leg at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea failed to find the back of the net, and so to did FC Copenhagen. The tie ended 0-0 with Chelsea comfortably going through. However their form will be something of concern for manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Real Madrid had history against them in their clash against Lyon at the Santiago Bernabeu, 1-1 in the first leg gave Madrid a slight edge over their French opponents but the Spanish giants were taking nothing for granted as memories of last years defeat was still fresh. Madrid attacked from the outset, and a brilliant showing from Ronaldo saw them up by a goal thanks to Marcelo late in the first half.

In the second half a revitalised Karim Benzema finished calmly after a lofted ball from Marcelo caught the Lyon defence out. The former Lyon man finished between the legs of Lloris. With the night seemingly over Di Maria finished with a chip into the net in the 76th minute securing a 3-0 victory over the less than impressive French outfit.

With only eight teams remaining the countdown to Wembley is on!