UEFA Champions League updates: 22-28 February

The latest from the teams involved in the knockout stages

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In this weekend's action, Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty as Real Madrid and city rivals Atlético slipped further behind Barcelona, who won again along with fellow last-16 hopefuls Bayern München and Paris.

Luis Suárez has taken the lead in the race for the ESM Golden Shoe. The Barcelona forward scored in the European champions' 2-1 win at Las Palmas on Saturday and is now two points clear of Gonzalo Higuaín, whose Napoli side host Milan tonight.

1. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) 25 goals x 2 = 50
2. Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) 24 x 2 = 48
Jonas (Benfica) 24 x 2 = 48
4. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München) 22 x 2 = 44
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 22 x 2 = 44
6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) 21 x 2 = 42
7. Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) 26 x 1.5 = 39
8. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 19 x 2 = 38
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) 19 x 2 = 38
10. Neymar (Barcelona) 18 x 2 = 36
Islam Slimani (Sporting CP) 18 x 2 = 36

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Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini will undergo a fitness test ahead of the Bayern München game after recovering from the calf injury he sustained earlier this month. If the Italy centre-back comes through it, Massimiliano Allegri will likely field a 3-5-2 formation. Otherwise he will go for a 4-4-2, like in the recent Serie A game against Napoli, with Juan Cuardado on the right of midfield and Paul Pogba the left. Mario Mandžukić, meanwhile, has overcome a calf injury and should be favourite ahead of Álvaro Morata to play in attack alongside Paulo Dybala.

Juventus striker Mario Mandžukić is just back from injury, and on a mission against his old side Bayern, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. The paper says: "He was under contract in Munich until 2014 and it was his goal that paved the way to Champions League final glory against Dortmund in 2013. But then came Pep Guardiola, and an old-fashioned striker like Mandžukić didn't fit in. He was passed on to Atlético, but ended up in Turin after just one season and is still out for revenge against Guardiola." The paper quotes the Croatian as saying of Guardiola: "I wouldn't even have coffee with him now."

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PSV defender Jeffrey Bruma on his side's task against Atlético:

In theory and on paper, they have a bigger squad than us, but it's still football. You always have to back your own chances, and we'll certainly do that. At home we are very strong in the Champions League. It's not easy to score against us, and we have to maintain that strength, especially over a two-legged match. So hopefully we can get the maximum result at home. It'll be difficult in the away game, and we know that, but it's not impossible. If we really play as a team, then we can be very strong.

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At Lazio since 2011, former Bayern and Germany striker Miroslav Klose has warned his old side about what they can expect from Juventus. The 37-year-old told Bayern's official magazine: "They say that attackers win matches and defenders wins championships - from my own experience I can say that it is very, very difficult to score against Juventus. They are very compact and if they lose possession, they organise their defence quickly. But there is quality in midfield and attack as well. One should not go behind against them - it gets even more difficult then.

"Bayern could perhaps beat Juve with high, aggressive pressing. I think it will be much closer than three years ago, when Bayern got through without major problems, but in my opinion they will go through again."

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Defender José María Giménez on Atlético's challenge against PSV: 

I am not worried whether the first leg is at home or the second leg. Home advantage doesn't have as much of an influence as it had in the past. It's true that the fans are there, but players at this level don't think too much about the fans – they're focussing fully on the football and what they need to do.

Atlético compete for everything. We all play every match as if it is our last, whether it's a friendly match, the Spanish Cup, the Champions League or the domestic league. And if you face every match trying to win, then you can achieve important things.

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Bayern forward Thomas Müller on the meeting with Juventus:

We are looking at a very difficult game. Juventus are extremely shrewd and their stadium is great. I am really looking forward to it. We haven't done a great job of converting our chances lately - that's been a bit of a problem. Against Juventus, we have to step our performance up a notch in that regard.

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The first of today's four pre-match press conferences will be Arsenal's, scheduled for 12.30 UK time (13.30CET). Olivier Giroud is expected to be there alongside manager Arsène Wenger.

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Walter Zenga believes Juventus can make it to this season's quarter-finals. "Juventus can beat Bayern, but only if they put Bayern's injury problems out of their minds," the former Italy goalkeeper told Radio RAI. "In a Champions League game, players always give their absolute best, and so will the ones Guardiola picks to replace his injured defenders. I would like to be in Juve's dressing room to hear the players ahead of the game. The spirit of a team can make the difference in these kinds of games and I think Juve are strong mentally."

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Midfielder Augusto Fernández is in line to make his UEFA Champions League debut for Atlético at PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, the Argentinian - a winter arrival from Celta Vigo - making the squad after recovering from a knee injury sustained three weeks ago.

