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Champions League Round of 16: Key battles and turning points await in second-leg showdowns

Posted : 05 March 2024

As the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second legs kick off, teams like Bayern Munich and Lazio brace for a crucial clash, Real Sociedad aims for a comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, underdogs Copenhagen face Manchester City, and RB Leipzig seeks redemption against Real Madrid in tightly contested ties.


Bayern Munich vs. Lazio:

Bayern Munich, historically consistent in the Champions League quarterfinals, faces a challenge after Lazio secured a 1-0 victory in the first leg. Bayern's home advantage, coupled with their unbeaten streak of 13 home Champions League matches, poses a significant hurdle for Lazio, making the second leg a crucial battle. Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri acknowledges Bayern's strength but remains optimistic about his team's chances, emphasizing the tough task ahead in Germany.


Real Sociedad vs. Paris Saint-Germain:

Real Sociedad faces an uphill battle against Paris Saint-Germain, trailing 2-0 after the first leg. Despite holding firm for nearly an hour in France, Real Sociedad needs an exceptional performance at home to secure a quarterfinal spot, which they haven't achieved since 1982/83. Drawing inspiration from Newcastle's passionate home crowd that led to a 4-1 victory over Paris in the group stage, coach Imanol Alguacil believes replicating their first-half performance could create opportunities for advancement.


Manchester City vs. Copenhagen:

Copenhagen faces a daunting challenge against Manchester City after a 3-1 loss in the first leg. With the odds stacked against them, Copenhagen coach Jacob Neestrup acknowledges the difficulty but sees the return leg as an opportunity to test themselves against one of the best teams globally. Traveling to England with nothing to lose, Copenhagen aims to give a tough fight and possibly secure a draw or win in their encounter with the Champions League holders.


Real Madrid vs. RB Leipzig:

Real Madrid secured a narrow 1-0 victory against RB Leipzig in the first leg, courtesy of Brahim Díaz's exceptional goal. While the goal was a setback for Leipzig, they are encouraged by their overall performance, matching Madrid throughout the game. Leipzig heads to the Bernabéu with hopes of causing an upset, emphasizing their quality and positive play in the first leg, despite the unfavorable result.


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