So the Champions League has hit the knockout stages, but the round of the last 16 is a rather protracted affair. The first games were played on Tuesday 12th February and we have to wait until Wednesday 13th March to find out who progresses to the quarter finals. The first day of the round saw Celtic play host Juventus and Paris St Germain travel to Valencia with the second day seeing Manchester United travel to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk hosting Borussia Dortmund.
While nothing is certain with a second leg still to be played, Celtic will have to perform a miracle to overturn a 3-0 lead when they travel to Juventus in two weeks’ time. The Scottish champions were more than a match for their Italian counterparts but were undone as three defensive blunders were clinically punished.
PSG looked to have all but secured their passage into the last eight as they led 2-0 with just minutes left. But the tie swung back in to life as Valencia scored and star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw red for a studs-up lunge on Andres Guardado. He will definitely miss the return leg, but potentially faces a longer ban according UEFA officials.
Within half an hour of the tie in Madrid Danny Welbeck and Christiano Ronaldo had both registered goals, but both goalkeepers then stepped up to the plate to brilliantly deny several big chances and set up a mouth-watering tie it Old Trafford in the return leg.
Shakhtar Donetsk led twice in their home leg but were unable to hold on to a lead to take back to Germany. Darijo Srna saw his goal cancelled out by Robert Lewandowski just before half time but Douglas Costa’s goal looked to have sealed the win until Mats Hummels thumped in a header with just three minutes left on the clock.
Champions League Last 16 first leg ties:
Celtic 0 – 3 Juventus
Valencia 1 – 2 Paris St Germain
Real Madrid 1 – 1 Manchester United
Shakhtar Donetsk 2 – 2 Borussia Dortmund
Galatasaray V FC Shalke 04
FC Porto V Malaga CF
Arsenal V Bayern Munich
AC Milan V FC Barcelona