PSV midfielder Jorrit Hendrix on the power of his side's home crowd:

The fans give us a bit more energy and a boost. It's just an inferno when we play at home – how much the fans get behind us, and how much they sing and scream for us. We're certainly looking forward to measuring ourselves against the absolute top sides in Europe. And Atlético Madrid are just a very clever team – they're a fighting machine which can also play very good football. They've reached the Champions League final recently, so they are absolutely the favourites, but who knows what we can do at home in Eindhoven?

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Two time UEFA Champions League-winning coach Ottmar Hitzfeld gave his expert opinion on the Bayern v Juventus match. Speaking to Sport1, the former Dortmund, Bayern and Switzerland boss said: "Bayern are not yet at 100%, but that will come soon enough. They've had a lot of injured players and it is a piece of art by Guardiola that his defence is still so stable and rarely ever concedes chances. I think Bayern will prevail against Juve with this defence."

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A UEFA Cup winner with Juventus as both player (1977) and coach (1990), Dino Zoff describes this week's tie with Bayern as "a very interesting and open game". The 73-year-old believes that Bianconeri have all the qualities to reach the quarter-finals, adding: "Juventus are growing day by day and they also reached the UEFA Champions League final last year, so they will be very motivated."

The former Italy goalkeeper also told UEFA.com: "If the Bianconeri will play at their best, they could progress to the quarter-finals. Juventus have got very talented young players, like Paulo Dybala, who is performing very well. That said, their [main] strength is a very strong and solid defence."

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Olivier Giroud, Arsenal forward:

We want to play in every competition and we want to equal the record of winning the FA Cup three times in a row. For the title race, we are still in a strong position and we want to keep it up but we have big games to come so we will have time to focus on the Premier League.

The Champions League is always the big time for players, especially against Barcelona so we will enjoy it and give the maximum to give pleasure to our fans and take a lot of pleasure on the pitch.

Obviously [Barcelona] are favourites but we have good quality this year. We have had a lot of injuries but we did well during a tough moment in the Autumn and we have our players back, so we are very happy with that. We will need everybody, we have a strong squad and that is why we can play in every competition.

You need to be focused on the match and forget the importance of the game. When we are not the favourites it can take the pressure off our shoulders a bit. As long as I have been here we have struggled a bit in the first leg - that's why it has been very difficult [to progress].  I am looking forward to playing this game, I am not worried about anything.

Arsenal have been a mixed bag to say the very least in Europe this season and much will depend on their attitude on the night. Approach this fixture with the resilience and mental fortitude that produced a memorable backs-to-the-wall victory against Bayern and they could surprise; perform like they did at home to Olympiacos and Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar will have a field day. It will be fascinating either way.

Dynamo Kyiv's preparations for the Manchester City opener are drawing to a close. On Thursday, they returned to Ukraine from a second training camp in Spain, and after a day off, have been conducting one training session per day. On Sunday, Dynamo's first team split into two groups for friendly matches against their Under-21 and U19 selections, with Andriy Yarmolenko and Júnior Moraes back from injury and newcomers Nikita Korzun and Olexandr Yakovenko at Serhiy Rebrov's full disposal.

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Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager:

No team is perfect, but Barcelona are not far from it. We need to take our chances. We will have less of the ball than against Hull, but we have to make the most of it.

They have top strikers. Maybe they look like they are having a little bit less possession at the moment because they used to have Xavi Hernández in midfield. They have a team that can score at any moment. Even when they are being dominated they are still very dangerous. They did that in the final last year against Juventus when it was 1-1. They were suffering but they took their chances when they arrived.

I knew Luis Enrique as a player. He scored against us at Wembley in the Champions League. He has done a remarkable job because he arrived with scepticism around him and won the treble in his first year.

I remember we played the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2006 and Lionel Messi was injured for that game. It's remarkable that was ten years ago and what he has achieved in that time.

Coach Serhiy Rebrov told Ukrainian daily Komanda about Dynamo Kyiv's readiness for the match against Manchester City. "I always had lots of respect for Manuel Pellegrini," he said. "He's doing great job, and he's a serious professional. I'm sure he will find the right words and motivation for his players.

"Manchester City are one of the richest clubs in the world but we are preparing for these matches in our usual way. We have had a very long break and can't be sure of our best form, but we have our style and I hope we'll show it well."

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Bayern's Arturo Vidal on facing his old side, Juventus:

I've always came on to the pitch from the Juventus dressing room, and now I'll be coming on from the away one. It will be very strange. I hope people don't react negatively because I'm playing there in a Bayern shirt. I hope they enjoy the match, and that the better team wins. We know that they're a very difficult opponent, and that they defend very well. They have one of the best defences in the world. And we have to be very careful at set pieces, for example, or when they attack fast and play on the counter. It will be a very difficult match.

