UEFA Champions League updates: 8-14 February

The latest from the round of 16 contenders

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UEFA Champions League round of 16 starts on Tuesday
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All but two of the round of 16 contenders were in domestic action over the weekend - UEFA.com runs through the results and picks out the headlines ...

Bayern München coach Josep Guardiola credited stand-in centre-back Joshua Kimmich with an "outstanding performance" in the goalless draw against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. The midfielder, 21 today, started his second match alongside Holger Badstuber as Bayern continued to be deprived of four central defenders. "Javier Hernández and Stefan Kiessling didn't have a chance the whole match," Guardiola explained. "Kudos to Joshua." Kimmich said: "The team is making it easy for me. If you have so many world-class players on your side, you automatically look good and play on a higher level."

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Round of 16 forwards Karim Benzema, Luis Suárez and Jonas enhanced their standing in the ESM Golden Shoe ranking list with goalscoring performances this weekend. Second-placed Jonas was the biggest mover, finding the net twice in Benfica's 5-0 victory at Belenenses. 

1. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) 24 goals x 2 = 48
2. Jonas (Benfica) 23 x 2 = 46
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) 20 x 2 = 40
Luis Suárez (Barcelona) 20 x 2 = 40
5. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 19 x 2 = 38
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München) 19 x 2 = 38
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 19 x 2 = 38
8. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) 18 x 2 = 36
Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) 24 x 1.5 = 36
10. Nemanja Nikolić (Legia Warszawa) 22 x 1.5 = 33
Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) 22 x 1.5 = 33

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Despite Sunday's 2-1 Ligue 1 victory at Lyon, Laurent Blanc was not too impressed with Paris, noting: "We made too many mistakes ... We were lacking composure compared to the way we usually play." Captain Thiago Silva credited his team for a "good game", team-mate Serge Aurier adding: "We showed some spirit. This is good preparation fro Chelsea. We were up against a team trying to save their season. We lost focus after opening the scoring. Our fans will be happy with the result but not with the way we played."

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"We are not playing as a team," Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking concluded after Saturday's 3-0 loss at Schalke left the Wolves without a victory in their last seven Bundesliga matches, and fearing the worst for their round of 16 encounter with Gent. "At the moment - and we have to be honest about this - there is nothing positive to report."

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Franck Ribéry, who has been limited to only two competitive appearances this season, is back in training for Bayern München. The France winger, who had been unavailable since a very brief comeback at the beginning of December, seems to have fully recovered from a muscular injury.

Kurt Zouma is likely to miss the rest of the season after tests confirmed that he suffered knee ligament damage in Sunday's draw with Manchester United. The Chelsea defender's dreams of appearing at UEFA EURO 2016 in France also appear over.

Paris midfielder Thiago Motta has been discussing next week's meeting with Chelsea on a French radio show hosted by former PSG and France international Luis Fernández.

It's much more difficult for Chelsea without [José] Mourinho. They have changed their style. With Mourinho, they refused the ball, they played counterattacking football. Today, they want to play.

In Europe, five or six teams can win it. Juventus set an example when they reached the final, Atlético too. Why shouldn't PSG do it?

Fabio Capello – who has coached both teams – warned Real Madrid not to underestimate Roma ahead of the sides' round of 16 encounter. "They need to focus, as Roma are a dangerous side and the game will not be an easy one at all," explained the former England and Russia manager. "[New coach Luciano] Spalletti is making a difference. With him on the bench, Roma won their last three games and the players really trust their new coach. Roma are a well-organised side right now. They press hard and can recover the ball quickly. They are a completely different team."


Benfica captain Luisão underwent surgery yesterday on the recurrence of the left forearm injury he sustained in training last week. The centre-back, 34, has not played since limping off in the Portuguese Cup defeat by Sporting CP on 21 November and was nearing a return for the joint Liga leaders until he broke down again. While no date has been set for his return, he will definitely miss the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Zenit.

Barcelona have issued the following statement about Lionel Messi. The Blaugrana, 7-0 up, play Valencia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.


FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will undergo several tests on Monday and Tuesday to assess the evolution of the kidney problems he suffered last December. Messi will return to his normal duties with the first team on Wednesday.

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is working hard to speed up his recovery from the thigh injury he sustained against Chievo on 31 January. The Germany midfielder has posted a picture on Instagram, complete with the caption 'night session', of him exercising in the gym. The Bianconeri face Napoli in a top-of-the-table meeting on Saturday and host Bayern München in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie on 23 February.


Night Session ✌🏽️

Una foto pubblicata da Sami Khedira (@sami_khedira6) in data:

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini will be out for around three weeks after suffering a right calf injury during the Bianconeri's 2-0 victory at Frosinone on Sunday. Chiellini will therefore miss the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Bayern München on 23 February but will be available for the return in Germany three weeks later.

