Sunday, 13 March 2016

Champions League Last 16 Second Legs Part One

The elongated last 16 round of the Champions League saw the first four spots in the last eight confirmed in midweek with the remaining spots to be filled in the second part of the round next week.

Tuesday night saw Real Madrid continue their charge to an 11th title as they hosted AS Roma, the La Liga side went into the second leg with a 2-0 lead from the opening game. The sides played out a goalless first half before the hosts kicked into gear with two goals in the space of four minutes after the hour mark. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring on 64 minutes before James Rodriguez wrapped up a 2-0 win on 68 minutes to complete a 4-0 rout on aggregate.

The night's other tie saw Wolfsburg host KAA Gent with the Germans holding a 3-2 advantage from the first leg leaving the Belgians with a big task to overcome three away goals. However, such a task was made harder by the fact that the game remained at 0-0 long into the second half. The hosts confirmed their place in the last eight with a 74th minute winner from André Schurrle to complete a 4-2 aggregate success.

Wednesday night began with Zenit St Petersburg hosting Benfica looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Portugal. The sides played out a goalless first half with the equality continuing past the hour mark until the Russians levelled the tie at 1-1 with a 69th minute opener from Hulk. Gaitan levelled for 1-1 on the night and put the visitors 2-1 ahead overall with five minutes to go before Conceicao wrapped up a 2-1 win and 3-1 aggregate success in added time.

Chelsea played host to perennial Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg and become the first English side to reach the last eight. The visitors extended their aggregate lead to 3-1 inside 16 minutes as Rabiot put them ahead on the night. Chelsea responded on 27 minutes through Diego Costa but were unable to level the tie before Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed a 2-1 win and 4-2 success on aggregate in the 67th minute.