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Arsenal duo Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny train ahead of the meeting with Barcelona as they prepare to feature in the UEFA Champions League for the first time this season ...

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The Bayern press conference is under way in Turin, with Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm dressed to the nines sat alongside Josep Guardiola. Somewhere amid the scrum of reporters and cameramen is our very own sartorial master, Ben Gladwell.

Phillip Lahm on Juventus v Bayern:

It's been a long break since the group phase and so we're now really looking forward to this really classic game. Last year Juventus deservedly reached the final so it's going to be difficult. They've had a great run, but that's in the league – this is different.

I have only positive memories of facing Juventus.
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Lahm continues ...

We always go out to win. Maybe you are happy with a draw in the end, but we always go out to win. In the back of your mind, you do have to remember there are another 90 minutes. If you lose, you still have the chance and the time to turn it around.

Josep Guardiola's turn now:

Juve are on a great run, have quality and a great playing style. It will be an interesting game!

Yes we have [injury] problems, but what can we do? All the players we have here in Turin can play.
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A reminder of that injury list Guardiola just eluded to. Jérôme Boateng (adductors), Holger Badstuber (ankle) and Javi Martínez (knee) are all long-term absentees.

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High praise indeed from Guardiola, who says Juventus "are perhaps best team in Europe from set pieces". What do you reckon? #UCL

*Below you can find of an image of a recent Juve free-kick from the perspective of an opposing defender.

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Next up, in just under an hour, we have the Barcelona and Juventus press conferences so stay tuned for updates from both.

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A bit more from the Bayern press conference just now. Here is what Arjen Robben had to say:

It's about our team performance and we will prepare very well for them. We know Dybala's a very talented player who can make the difference, but we've got to be ready.

I feel good again. It's getting better from game to game and I'm happy. The only thing maybe I'm lacking is a goal or a bit of luck, but it's not all about the goals, when we have two up there scoring the goals. If they don't, then we've got to try to be there. I want to play my part in the team.

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Paul Pogba has been talking up Juventus's chances over the next few weeks ...

Meanwhile, elsewhere in UEFA Champions Leagueland, there is good news for Roma fans ...

BREAKING NEWS from Turin is that Alex Sandro (thigh) and Giorgio Chiellini (calf) have both been left out of Juventus's matchday squad.

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Gianluigi Buffon is first in the hot seat for Juventus:

We'll be up against a very strong team with very few, if any, weaknesses. But we're also on the up. We're a lot more self-assured than we were three years ago. We also know more about Bayern.

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We're also under way in London, where Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić is full of praise for their hosts:

There is no need to talk about favourites. Arsenal are one of the best teams in history.
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More from Rakitić:

Having this front three fills me with pride. The rest of us do what we can to make them better.
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Mutual respect seems to be the order of the day ...

Some good news on the injury front for Juventus, with Massimiliano Allegri confirming that former Bayern forward Mario Mandžukić and German midfielder Sami Khedira have both trained and are in good shape. "They will both start," he added.

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It is Massimiliano Allegri's turn on the microphone in Turin:

We've deserved to reach the last 16 and this game is more like a semi-final.

We've got to be good at getting the ball off them and keeping it to ourselves.

We've got to play a great game in defence; above all be very good at relieving ourselves from pressure when we get ball.

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Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach:

I'm delighted to be part of this team, which never tires of winning. It is very easy to coach these players. Everyone is aware of what the objectives are.

Leo Messi is the best wherever he plays. He is our leader.

That's all from both press conferences. Barcelona will now train at the Arsenal Stadium. Over in Turin, Bayern are back at the team hotel ...

On second thoughts, the last word from the press conferences goes to Luis Enrique. Asked how he went to bed last night after Atlético and Real Madrid both dropped points, he replied: "With my wife, as always." Cue: tittering.

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Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez & Neymar - 91 goals between them for Barcelona in 2015/16 - having fun in training this evening ...

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Tuesday's matches
Arsenal v Barcelona
Juventus v Bayern

Press conference times (CET)
• PSV Eindhoven (14.30) v Atlético (18.00)
• Dynamo Kyiv (17.20) v Manchester City (15.30)

In England, the Guardian hardly sounds optimistic about Arsenal's prospects against Barcelona, writing: "Those stats again, then. Barcelona have not lost for 32 games, since 3 October last year. In the same period Arsenal have lost to Southampton, West Brom, Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday and Bayern Munich... Barcelona have 23 goals in their last seven games, Arsenal six in the same period."

However, the Mirror has offered a five-point guide to how the Gunners can prevail under the following headings:
"1: Press Barcelona's defenders high
2: Take advantage of Barca's first-half struggles
3: Capitalise on this first leg
4: Consider dropping Mertesacker
5: Get lucky"

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Rafael Benítez is backing Arsenal's Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck to unsettle Barcelona, the former Real Madrid boss quoted as saying: "If they can keep the ball with these two players up front they will be more dangerous.