A boost for Liga high-flyers Atlético Madrid – they have tied down their Slovenia goalkeeper for an extra year.

Real Madrid have announced that left-back Marcelo dislocated a shoulder in the 2-1 victory against Granada on Sunday. Though the Merengues have not put a timescale on the Brazilian international's return, his participation in Madrid's round of 16 first leg against Roma on 17 February is in serious doubt.

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Can he flip it? Yes he can (at the third time of asking).

Three UEFA Champions League sides are in cup action this evening: Bochum v Bayern, Valencia v Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon.

Josep Guardiola is expected to give Serdar Tasci his club debut and the Bayern coach could be forgiven for having half an eye on Valencia, too. Luis Enrique is one game away from breaking Guardiola's Barcelona record of 28 games unbeaten.

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Can anything halt Paris Saint-Germain this season?


A good night for Barcelona, Bayern München and Paris.

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking has spoken about the difficulties of trying to rebuild his team's confidence. With less than a week to go until their round of 16 first leg against Gent, a streak of seven Bundesliga games without a win is proving cause for concern.

"It's one thing to train well all week, the other is to get the job done on the pitch when it matters. We can't cope with setbacks as well as we did last season. Now it is all about finding unity as a team again. A real team has to get through times when you are not successful."

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Top of the Portuguese table, level on points with Sporting CP, Benfica welcome third-placed Porto tonight on a run of eight straight Liga wins in the Liga - 11 in all competitions - with fans roaring them on towards a third consecutive title, something the Eagles have not achieved since 1976/77. Winger Eduardo Salvio's selection for the match, after eight months out with a knee injury, is the big news, while Benfica are without captain Luisão and have concerns over Argentinian Lisandro López.

Benfica coach Rui Vitória said: "We are eager to win and give a present to our supporters. In these kinds of games there are no favourites. It will be 50-50 as ever, though we have home advantage. Both teams have lots of strengths and also some weaknesses, but nothing will change our normal approach to a game."

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None of Bayern's performances since the end of the winter break have been poor, but they have not exactly sparkled - a situation which is about to change, according to coach Josep Guardiola. "We need to play matches every three or four days as soon as possible," he said. "Only that rhythm will set us on the right course, because then we don't have time to think about anything else [but football]."

Guardiola said that he had not yet met up with Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian having spent time in Munich house-hunting ahead of taking command of Bayern in the summer, but was all in favour of speaking to his successor in the weeks ahead. "If it helps Bayern, I am all for it," he said.

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Laurent Blanc hopes to have a full squad to pick from when Paris take on Chelsea on Tuesday. "The more times goes by, the less injured players we have," he said ahead of tomorrow's meeting with LOSC Lille. "This is good news." Javier Pastore (calf) and Marco Verratti (groin) will have tests today to ascertain whether they are fit to play.

'Le Président' also spoke of his pride at having his contract extended by two years yesterday. "I have been trusted now to work long-term," he said. "But I'm under no illusions. I know that the best ally of a coach are good results."

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Mbark Boussoufa made a triumphant return to Gent with the opening goal in their 2-0 victory against struggling Mouscron-Péruwelz. Boussoufa, who left Gent for Anderlecht in 2006 but returned to his first senior club at the start of this month on loan from Lokomotiv Moskva, came on in the 27th minute for Moses Simon and made the breakthrough with five minutes remaining.

Danijel Milicevic sealed the victory in stoppage time after the visitors had been reduced to ten men by Noe Dussenne's second booking. The results sends Gent three points clear ahead of the weekend schedule in Belgium.

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Roma left it late to rise to third place in Serie A by overcoming relegation-threatened Carpi 3-1. The Giallorossi prised the opening goal in the 56th minute when Lucas Digne fired in from distance but the home side levelled through Kevin Lasagna's tap-in (61).

Edin Džeko poked in Mohamed Salah's 84th-minute cut-back to edge the visitors back in front and the Egyptian international sealed the win a minute later after Radja Nainggolan had been thwarted.

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Porto closed to within three points of Benfica by beating the Liga leaders 2-1 in Lisbon. The home side came into the match on a run of eight consecutive league wins and unbeaten in their previous 14 Liga games, and they struck first through Kostas Mitroglou (18). However, Hector Herrera levelled ten minutes later and Porto claimed the winner in the 65th minute through Vincent Aboubakar.

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Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 LOSC Lille
Lille halted Paris' run of 16 consecutive victories in all competitions. Laurent Blanc left Zlatan Ibrahimović, Maxwell, Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva out of the squad ahead of the visit of Chelsea on Tuesday. Javier Pastore (calf) and Marco Verratti (groin), out since 16 and 31 January respectively, made their returns from injury.

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Real Madrid 4-2 Athletic Club (Ronaldo 3 87, James Rodríguez 37 Kroos 45; Eraso 10, Elustondo 90)
The hosts took their tally to 37 goals in their last seven home Liga fixtures, Cristiano Ronaldo's pair bookending the Madrid scoring. The Whites are six undefeated under Zinédine Zidane. 

