How FC Porto is going to come back from 2-0 down at home in the city of Oporto in Portugal against Juventus in Turin is a question that the Porto coach Nuno Espírito Santo (Holy Spirit) has the right to answer. Throughout history, the Holy Spirit has done more incredible things. Leicester City, 1-2 away. But can Ranieri pull it off?
FC Porto 0 Juventus 2
Pjaca 72, Dani Alves 74
A disgrace and a massacre. It is difficult to understand FC Porto at times. It is a team studded with international players, it is a club which has been intercontinental champion more than once, has won all the trophies in football in Portugal, in Europe and in the world, has the President who has won more trophies than any other in history and enters a game against Juventus almost apologetically. FC Porto today is a Sutton United without the pie-eating second goal-keeper. Only because he doesn't have the guts. Either FC Porto goes to Italy and wins 2-0 or 3-1 or else... shitcanned from the annals of soccer history, relegated to a has-been.
Sevilla 2 Leicester City 1
Sarabia 25 Vardy 73
Vardy, who else? Hidden all season, last year's champion steals a goal seventeen minutes from time. Can Sevilla come away from England with less than a 1-0 defeat? A ressurgent Vardy and a stable striking force may make the difference if Ranieri can actually launch the same team for two consecutive games.
Champions League Round of Sixteen
Champions: Two games, fourteen goals!
Who said that soccer is getting boring? Manchester City and Monaco put on an eight-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, where Monaco twice took the lead. With one of the best attacks in Europe, City will have to have their guard up in the return leg. Atlético seem to have the tie sewn up with a 4-2 win in Germany.
Manchester City (England) 5 Monaco (France) 3
Sterling 26 Falcao 32, 61
Agüero 58, 71 Mbappé 40
Monaco had more shots at goal, 16 to eight, both with 6 on target although City had a ball possession of 62 per cent to 38.
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) 2 Atlético Madrid (Spain) 4
Bellarabi, 48 Saúl Ñíguez 17, Griezmann 25
Savic (og) 68 Gameiro pen. 59, Torres 86
First Legs Wednesday February 15
Arsenal has another Arsenal moment - after playing well for four months, the team collapses at hope and abroad, losing by enormous gulfs in the scoreline which would befit a team fighting relegation. Enough is done before and after to ensure a top-four Premier League place. Period. Real? What to expect?
Bayern Munich (Germany) 5 Arsenal (England) 1
Robben 11 Alexis Sanchez 30
Thiago Alcântara 56,63
Real Madrid (Spain) 3 Napoli (Italy) 1
Benzema 18 Insigne 8
First Legs - Tuesday February 14
Tonight the Champions League round of 16 kicked off with Benfica vs. Dortmund (1-0) and Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona (4-0). Benfica will have to put on a perfect display in Germany, while PSG seems to have wrapped up the tie in the first leg. How can a team that lost 4-0 come back with five without answer?
Benfica (Portugal) 1 Dortmund (Germany) 0
Three goal attempts for Benfica in the first half, against Dortmund's four and in the second, one against an astonishing ten. Conclusion: Dortmnund was all over Benfica, gave away the goal instead of clearing the ball and missed a penalty. With a ball possession of 65% to 35%, the Germans saw far more of the game, but those who put the ball in the net...
PSG (France) 4 Barcelona (Spain) 0
Di Maria 18, 55
Photo: Por Alvesgaspar - Obra do próprio, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25970565
Tuesday February 21
Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) vs. Atlético Madrid (Spain)
Manchester City (England) vs. Monaco (France)
Wednesday February 22
FC Porto (Portugal) vs. Juventus (Italy)
Sevilla (Spain) vs. Leicester City (England)
Europa League Round of 32: Russian clubs have good start
Rostov beat Sparta Praha 4-0 and places a foot in the next round; Krasnodar beat Turkish outfit Fenerbahçe 1-0 and at least goes away with oxygen in the lungs; Zenit came away from Belgium with a 2-0 defeat against Anderlecht. Not inpossible to overturn in Saint Petersburg.
First Legs Thursday February 16
Krasnodar (Russia) 1 Fenerbahçe (Turkey) 0
Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany) 0 Fiorentina (Italy) 1
KAA Gent (Belgium) 1 Tottenham Hotspur (England) 0
Celta (Spain) 0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) 1
FC Astra Giurgiu (Romania) 2 KRC Genk (Belgium) 2
Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel) 1 Besiktas (Turkey) 3
Manchester United (England) 3 Saint-Étienne (France) 0
Legia (Poland) 0 Ajax (Netherlands) 0
Rostov (Russia) 4 Sparta Praha (Czech Republic) 0
M. Mevlja 15 Poloz 38 Noboa 40 Azmoun 68
Olympiacos (Greece) 0 Osmanlispor (Turkey) 0
Ludogorets (Bulgaria) 1 Kobenhavn (Denmark) 2
PAOK (Greece) 0 Schalke (Germany) 3
Villarreal (Spain) 0 Roma (Italy) 4
Anderlecht (Belgium) 2 Zenit (Russia) 0
Athletic Bilbao (Spain) 3 APOEL (Cyprus) 2
AZ (Netherlands) 1 Lyon (France) 4
The competitions so far
Champions League Matchdays 1 to 6
Europa League Matchdays 1 to 6
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers