Atletico Madrid 1-0 (1-1) Bayer Leverkusen: Torres gets winner in gripping PK shootout

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Last season’s runners-up needed a win to advance in the UEFA Champions League, and Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 advantage after 90 minutes forced extra time with visiting Bayer Leverkusen at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday.

There was tension, but not a lot of opportunity between the two sides (especially once Mario Suarez evened the score 1-1 on aggregate). penalty kicks changed that.

Atletico moved to 1-3 in UCL PK shootouts, while Bayer falls to 1-1. They can thank Turkish defender Omer Toprak, who had the goal deflect off him and then missed this side’s third PK attempt of the shootout.

Six of eight UCL quarterfinal berths are decided, with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco, Porto and Bayern Munich all through.

Borussia Dortmund vs.Juventus and Barcelona vs. Manchester City round out the Round of 16 on Wednesday.

[ RELATED: Champions League schedule ]

source: APAtletico hit its first obstacle in the 23rd minute, as an injury forced veteran goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya off for 22-year-old Slovakian backstop Jan Oblak. The backup would prove more than able in a match that came down to kicks.

Mario Suarez returned the match to even footing with Atletico’s first shot on target of the night, a clearance off a free kick play that deflected off the foot of Toprak. It was 1-0 on the night, and 1-1 overall.

Leverkusen spent the majority of the first half hemmed in their own end. When they did counter, Oblak was aided by his quick defense, particularly Joao Miranda.

The second half found two sides playing quite different. Bayer sat back and counted on their team defense and keeper Bernd Leno, while Atlei looked happy to press for the goal that would end it.

Despite the addition of Fernando Torres to the fold in the 81st minute, the match went to extra time, where Stefan Kiessling’s cheeky shot through a defender’s legs bounded wide of the goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

source: APA tense 15 minutes of extra time gave way to the break, leaving the clubs another 15 minutes away from the cruelty of a shootout. Leno made a two-handed stop on an in-tight shot from Arda Turan shortly after play resumed in extra time.

Raul Garcia airmailed the first PK, and Atletico was instantly in a hole. But only for a time, as Calhanoglu hit a weak ball down the middle that Oblak stopped easily. It was one of the worst PKs you’ll see.

Antoine Griezmann suffered no such problem, scoring before Rolfes equalized to make it 1-1 after two sets of shooters. Mario Suarez scored a borderline unstoppable goal before Toprak put a poor attempt over the bar. But Leno dove low and right to thwart a good shot from Koke. Wow!

Castro scored on Bayer’s next attempt to level things at two going into the fifth takers. Torres sent a beauty into the goal, and Oblak was on the clock to deal with Kiessling, who sent it over the bar.

LINEUPS

Atletico Madrid: Moya (Oblak, 23′), Juanfran, Miranda, Gimenez, Jesus Gamez, Cani (Raul Garcia, 46′), Mario Suarez, Koke, Turan, Griezmann, Mandzukic (Torres, 83′).

Goal: (Suarez, 27′)

Bayer Leverkusen: Leno, Hilbert, Toprak, Spahic, Wendell, Bellarabi, Castro, Bender (Papadopoulos, 105′), Son (Rolfes, 77′), Calhanoglu, Drmic (Kiessling, 70′)

Ljungberg hails ‘amazing’ teen Saka after game-changing performance

Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images
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Arsenal phenom Bukayo Saka‘s big day spurred the Gunners to a top seed in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Arsenal went behind on two deflected goals in the second half’s first 25 minutes, but Saka answered with a goal and an assist in three minutes to take a point from Belgium in a 2-2 draw at Standard Liege.

[ RECAP, VIDEO: Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal ]

Saka was at the heart of it of all good things Arsenal, the 18-year-old handed plenty of responsibility. despite his tender age.

“He was amazing,” said interim manager Freddie Ljungberg. “He was a bit upset with me before the game that he had to play wing-back and full-back. He’s a tremendous talent.”

Saka had four key passes to go with his goal and assist, winning six of eight duels while producing two tackles and an interception.

Ljungberg said Arsenal hasn’t sent its young players on loan enough, though that hardly applies to Saka given he was 17 until September.

The injured Gunners used Konstantinos Mavropanos, Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, and Reiss Nelson in the Starting XI, and brought Gabriel Martinelli off the bench.

“I feel sorry for our young players,” he said. “A lot of them haven’t been on loan, they’ve not had that exposure to men’s football. Some of them made mistakes but they’ll learn from those mistakes and won’t do them again.”

Smith-Rowe was loaned to RB Leipzig last season and Nelson starred on loan at Hoffenheim. Mavropanos played first team football for Greek Super League side PAS Giannina in his late teens.

Arsenal joins Premier League sides Wolves and Manchester United in the knockout rounds, having lost the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea at the end of last season.

The Gunners beat West Ham on Monday and host Manchester City at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Arsenal uses thrilling comeback to win Europa League group

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Nothing Arsenal-related is allowed to be easy, it seems.

The Gunners used a goal and an assist from Bukayo Saka to come back from a two-goal deficit and draw Standard Liege 2-2 in Belgium on Thursday, winning its Europa League group when Vitoria came back to beat Eintracht Frankfurt on a wild afternoon of soccer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Arsenal trailed on second half goals from Samuel Bastien and Selim Amallah, but rallied behind Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette to score a second-straight win for interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Saka sent in a laser cross in the 78th minute and Lacazette did quite well to power it under the bar.

He’s loving this competition, having made a serious entrance earlier in the tournament versus Eintracht Frankfurt. The 18-year-old now has two goals and five assists across all competitions this season.

The Gunners needed just three more minutes to tie the score on a day they outshot the hosts 15-11.

Saka showed his nose for goal to tie the score five minutes later with a dribble to the top of the 18 and a sly finish to the keeper’s left.

This was all happening around the same time Vitoria scored twice in three minutes to take a 3-2 lead on Eintracht Frankfurt.

Standard Liege goes from the knockout rounds to nothing in a blink, while Eintracht goes from winning the group to second.

The field for the Europa League is looking fierce, with Inter Milan, Benfica, Ajax, Club Brugge, Olympiacos, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, and Red Bull Salzburg joining the competition via transfer from the UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal joins Premier League sides Wolves and Manchester United in the knockout rounds, having lost the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea at the end of last season.

The Gunners beat West Ham on Monday and host Manchester City at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Matchweek 17 is here in the Premier League as the games continue to come thick and fast during the festive season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

DOWNLOAD NBC SPORTS PREDICTOR

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Liverpool 3-1 Watford – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM] 

Crystal Palace 3-1 Brighton – (Monday, 2:45 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Leicester 3-0 Norwich – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Southampton 1-1 West Ham – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM]

Sheffield United 2-1 Aston Villa – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Man United 2-1 Everton – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

Arsenal 3-3 Man City – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Wolves 1-2 Tottenham – (Sunday 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle United – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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Matchweek 17 of the Premier League season is here, as the busy festive season continues.

Get in there.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Saturday
7:30 a.m. ET: Liverpool v. Watford – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Chelsea v. Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Newcastle – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City v. Norwich City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Southampton v. West Ham – NBC [STREAM]

Sunday
9 a.m. ET: Wolves v. Tottenham – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Man United v. Everton  – NBC Sports Gold[STREAM]
11:30 a.m. ET: Arsenal v. Man City – NBCSN [STREAM]

Monday
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace v. Brighton – NBCSN [STREAM]