UEFA Champions League roundup

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UEFA Champions League roundup: Barcelona beats Arsenal, Juve-Bayern thrills

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Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League matches lived up to entertaining expectations, and all but Arsenal’s fans will find something to like from the first legs.

The Gunners put forth a good effort before being broken down by Lionel Messi and Barcelona, while Bayern and Juventus traded dominant periods at Juventus Stadium.

Arsenal 0-2 BarcelonaRECAP

Arsene Wenger went with a high-press when Barcelona’s defenders had the ball, and got terrific back-tracking from his midfield as the Gunners threatened to take an advantage, or at least a 0-0 draw, on the road to the Camp Nou. But Lionel Messi put the exclamation point on a breakneck Neymar and Luis Suarez counter before drawing and converting a penalty to make Arsenal’s task improbable for Leg No. 2.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 23: Stefano Sturaro (C) of Juventus FC scores his goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Juventus and FC Bayern Muenchen at Juventus Arena on February 23, 2016 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Juventus 2-2 Bayern MunichRECAP

Last year’s finalists looked out-of-sorts in an opening hour that saw Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller power Bayern to an early 2-0 lead. But Juventus didn’t quit, and stunned Bayern with a second half goal before Stefano Sturaro squared things up. All of the sudden, the Bavarians were on uneven footing. Pep Guardiola will be happy to escape Turin with his two road goals and 2-2 scoreline.

Wednesday
PSV Eindhoven vs. Atletico Madrid — 2:45 p.m. ET Wednesday
Dynamo Kyiv vs. Manchester City — 2:45 p.m. ET Wednesday

Last week’s first legs
Gent 2-3 Wolfsburg — RECAP
AS Roma 0-2 Real Madrid — RECAP
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Chelsea — RECAP
Benfica 1-0 Zenit St. Petersburg — RECAP

UEFA Champions League roundup: Abysmal Arsenal, remarkable Monaco and a bullet from Bayer

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The first legs are in the books after Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matches in London and Leverkusen, and they couldn’t have been much different.

While Monaco went into the Emirates Stadium and punished hosts Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen eeked out a victory against stingy Atletico Madrid.

One included the death of a shutout streak while the other saw a pall cast over a nation’s capital.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Atletico MadridRECAP

This could’ve easily been a draw had Fernando Torres’ late goal not been disallowed due to a corner kick going out of bounds before it got to him, but that matters not.

Bayer won its first Round of 16 match in eight tries, and set itself up well for the March 17 return leg at the Vicente Calderon thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu’s powerfully-struck second-half goal.

The goal ended Atleti’s six-match UCL run without conceding a goal.

Arsenal 1-3 MonacoRECAP

source: Getty ImagesOh, dear, Arsenal supporters. The Gunners were either out-of-whack or, as Arsene Wenger speculated, complacent headed into the match, and Monaco was ready to attack.

First-half goals from Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dimitar Berbatov set the tone, and Monaco looked set to keep up its remarkable defensive mark of one goal allowed in six UEFA Champions League matches before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain curled a nice shot home in the first minute of stoppage time.

Moments later, however, Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco beat Gunners keeper David Ospina to cap off a frenetic finish in London. Monaco has three road goals and Arsenal looks destined for a fifth-straight exit in the Round of 16.

UEFA Champions League roundup: Juventus, Barcelona hold advantages

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Well, that was a fine day of soccer.

Provided you’re not a Manchester City fan, there’s something quite encouraging for each team — winners and losers — to take away from Tuesday’s first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

And even in the case of City, Joe Hart’s stoppage time PK denial of Lionel Messi kept the club within a goal, albeit with a Camp Nou-sized mountain to climb next month.

Let’s dig in.

Juventus 2-1 Borussia DortmundRECAP

So Alvaro Morata’s failure to land a space at Real Madrid continues to bear fruit for Italian powerhouse Juventus, as the 22-year-old Spaniard set-up the first goal and scored the second in The Old Lady’s 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

And while Juve may’ve been lucky to have a 2-1 lead at half — Dortmund was strong in possession — the home side was unfortunate not to add to its lead several times in the late goings.

BVB takes away a valuable away goal courtesy of superstar Marco Reus. With the Westfalenstadion looming as the backdrop for the second leg, there’s still plenty to come in this tie.

Manchester City 1-2 BarcelonaRECAP

source: APManuel Pellegrini thought he could play ball with Barcelona straight-up, and was fortunate to only be down by a pair of Luis Suarez goals after a half-hour. Luis Enrique’s energized side showed they still have plenty of possession and fire power in the tank, and Lionel Messi was a playmaking wizard for most of the match despite having his late PK saved.

City did, however, look a lot better in the second half, and the addition of Yaya Toure will help (The Ivorian served the final match of a three-game suspension for a UCL red card against CSKA Moscow in the group stage). Will they be able to rebound at the Camp Nou? That’s a mighty tall task for the flagship of the City Football Group.

Wednesday
Arsenal vs. Monaco
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid