The UEFA Champions League is back, with the first four games of the Round of 16 played on February 16 and 17. There were goals galore, an upset, a hat trick, and the fall of the Spanish giants. This week we’re going to take a look at what went down and give you updates on the best Champions League betting odds for the second leg to look forward to.
Barcelona vs. PSG
Score: Barcelona 1 - 4 PSG
It’s unlikely that Barcelona’s UEFA Champions League run will extend further than the Round of 16. The Blaugrana were put to the sword by Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou and Ronald Koeman will wonder how his side capitulated to such an extent in the second half. Barça held their own in the first half, but even Lionel Messi couldn’t upstage the unbelievable talent of Kylian Mbappé. Mbappé didn’t just score a hat trick; he killed Barcelona’s hopes of progressing any further in the same breath.
Normally, games between two massive teams like these can be rather cagey affairs, but this was anything but. The first half was absolutely scintillating, with both teams playing attractive soccer, and the ball pinged from box to box. The Blaugrana struck first with Frenkie de Jong getting his side a penalty after being fouled in the box by Layvin Kurzawa. Of course, it was Lionel Messi that slotted the ball home. Unfortunately for Barcelona, it was a matter of minutes before Kylian Mbappé proved his worth to score a rocket in the roof of the net.
New PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino was without talismanic forward Neymar, but he wouldn’t have cared much with the way his team dispatched the Spanish giants. The second half was simply the Kylian Mbappé show, and he absolutely tore the Barça defense to shreds. On-loan Everton striker continues his resurgence with a headed goal on 75 minutes, but Mbappé’s brace on either side of this showed that PSG might finally go all the way to win the Champions League for the first time.
It’s incredibly unlikely that Barcelona will be able to overturn a four-goal haul at Parc des Princes, and unless a miracle happens, PSG certainly look set to be in the quarter finals.
Date: March 10, 2021
Place: Parc des Princes
Betting odds: PSG: +100 Tie: +280 Barcelona: +225
RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool
Score: RB Leipzig 0 - 2 Liverpool
Liverpool have been having a woeful time on the domestic front and lost three of their last matches in a row. The Reds have been plagued by injuries to some of the most essential players and seem to be struggling with the pressure of being crowned EPL champions for the first time in 30 years.
This seemed like the perfect time for a relatively young and inexperienced LB Leipzig team to take on Liverpool. RB Leipzig were almost in front within the first five minutes, but Alisson’s blushes were spared when Angeliño’s header thumped off the upright. Leipzig goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi then saved well to deny Mo Salah when he went through on goal. The sides remained goalless at halftime.
RB Leipzig came out with all guns blazing in the second half, and it seemed only a matter of time before they were ahead. However, a defensive error from Marcel Sabitzer allowed Mo Salah to get on goal, and the lethal forward was not going to miss from there. Manager Julian Nagelsmann’s misery was compounded by another defensive mishap, this time from Dayot Upamecano that allowed Sadio Mané to slot home Liverpool’s second.
RB Leipzig travel to Anfield for the second leg, but Liverpool will be more than happy to defend their two away goals. It’s unlikely that Leipzig will overturn this goal aggregate, but Anfield is not the impenetrable fortress it once was and they have nothing to lose. Expect an aggressive and exciting game the next time these two teams meet.
Date: March 10, 2021
Betting odds: Liverpool: -115 Tie: +280 RB Leipzig: +270
Sevilla vs. Dortmund
Score: Sevilla 2 - 3 Dortmund
Sevilla started the game the brighter of the two teams, and midfielder Suso’s shot ended up in the back of the net when it took a wicked deflection off Dortmund’s Mats Hummels in the seventh minute. However, their jubilation was short-lived; Dortmund responded emphatically and the visitors equalized through Dahoud’s long-range strike in the 19th minute.
Jadon Sancho and golden boy Erling Haaland combined for the second. Haaland’s stock continues to rise as he slid in to beat the keeper to the ball and put it in the back of the net. The young player now has 10 goals in 7 UCL matches this season and he certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down. It was also Haaland that got Dortmund’s third when he scored past the keeper just a few minutes before the halftime whistle.
The tie could have been put to bed, but Sevilla kept their hopes alive when Luuk de Jong salvaged a goal for the home side six minutes from time.
Dortmund isn’t having a good time domestically, but they seem to be flying in the Champions League, and Sevilla have an uphill task ahead of them when they visit Westfalenstadion. Sevilla’s best hope of progressing is somehow working out how to keep Haaland quiet, which at the moment seems quite impossible.
Date: March 09, 2021
Place: Signal Iduna Park (Westfalenstadion)
Betting odds: Dortmund: +105 Tie: +275 Sevilla: +210
Porto vs. Juventus
Score: Porto 2 -1 Juventus
If you had bet on any team winning their game at home this week, it certainly wouldn’t have been Porto. In fact, this is the first time that Porto have ever won against the Italian champions.
The opener was scored after just 63 seconds on the clock when Taremi pounced on a sloppy back pass from Rodrigo Bentancur and scored from close range.
Juve clearly did not anticipate the aggressive press that Porto piled onto them and they nearly paid the price with another early goal when goalkeeper Szczęsny cleared the ball onto the feet of Sergio Oliviera; thankfully for Juve, the shot was deflected wide.
To make matters worse for the Turin club, captain Giorgio Chiellini was substituted in the 34th minute due to injury. The second half started exactly the same as the first, with Marega scoring a great goal off of an accurate Wilson Manafa cut-back, within just a few seconds of play.
Juventus finally seemed to click with 20-minutes remaining and Porto keeper Agustin Marchesin had a flurry of saves to make before Chiesa stuck the ball in the back of the net. This precious away goal gives Juventus hope of turning the result around in the next leg, where they will hope that Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to make much more of an impact at the Juventus Stadium.
Date: March, 09 2021
Place: Juventus Stadium
Betting odds: Juventus: -200 Tie: +300 Porto: +550
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