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Wolfsburg 2-0 Ingolstadt (Draxler 29, Knoche 39)
Wolfsburg recorded their first win in six matches in all competitions but remain eighth in the Bundesliga. Robin Knoche, making only his second senior appearance of the season after overcoming a long-term ankle problem, scored his first goal since 30 November 2014.

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More injury problems in defence for Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink. Six days after Kurt Zouma damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Manchester United, captain John Terry hobbled off during the 5-1 defeat of Newcastle United today.

Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle United (Diego Costa 5, Pedro Rodríguez 9 59, Willian 17, Traoré 83; Townsend 90)
Chelsea's biggest Premier League win of the campaign was tempered by an injury to captain John Terry, who was replaced by Baba Rahman seven minutes before half-time. On target in an FA Cup tie last month, Bertrand Traoré, 20, opened his league account for the Blues, now 12 unbeaten since the departure of José Mourinho.

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Arsenal 2-1 Leicester (Walcott 70, Welbeck 90+5; Jamie Vardy 45pen)
Danny Welbeck made an instant impact on his return from injury with a last-gasp winner as third-placed Arsenal moved to within two points of Premier League leaders Leicester. The England international, making his first appearance since 26 April 2015 for the hosts, came off the bench to nod Mesut Özil's free-kick past Kasper Schmeichel in added time. Jamie Vardy's first-half penalty had given the visitors the lead before Danny Simpson was sent off after the interval. Theo Walcott struck nine minutes after entering the field to level the scores before Welbeck secured a dramatic late victory.

Litex Lovech 1-1 Dynamo Kyiv (Garmash 24og; Sydorchuk 19)
Andriy Yarmolenko (pictured) returned from injury for Dynamo as they recorded a draw with Bulgarian opponents Litex in a friendly in Spain, and it was the Ukraine forward's corner that was turned in by Serhiy Sydorchuk on 19 minutes. Victory proved elusive, though, with a Denys Garmash own goal quickly levelling the scores.

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NEC 0-3 PSV (De Jong 16, Locadia 67, Van Ginkel 75)
On-loan midfielder Marco van Ginkel scored for the second week running as Eredivisie leaders PSV eased to a seventh successive league win. Luuk de Jong notched his 17th in the league this term before the visitors lost Jorrit Hendrix on 24 minutes after an aerial collision. Jürgen Locadia doubled their advantage after the interval, netting for the first time in seven outings, and Van Ginkel added a third. Phillip Cocu's men remain one point above Ajax at the summit.

Manchester City 1-2 Tottenham (Iheanacho 74; Kane 53pen, Eriksen 83)
Manuel Pellegrini's side, in fourth, are now six points off the Premier League summit after losing two consecutive home league matches for the first time since December 2008. Harry Kane's 15th league goal in 17 outings and Christian Eriksen's late strike, on his 24th birthday, earned second-placed Spurs a fifth league win in a row and dealt a blow to Manchester City’s title hopes in the process. On a bright note, Sky Blues captain Vincent Kompany made his first appearance since 26 December 2015.

Some potentially bad news for Atlético ahead of their round of 16 first leg away to PSV on 24 February ...

Augsburg 1-3 Bayern (Bobadilla 86; Lewandowski 15 62, Müller 78)
Robert Lewandowski netted his fourth double in 2016 as German title holders Bayern returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga to remain eight points clear at the top. Lewandowski struck his 20th league goal in the first half before notching his 31st in all competitions after the break. Thomas Müller sealed the away success 12 minutes from time, while David Alaba played alongside Joshua Kimmich at centre-back after Holger Badstuber was ruled out for three months following ankle surgery.

Getafe 0-1 Atlético Madrid (Torres 2)
Having brought up a century of Atlético goals with a late effort last weekend, Fernando Torres struck early on this time to help move the Colchoneros level on points with Liga frontrunners Barcelona – though they have played two games more ahead of Barça's home game against Celta Vigo this evening. It was not all good news for Diego Simeone's men, however, as they lost Yannick Carrasco to an ankle injury early in the second half.

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Barcelona 6-1 Celta Vigo (Messi 28, Suárez 59 75 81, Rakitić 84, Neymar 90+1; Guidetti 39pen)
Luis Suárez moved clear of Cristiano Ronaldo as top scorer in the Liga with a hat-trick in a comfortable victory for Barcelona. Lionel Messi got the hosts on the move with a fine free-kick, but they were pegged back by John Guidetti until Suárez notched his 21st league effort this term – and the Uruguay forward registered two more goals, including a tap-in from Messi's audacious penalty. Ivan Rakitić and Neymar added late efforts as Barça returned three points clear in first.

This blog is now closed, but our build-up to this week's round of 16 openers will resume on Monday.

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