Champions League Last 16 2nd Leg
Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
Following a heavy first leg defeat, Arsenal had a mountain to climb. Bayern came into this one with a massive 5-1 lead on aggregate. There was a slight glimmer of hope as Theo Walcott struck early in the 20th minute. Walcott goes past two challenges before he rifles the ball past Neuer to make it 1-0, 5-2 on aggregate. The Gunners saw out the first half with a 1-0 lead intact. Bayern came back into the game early in the second half. They were awarded a penalty when captain, Laurent Koscielny was sent off for bringing down Lewandowski in the box. The Polish international steps up calmly and scores from the spot to pull level on the night 1-1 and extend the aggregate lead to 6-2. Bayern weren’t finished however as they went on a route. Arjen Robben scored on the 68th minute, to make the game 2-1. This time Sanchez loses posession on the edge of the box and the Dutch international makes him pay and buries the ball in the back of the net. Bayern continued their destruction of Arsenal as Douglas Costa made it 3-1 in the 78th minute as he curls the ball past Ospina. More terrible defending by Arsenal leads to Bayern scoring a 4th goal on the night. This time Arturo Vidal joins in on the act in the 80th minute. The Chilean midfielder scores a beautiful chip over Ospina making it 4-1. Vidal bagged himself another goal in the 85th minute as he ensured a repeat of the 5-1 scoreline from the first leg. This time Costa squares the ball and Vidal scores on an open goal.
Arsenal got picked apart again tonight, their defending was utterly ridiculous and the German Champions made them pay, winning both legs 5-1 respectively. A massive 10-2 aggregate win shows how out of their depth Arsenal really are as they were eliminated in the last 16 for the 7th year running. Meanwhile, Bayern progress to the 1/4 Finals.
Napoli vs Real Madrid
Zidane’s men come into this tie with a 3-1 lead. Napoli much like Arsenal, had a mountain to climb against the stars of Real Madrid. The home side made a quick start as they reduced the deficit on the aggregate score to just one goal. The goal came in the 24th minute, Dries Mertens lashed home a beautiful goal to make it 1-0 after he was played in by Marek Hamsik. Much like The Gunners, Napoli held on until the second half. Madrid hit back soon after the break, when Sergio Ramos scored his first goal of the evening as he gets on the end of a Toni Kroos corner to head home making it 1-1 on the night. Ramos put the tie to bed in the 57th minute, as he scored from another corner where he was left unmarked to make it 2-1. Madrid added their third and final goal of the night after Pepe Reina could only parry away Ronaldo’s for Alvaro Morata to tap the ball in for 3-1. Another repeat scoreline of the previous leg.
This win sees Real Madrid advance to the 1/4 Finals as the current champions look to become the first side to successfully defend the UEFA Champions League. They were certainly helped out, by some awful defending and terrible marking on the set pieces. How can you let a man like Sergio Ramos roam free in your own box when you know what a danger he is, that simply wasn’t good enough in my view, they let him go once but to do that twice within 5 minutes in a Champions League tie is totally unacceptable.