"The key is that you cannot afford to make mistakes in defence," he added. "Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez will punish you. There is no doubt about that. "However, for me, the interesting thing will be to see if Arsenal play a high line in defence. That is one option. Another is to be deeper and play on the counterattack."

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Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus captain:

It is certainly going to be a very tough game against what is a very strong Bayern side with few, if any, obvious weaknesses. As for ourselves though, we’ve grown enormously already over the course of this season and I think we’ll be able to approach this tie with more self-assurance and confidence than we did three years ago. Bayern were almost unstoppable that year and deservedly went on to win the trophy. Losing 2-0 in both legs was disappointing but by no means an indication of our own weaknesses. Bayern are always one of the favourites.

You can always be sure that they’ll reach the semi-finals most years even if they don’t necessarily play their very best football and for that reason, it’s clear that they are one of the best teams in Europe. Our job is to win and to take a lead into the second leg. If we ensure that the game is tight and well-matched then we can be pleased with our efforts. Given the reputation and standing of both teams, this tie has more of a semi-final feel to it.

We saw a lot of movement in and out of the club in the summer and that brought with it some excellent young players who offer different qualities to those of the players that left. Now, we are full of energy, enthusiasm and belief and credit for that must go to the boss after a tough start to the campaign. No doubt about it, with the core of players we have here at the moment, the future is very bright for Juventus.

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Wednesday's matches: PSV Eindhoven v Atlético, Dynamo Kyiv v Manchester City
Team news: Who is in, who is out and who is a doubt?
Tuesday results: Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona, Juventus 2-2 Bayern

Which teams are still on for the treble?

Barcelona, 32 matches unbeaten in all competitions since a 2-1 loss to Sevilla on 3 October last year, arrive in London having won 13 of their last 14 ties in all competitions. The Liga leaders will be aiming to continue their bid to become the first team to retain the trophy in 26 years - no side has won back-to-back titles in the UEFA Champions League era, with Arrigo Sacchi's all-conquering AC Milan side the last to claim consecutive European Cups in 1989 and 1990.

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Ivan Rakitić, Barcelona midfielder:

There is no need to talk about favourites. Arsenal are one of the best teams in history. We respect Arsenal but we have to try and do our best, and we know their style and players, we have to have a lot of confidence in ourselves because we are in really good form. We must do our best if we want to win, they are going to push really hard in front of their own fans. We have to play well to get a good result but we will also rely on the second leg.

Having this front three fills me with pride. The rest of us do what we can to make them better. We are living in a sweet moment. What happened last year is behind us, so we have to think about Barcelona at the moment. Of course we want to retain the title that we won last year, but we also know how difficult it’s going to be. We have to take things step by step.

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Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal, who spent four seasons with Juventus (157 appearances, four Serie A titles), has been in the spotlight ahead of the last-16 tie in Italy.

"Hell in Turin? Let's get there already" says the headline in the Münchner Merkur as they preview the first-leg clash, before adding that "the man nicknamed 'The Warrior' is worthy of such an occasion."

"I had a wonderful time in Italy, but now I would give my life to reach the quarter-finals", Vidal told the paper. "Even though there are rumours that the 28-year-old could start as part of a three-man defence, the daily claims "it is more realistic that Vidal will start as a spectator in his old stomping ground."

"Thrills guaranteed" proclaims the cover of L'Équipe this morning ahead of tonight's mouthwatering ties in the UEFA Champions League. The French daily goes on to describe this evening's entertainment as a "gala night" with "four candidates capable of winning the final" on 28 May in Milan facing off.


According to Il Messaggero, Juventus "have an Everest named Bayern to climb". The daily notes that the Bavarian giants are the only European team to have won at the Juventus Stadium, back in 2013. "The climb will be extremely tough and dangerous but the view could be wonderful from up there," the newspaper concluded.

Meanwhile, Turin-based paper Tuttosport expects Juve fans to give former midfielder Arturo Vidal a warm welcome tonight. "The Bianconeri fans have not forgotten his contribution in turning Juventus into a winning team".

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Arsène Wenger understandably says his main concern is "stopping Barcelona from scoring" as Arsenal target a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010 – when they were knocked out by the Catalan side. In each of the past three seasons Arsenal have lost the first leg at home at this stage, so lessons are being taken on board. "If you concede a goal at home in the Champions League it's a big knife in your heart every time," Wenger said. Blunting the Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar daggers, though, would be a remarkable achievement.

German blog Spielverlagerung provides in-depth analysis of tactical matters and aims to peel off several layers to look at how teams use their main strengths and exploit weaknesses. Previewing tonight's tie in Turin, the site points out how important it is to create space for wingers Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa: "Despite the injuries in central defence, the crucial point for Bayern is to overcome Juve's strong defensive pressing … One of the questions [for Bayern] is whether they can structure their ball circulation in such way that there will be dribbling opportunities for their wingers. This could work by having good positional support from narrow full-backs and a compact midfield."

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While Barcelona were making the arduous 2,000km return journey from Las Palmas on Saturday, some of Arsenal's regulars had the luxury of putting their feet up as Arsène Wenger rotated his side for the visit of Hull in the FA Cup. The Arsenal manager could make up to nine changes for tonight's match, with centre-backs Per Mertersacker and Laurent Koscielny probably the only two starters from Saturday's goalless draw who will kick off again this evening. Theo Walcott could be another, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to be preferred on the right as he offers greater defensive solidity. Danny Welbeck's return from injury has been a huge boost for the Gunners, but he is unlikely to start as works his way back to peak fitness.

PSV have been in splendid form since qualifying for the round of 16, winning nine of their last ten fixtures. Although their sole loss in that sequence ended their Dutch Cup hopes, they have taken over from Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie. Much for coach Phillip Cocu to be optimistic about, then, even with key forward Luuk de Jong due to miss Wednesday's first leg against Atlético Madrid through suspension.

"Obviously I'm annoyed that I can't play," said De Jong. "But I have real belief as we've already shown what we can do in the Champions League." With Andrés Guardado poised to return from injury and recent goals coming from midfield and even defence, the Dutch hopefuls will resume their European campaign with little fear.

Dynamo certainly cannot complain about fixture congestion as they prepare to host Manchester City, having not played a competitive match since their last UEFA Champions League outing – on 9 December. Nevertheless, Serhiy Rebrov's side have hardly been inactive during their winter break, playing 13 friendlies in all and winning seven of them.

"One third of all our goals were scored from set pieces and the same number came from crosses from the wings – those are good stats," said Rebrov of his team's preparations. Crucially, they also managed to keep hold of their key players over the winter, while Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko is ready to face City after sustaining an ankle injury in December.

With centre-backs Jérôme Boateng (groin), Holger Badstuber (ankle) and Javi Martínez (knee) sidelined for the trip to Juventus, Josep Guardiola faces major selection problems. Medhi Benatia (out since 9 December, thigh) has resumed training but is a doubt, while on-loan defender Serdar Taşçı may return to the bench after his Bayern debut against Darmstadt on Saturday.

Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba, the makeshift pairing set to be fielded in Turin, could thus hand an aerial advantage at set pieces to Juve. Not that Thomas Müller is concerned: "I'm not worried about that, even though it may help in some situations to have a player who is 2m tall." Meanwhile, the hosts will need to beware Müller and Robert Lewandowski, who extended their combined haul in all competitions this season to 56 goals at the weekend.

Arsenal failed to hit the net with 18 shots against Hull and have not scored in four of their past seven games. There was a clear message being sent out when Olivier Giroud took to the stage for the pre-match press conference yesterday, though: cometh the hour, cometh the Gunners' main man in the UEFA Champions League.

Giroud has scored five times in his past four games in the competition including a hat-trick against Olympiacos that sealed the Gunners' place in the last 16. Since serving his suspension on matchday two for his dismissal against Dinamo Zagreb, he has turned Arsenal's fortunes around. It was his power and presence after coming off the bench that forced Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into an uncharacteristic error on matchday three and that goal kickstarted Arsenal's great escape from Group F. Arsenal won 2-0, a surprise result that gives real reason for belief. "We know we can beat big teams, but we need to be at 100% and be determined," he said.

Diego Godín, Atlético defender:

We're treating this tie with the utmost seriousness and above all with respect for what they have achieved. PSV qualified from a very difficult group, they've made it to the last 16 for a reason. They have a young team and they try to impose their game with their fast young players.

For us, we know the first leg there will be decisive. We know that in two-legged ties the first leg is pretty decisive as it defines how you will play the second leg and how you can achieve the right result. So we will be completely focused on that first leg. And then at home, with our fans behind us, we will play according to the result in the Netherlands.

Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Dynamo goalkeeper:

Unquestionably the pace of the game has increased since I first played in the UEFA Champions League in 1994. The goalkeeper's role has changed a lot. Now the keeper is one of 11 players who help in both defence and attack. Nothing stands still. Tactical emphases, formations, interplay between the lines, players operating in between the lines – all that has developed and got better, thanks largely to competitions like the Champions League and Europa League.

Some matches stand out. One of our best performances was in the 1998/99 Champions League when we reached the semi-finals, beating Real Madrid [in the quarter-finals]. That was a team where everybody complemented one another and where personal ambitions came second. We understood exactly what we were aiming for and we knew how to go about our work. There was a great understanding between the players, almost intuitive.

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus coach:

Last year I got millions of insults when I said 0-0 was a good result - 0-0 is a great result at home. It's important we go there with two results which can get us through, because away goals count double. It's unlikely that it will finish 0-0. I foresee lots of goals.

Bayern have a way of playing and I doubt they are going to change that. We've got to play a great game in defence but above all be very good at relieving the pressure when we get possession. We've got to be on their level technically and tactically.

We deserved to reach the last 16, but this fixture is more like a semi-final.

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Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach:

It's the last 16 and the last 16 is always difficult and complicated. Juventus didn't start the season well, but things are working well now with their style of play so it's going to be an interesting game. We'll try to play well and score a few goals, which won't be easy because they have not been conceding.

We have [injury] problems, but what can we do? We hardly have any players – we have Tasci and Benatia, but they have either just arrived or trained for only two or three days. I expect Juve to press high up the field, but if we can cope with that pressure, then we will see.

We don't have any central defenders – that's how it is. We've got to attack intelligently and avoid conceding set pieces as they are maybe the best team in Europe from set pieces. With Bonucci, Barzagli, Khedira, Pogba they are all really big; and our central defender is Kimmich [a 1.76m midfielder].

For Arsenal to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time in six years, much will depend on goalkeeper Petr Čech. Cech's man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 home win against Bayern helped give the Gunners a lifeline in Group F and the London side may need more heroics tonight. Arsène Wenger is certainly hoping history repeats itself in this case, as a certain Lionel Messi is yet to score against the 33-year-old despite coming up against him six times in the competition while Cech was at Chelsea. "I hope that that will give Petr a lot of confidence, and that he'll keep him quiet," Wenger said. Keeping Messi quiet is one thing, but doing so while stopping Neymar and Luis Suárez – who have 64 goals between them this season – as well, is quite another.

Paulo Dybala's form has been instrumental in Juventus's impressive rise up the Serie A table, their remarkable run of 15 consecutive wins only ended by a draw with Bologna on Friday. The Argentina forward is the club's top scorer in the league with 13 but is yet to register in the UEFA Champions League ahead of the visit of Bayern Munchen.

He came close on matchday six, striking the bar against Sevilla. "I have been thinking a lot about that shot, unfortunately it didn't go in," he said. "Hopefully the goal in Europe will come, sooner or later."

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PSV coach Phillip Cocu and midfielder Davy Pröpper will be sharing their thoughts shortly ahead of Wednesday's last-16 home meeting with Atlético ...

Arsenal fans may have sad memories of their 2006 UEFA Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in Paris, but can at least say the Blaugrana have not beaten them on their patch since the move from Highbury. Arsenal drew at home to Barça 2-2 in 2010 and beat them 2-1 at this stage the following season, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin getting the goals as the Gunners came from behind to win. Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere are the three players of the current Arsenal squad that played in that match; Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Adriano all featured for Barça.

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Davy Pröpper, PSV midfielder:

We are now fully focused on tomorrow's tie. It will be a fantastic match, you don't get to play in these type of games every week. Initially, our aim was to reach the last 16. Now, we want to try to progress to the next round. We will do everything we can to go to progress, It will be a tough match. Andrés Guardado is a fantastic player, he will be important for us tomorrow.

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Paris midfielder Blaise Matuidi took advantage of a rare week off by taking the family to Disneyland Paris.


Diner en famille à Disney avec notre ami Mickey 😀

A photo posted by Blaise Matuidi Officiel (@blaisematuidiofficiel) on

Luis Suárez's arrival at the Camp Nou left Alexis Sánchez surplus to requirements, and the Chile forward will be desperate to shine against his old club. Such a dynamic presence since choosing Arsenal as his next destination in summer 2014, Sánchez is a little off his best, however, having struggled to make an impact following his return from injury.

The 27-year-old remains capable of changing a match in an instant, though, and is relishing his time in north London. "It's been a positive move and I love it at Arsenal," he said. "I can't say what my reaction will be if I score. That depends on the moment."

Francis Coquelin, Arsenal midfielder:

Every player they have got is almost the best in every position. Playing Iniesta is going to be tough, but I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to it. Any player wants to play players at this level and I’m ready for it if I’m involved. Everyone wants to play these types of games. We are really looking forward to it.

Barcelona are probably the best team in the world at the moment. We are obviously looking forward to it even if it is really tough. Hopefully we can do something against such a massive team. Everyone needs to be at 100% and I don’t think we need to play with fear. We need to be ready and believe we can do something.

If we have that belief, we can do great things. We showed that in the past against Bayern a few months ago. Not many people said we could win this game and we showed we can compete with great teams as well.

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After spending nine years at Bayern, during which he won the UEFA Champions League and six Bundesliga titles, Hasan Salihamidžić spent four years at Juventus. Ahead of tonight's last-16 meeting, the former Bosnia and Herzegovina international compared the two teams. "It's a meeting of two absolute giants," he told Transfermarkt. "Juventus have structurally developed a lot … Obviously they have lost three key players [Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlo Tévez], but it was a good time to rebuild. Now the team is on an impressive run. Both teams have players capable of implementing complicated tactical instructions, but are creative at the same time. Small details will decide who comes out on top.

Phillip Cocu, PSV coach:

Diego Simeone is bringing success back to Atlético. You can see his character as a player reflected on his team – I applaud that. They have a clear style of play. Would I settle for a 0-0 draw? Keeping a clean sheet could be very important.

Atlético have a reliable side, team unity – they won't give anything away. They always play the same way – they are winners who play a compact game despite a busy fixture list. They are a nice example of everybody playing for each other and for the team. You have to be prepared and give your all every time.

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Pablo Zabaleta, Manchester City defender:

We know this is a different competition, going from a big defeat on Sunday against Chelsea - now we are 100% focused on the game tomorrow. It is another chance to take a step forward. This is a big chance for us to go on the next round. Tomorrow we need to perform well and see if we can get a result.

They have had a long [winter] break, time to have a good rest and recover some injured players, but we don’t need to think about this. It’s not going to be an easy game. Dynamo Kyiv are a great team in Ukraine, and have played in the Champions League before. We'll have to be at our best.

We’ve played a lot of games in January and February but I think that tomorrow we will see players who’ve had a rest last weekend. Physically and mentally we must be fresh for tomorrow and play at 100%.

We know we’ve been playing against the best teams in Europe. In the last four years we’ve been learning a lot about the way you must play in these games.

We played the best team in the world at this stage for the last two years – I’m not going to say that tomorrow is going to be easy, they have the mentality to play in these types of games as they’ve played in this competition before many times.

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Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City coach:

We will have a similar squad to the one that played the last game in the Premier League. We had to make a difficult decision about the FA Cup game against Chelsea [on Sunday]. We had only 13 first-team players available and we could not afford to lose more, so we had to sacrifice one of the tournaments. But now we have the intention to continue in all competitions. We won our group in the Champions League and we'll try to go as far as we can.

[Leaving the club at the end of this season] is not a problem. All the players understand that we have very important challenges in the Champions League and the Premier League, and we have to play well in every match. It's very easy for us because we have to focus on our tasks.

I'm not thinking about the future, only about this match. The most important thing for me is our performance here. I want my players show all they can. We understand it's only the first game but we need to be at our best to make our task easier for the second leg.

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After two straight UEFA Champions League group stage exits, Manchester City finally made the round of 16 in 2013/14 – and now they look to take another step forward.

For the last two seasons, City have had the misfortune to run into Barcelona in the first knockout round, losing home and away each time. However, having topped their section this term, they were seeded in the draw and will now visit Dynamo Kyiv for Wednesday's first leg of what is a sequel to the clubs' 2010/11 UEFA Europa League last-16 tie.

On that occasion City went out despite a 1-0 home win having gone down 2-0 at Dynamo's old Valeriy Lobanovskyi Stadium; this time the NSK Olimpiyskyi is the venue for the opening match. "They were very good, they scored some good goals against us – it was really tough actually, a real tough double-header for us," City's England goalkeeper Joe Hart told UEFA.com.

"The stadium was obviously different. I've played in the stadium since in the EUROs, we had some good games there in 2012, and I'm looking forward to another one."

As for this season's encounter, City are targeting their first UEFA Champions League quarter-final. "It depends how you want to look at it, they're either well rested or they could be rusty, with the format of their league season, but that will all be decided after the game. They're obviously in a strong position – to be in the last 16 of the Champions League, they're well proven in Europe. So it's going to be a tough game, especially with a really tough away leg to start with."

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Given this is Dynamo's first competitive outing since early December, their main task is to keep a clean sheet. The home team will play on the break and avoid taking risks, just as they did in the 0-0 group stage draw with Chelsea in Kyiv. Physical condition may decide matter; Manchester City's match fitness may tell in the closing stages, something Rebrov's men must be wary of.

A World Cup winner with Italy in 1982, Paolo Rossi is now a pundit with Mediaset Premium in Italy,and has been talking about his former club Juventus's chances against Bayern. "The German side is amazing, their attack is phenomenal, [Robert] Lewandowski and [Thomas] Müller are two of the greatest players around," he said.

