It’s one of two Tuesday first legs, with big names like Fernando Torres, Javier Hernandez, and Antoine Griezmann all set to feature in the other.
Manchester City vs. Monaco
How they got here: Man City finished second to Barcelona in Group C, winning two of six matches, while Monaco won Group E over Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham Hotspur, and CSKA Moscow.
History: Tuesday will be the first meeting of Man City and Monaco.
The plot: Pep Guardiola’s tenure at Bayern Munich saw him bounced at the semifinals of three-straight UCL tournaments, and his last final came in 2011.
The subplot: Will Yaya Toure’s City resurgence extend into Europe? How about Radamel Falcao getting some PL revenge? And watch out for Premier League rumor mill men Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, and Joao Moutinho.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid
How they got here: Bayer finished second to Monaco in Group E, and Atletico won five of six group stage matches in summiting Group D.
History: The clubs swapped home wins in the 2015 UCL — Atleti progressed after penalties — and drew a pair of UEL matches in 2010.
The plot: Neither side is tempting its usual spot on its domestic table, and both Diego Simeone and Roger Schmidt would be thrilled to progress in Europe.
The subplot: Simeone has won the Europa League, and is chasing his third UCL final in four seasons. … Bayer attacker Chicharito is hot again, with five goals in his last three Bundesliga matches, after waving off MLS rumors.
The 29-year-old striker proved his worth once again though on Saturday afternoon at the Etihad Stadium after scoring his second hat-trick of the 2017/18 Premier League season in Man City’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle United.
Although the match never seemed in doubt that Pep Guardiola‘s side would come out on top, Aguero has a way of finding himself in all the right positions, and more importantly, capitalizing on the chances he has when he gets into those spots.
An overwhelming amount of possession — which exceeded 80 percent in favor of Man City — gave the hosts the opportunities that it needed, and City manager Pep Guardiola has full confidence in Aguero, who continues to light up English football in his 200th PL appearance.
“I said we are not going to buy a striker because we have Sergio Aguero and in 2-3 weeks we will have Gabriel Jesus,” Guardiola said after the match. “We are so happy for him. We need a guy who scores the goals.”
The Argentine international is now tied for sixth-place in England’s top flight with seven career PL hat-tricks in his time with Man City.
The true beauty of what Aguero does though isn’t the fact that he scores so many goals, but instead how he manages to score them.
It certainly helps out when you have creative masterminds in the attack like Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva, but it’s been Aguero’s genius that has helped pace the Cityzens for so many years now.
The veteran goalscorer kicked things off for City 11 minutes before halftime, after nodding home the slightest header into the far corner.
Aguero then proceeded to score from the penalty spot in the second stanza, before adding his final finish after finding himself in the right position when Sane decided to take on the entire Newcastle backline.
For awhile it looked like a fierce fight, but Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick gave the Cityzens yet another PL win on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium. Jacob Murphy gave the Magpies a temporary moment of relief, though, as the Newcastle front man finished off a perfectly-executed counterattack. City is once again 12 points ahead of Man United at the top of the table.
The scoreline indicates a rout, and that’s exactly what it was at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners found themselves up 4-0 inside the opening 22 minutes, and that spelt absolute disaster for the Eagles, who haven’t won at Arsenal since October 1994. Arsene Wenger‘s side remains five points outside of the top four, however, that deficit could be increased to eight with Liverpool holding a match in hand.
Burnley’s defense is always tough to break past, but Anthony Martial‘s second-half blast off the underside of the crossbar proved to be the difference for Jose Mourinho’s men. The Red Devils are now unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, including Saturday’s PL win.
When the Blues are at their best, they’re so, so fun to watch. Willian‘s brilliance shone through on the day with a brilliant finish that came after one of the better combination plays you’ll see. Meanwhile, an Eden Hazard brace in the opening six minutes set the tone for Chelsea on the road, while Victor Moses gave Antonio Conte‘s side a fourth in the game.
West Ham’s improvement under David Moyes has been noted, but they’ll need more goals from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in order to sustain their success. The Mexican international scored his first goal for the home side in nearly three months at the London Stadium, which proved to be critical after Ryan Fraser‘s superb strike had given Bournemouth the lead nearly a minute prior.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez came up big on Saturday for the Foxes, who pulled themselves up to seventh place in the PL. Leicester has now held five consecutive clean sheets, as Claude Puel‘s club continues to find its best form in the second half of the season. Meanwhile, Watford’s struggles just carry on with the Hornets winless in 10 of their last 11 matches.
Paul Lambert‘s Stoke picked up their first win under their new manager, after goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf gave the Potters a much-needed victory to put the side into 17th place. The loss for Huddersfield leaves the PL newcomers just three points above the relegation zone.
The result did no favors to relegation side West Brom, however, the discussion of the match was undoubtedly James McCarthy‘s gruesome leg injury, which halted the match for over seven minutes. Theo Walcott made an instant impact in his Toffees debut, setting up Oumar Niasse for the game’s equalizer. West Brom had gone ahead with a Jay Rodriguez finish after just seven minutes after the attacker timed his run in on goal perfectly.
Schalke can go second with a Sunday win, while Bayern’s table lead could be as much as 16 if it wins its match.
Freiburg 2-1 RB Leipzig
The hosts moved further clear of relegation danger and put the race for second place into severe congestion with a comeback win against third place RB Leipzig.
Timo Werner had put the visitors ahead in the 65th minute, but Janik Haberer and Robin Koch scored four minutes apart to boost all three points for the hosts.
Freiburg is now seven points clear of the relegation playoff spot, while RBL’s 31 points makes it one of six teams within one point between second and seventh.
Mainz 3-2 Stuttgart
Yoshinori Muto scored on both sides of halftime as Mainz came back from 1-0 down and held on to move four points clear of 16th while Stuttgart is ahead of the victors by a single goal of differential.
Wolfsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
American midfielder Timmy Chandler scored for the first time in three Bundesliga seasons and Eintracht Frankfurt pulled into a tie for fifth place with a win at Wolfsburg. Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic also scored for the visitors.
Sergio Aguero scored three times to continue his mastery of Newcastle United as Manchester City bounced back to post a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Jacob Murphy scored a second half goal to pull Newcastle to within one before Aguero finished his second hat trick of the season. The Argentine scored three and posted an assist against Watford on Sept. 16.
The win gives Man City 65 points, 12 more than second place Manchester United, and improves their goal differential to 51.