Champions League Round of 16: Stage set for epic second-leg battles

First-leg matches provided plenty of drama, setting up intense showdowns and thrilling football action.
UEFA Champions League 2023/24
UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

The curtain has fallen on the first act of the Champions League Round of 16, leaving fans across the globe buzzing with anticipation for the thrilling second-leg showdowns to come. From dominant displays to dramatic upsets, the first legs delivered a rollercoaster of emotions, reminding us why this competition holds such an allure.

Copenhagen 1-3 Manchester City

Copenhagen hosted reigning champs Manchester City at Parken Stadium on Feb. 13. Manchester City took the lead with Kevin De Bruyne in the 10th minute of the match, but could not prevent the goal of Magnus Mattsson from the home team in the 34th minute. Manchester City shook the net with Bernardo Silva in first-half stoppage time and Phil Foden scored in the 92nd minute to help the Citizens win the match 3-1. The rematch will be played in England on Wednesday, March 6.

RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid, who were the guests of German side Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena, opened its Round of 16 series on Feb. 13. Brahim Diaz scored the goal that brought victory to the Spanish team in the 48th minute. The game stats were surprisingly closeas ball possession was evenly split at 50%-50%. Leaving the field with a score of 1-0, Real Madrid gained an advantage for the rematch which will be played in Spain on Wednesday, March 6.

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Real Sociedad

French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain hosted Spain's Real Sociedad on Feb.14. The home team won the match played at Parc des Princes Stadium with goals by Kylian Mbappe in the 58th minute and Bradley Barcola in the 70th minute. The rematch will be played on Tuesday, March 5.

Lazio 1-0 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich, who qualified for the last 16 as Group A leader, were the guests of Lazio on Feb. 14. No goals were scored in the first half. Lazio won a penalty in the 67th minute with Bayern Munich's Dayot Upamecano receiving a direct red card for his hard tackle on Gustav Isaksen in the penalty area. Ciro Immobile, who took charge of the ball in the 69th minute for the penalty shot, put the ball into the net. The score did not change in the remaining time. The rematch will be played on Tuesday, March 5.

PSV Eindhoven 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Dutch representative PSV Eindhoven drew 1-1 with visiting Borussia Dortmund. Borussia Dortmund's goal was scored by Donyell Malen in the 24th minute, while the home team's goal came from Luuk de Jong (penalty) in the 56th minute. The rematch will be played in Germany on Wednesday, March 13.

Inter Milan 1-0 Atlético Madrid

Serie A side Inter, a finalist last year, hosted Spain's Atletico Madrid. Marko Arnautovic scored the goal that gave Inter the victory in the 79th minute. The rematch will be played in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, March 13.

Porto 1-0 Arsenal

Porto faced Arsenal at home on Feb 21. The Portuguese team defeated Arsenal 1-0 with a goal by Galeno in the 94th minute. Porto, who had the advantage before the rematch, had great joy with the last-minute goal. Porto finished second in Group H, ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Royal Antwerp. Arsenal, on the other hand, finished Group B ahead of teams such as Lens, Sevilla, and PSV and emerged as the leader of the group. The rematch will be played in England on Tuesday, March 12.

Napoli 1-1 Barcelona

Napoli and Barcelona faced each other at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Feb. 21. In the match where no goals were scored in the first half, Lewandowski broke the silence in the 60th minute and Barcelona took the lead. Victor Osimhen equalized for Napoli in the 75th minute. Lamine Yamal, who started the match for Barcelona, became the youngest football player to play in the knockout rounds at 16 years and 223 days. The rematch will be played in Spain on Tuesday, March 12.

dark. Next. Barcelona's ineffectiveness costs them in 1-1 draw against Napoli. Robert Lewandosski's opener was canceled out by Victor Osimhen's equalizer as Barcelona and Napoli play to a draw.

Looking Ahead

With the second legs set to commence on March 5, the stage is set for another round of captivating battles. Will underdogs like Porto and Lazio hold onto their surprise leads? Can giants like Bayern Munich and Dortmund bounce back?

The answers to these questions will not only determine the quarterfinalists but also shape the narrative of this year's Champions League journey. So, buckle up and get ready for another enthralling chapter in Europe's premier club competition.