Tonight saw the last games played in the last 16 of the Champions League and we now finally know our quarter-finalists. Five teams took a lead in to the second leg and only one of those teams didn’t progress. Only two teams that played the first leg at home progressed too, adding to the opinion that it’s best to be drawn as the away team in the draw.
I’ll start with Malaga, the only team to overturn a lead suffered in the first leg. It took them 43 minutes to cancel out that lead, and with 13 minutes to play ex-Bayern Munich and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz sent the Spaniards through.
Controversy was the main talking point in the second leg of Manchester United’d match with Real Madrid. United were seemingly in control and 1-0 up at Old Trafford before Nani saw red for a dubious foul on Alvaro Arbeloa ten minutes into the second half. Two goals in a three minute spell, from Luka Modric and Christiano Ronaldo (who else) respectively, ended the tie despite a gallant effort by the United.
The only other English team involved at this stage were Arsenal, and their tie was effectively over going into the second leg after Bayern Munich recorded a 3-1 win at The Emirates. The second leg was played out in a manner that suggests Bayern thought this was the case, and they were almost punished for their complacency. The progressed on away goals though as the Gunners couldn’t find the vital goal after Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny took the tie right down to the wire.
Celtic found themselves up against Italian champions Juventus and despite a heroic effort in the first leg found themselves 3-0 down going into the second. Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella goals in each half made light work of any attempts at a miraculous comeback from the Scottish team though and the Italians progressed.
The other Italian team in at this stage were AC Milan and they were up against tournament favourites Barcelona. Despite a 2-0 win in the first leg no-one was expecting an easy ride at Camp Nou and unfortunately for Milan they were about to witness a Lionel Messi master class. The diminutive Argentine scored a fantastic goal after just five minutes and added another five before the break. David Villa scored ten minutes into the second and Barcelona’s passage was secured in injury time as Jordi Alba got himself onto the score sheet.
Galatasaray were held to a 1-1 draw in the home leg of their tie against Schalke but managed a 3-2 win in Germany to progress and PSG held on to their 2-1 first-leg win away to Valencia with a 1-1 draw in Paris. Borussia Dortmund scored late in Ukraine to draw 2-2 with Shakhtar Donetsk but were dominant at home and recorded an emphatic 3-0 win to put their name into the hat for the next round.
Champions League Last 16 second leg results (aggregate scores in brackets):
Juventus (5) 2 – 0 (0) Celtic
Paris Saint Germain (3) 1 – 1 (2) Valencia
Borussia Dortmund (5) 3 – 0 (2) Shakhtar Donetsk
Manchester United (2) 1 – 2 (3) Real Madrid
Schalke (3) 2 – 3 (4) Galatasaray
Malaga CF (2) 2 – 0 (1) FC Porto
Bayern Munich (3) 0 – 2 (3) Arsenal
FC Barcelona (4) 4 – 0 (2) AC Milan
The Quarter-Final draw will take place on Friday 15 March.