"But for me, the best of all is still [Paulo] Dybala: he's classy, elegant, fast and he knows how to score. [Mario] Mandžukić shouldn't be underestimated as well: he will sure look for revenge tonight. In any case, for Juventus it would have been better to play the first leg in Munich."

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There is already quite a buzz around the Arsenal Stadium as fans begin to congregate outside the ground, the stewards are put through their paces and the TV crews receive their final briefing. The visit of Barcelona has really caught the imagination in a city where it takes a lot to make an impression, and it is not just Arsenal fans looking forward to this one.

Expectations are low among home fans, and club legend Ian Wright used his column in today's Sun to urge the players to go out and enjoy it. "It's a chance to play with freedom and really have a go at it." He added the slight caveat: "Miracles can happen in football, but let's face it, that's exactly what Arsenal are going to need."

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What a night we have in store this evening. The UEFA Champions League MatchCentre is primed and ready to go and is will take you through the night with minute-by-minute text coverage plus audio commentary from both matches.

Click here to head to MatchCentre now.

The blog will be back first thing tomorrow morning with analysis, reaction and fallout from the night's action, plus all the build up to Wednesday's final pair of first legs. Enjoy the night.

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"Juve, che leoni!" (Juve, what lions!) is Gazzetta dello Sport's headline after the Italian champions comeback draw against Bayern. "The Bianconeri wake up after conceding two goals and can still qualify," the pink newspaper writes, characterising Juventus's performance as "like a boxing movie when, after being of the verge of a knockout several times, the fighter suddenly starts to punch back and become a hero".

Turin-based La Stampa stressed how brilliant the game was: "It was like reading the manual of football from A to Z in just 90 minutes," it writes. "It doesn't happen that often that one team is dominated the way Bayern did with Juve and then completes such a spectacular comeback. This game confirmed the beauty of football, the least scientific thing in the world."

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"Messi breaks Čech spell" reads the front-page headline in Czech daily Sport, with the Arsenal goalkeeper's record of having gone six games without conceding against the Barcelona No10 having ended last night. "Petr Čech's 100% clean sheet against Lionel Messi will be connected forever with Chelsea - it does not apply at Arsenal," it writes, though it gives the local hero full credit for his performance, not least a brilliant stop from Neymar.


Lionel Messi naturally commands the back pages of this morning's English papers just as he dominated play at the Arsenal Stadium last night. "Arsenal bow to a genius" runs the Times headline, while the Mirror leads with 'Wenger crushed by more Messi magic'. Wenger was uncharacteristically outspoken in his critique of his side, who the Guardian points out did so well in keeping Barça at bay for over an hour. "For so long this was a performance of discipline," it writes. "However slowly, inexorably, Barcelona then turned the screw. Arsenal's focus was commendable but it was just not enough. The Catalan club are on another level."

There is more praise for Barça's brilliance from the Daily Mail. "When the end came for Arsenal it was startling in its ferocity," it noted. "Back to front in a matter of seconds. In and out like an assassin's blade." For the fourth year in a row Arsenal go into the second leg two goals down from the home tie ­the Times sums up their predicament: "Barcelona promised magic when they arrived in London and Lionel Messi duly made Arsenal's Champions League dreams all but disappear."

"Bayern throw away victory in Turin" writes Münchner Merkur, but while the 2-2 draw was disappointing given that Josep Guardiola's side led Jventus 2-0, the game was a classic. "If this is hell, we want to go there more often," Münchner Merkur writes. "Let's hope the three weeks until the second leg pass quickly.

The local paper singles out Arturo Vidal and Joshua Kimmich for praise, and adds: "What a fine game of football that was; a strong Juve side and an even better Bayern. The game had everything that makes the Champions League what is: the league of kings … Only 21 sleeps until the tie concludes, but this time in Munich."


There is a one-word headline in French sports daily L'Équipe as it reflects on how Barcelona's Lionel Messi "hammered Arsenal with a double": "Irresistible."

Last night, a stirring Juventus fightback denied Bayern a round of 16 first-leg victory in Turin, while Lionel Messi finally broke his Petr Čech hex as Arsenal's impressive rearguard action ultimately came to naught against Barcelona ...


"We could have come away with more today," Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer admitted after the game, giving the Juventus crowd full credit. "All the chaos in the stadium caused us to lose our composure a bit."

When Arjen Robben scored Bayern's second, the only noise was coming from the visiting fans, but their celebrations did not last long. Paulo Dybala quickly halved the deficit and the Juventus fans' sensed there was more to come. The chants came out: "Chi non salta, non ci crede" (whoever doesn't jump, doesn't believe) and "Noi vogliamo undici leoni" (we want eleven lions). The eleven lions went close soon after through Juan Cuadrado and finally equalised via Stefano Sturaro.

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Given the pre-match hype surrounding Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar's phenomenal goalscoring exploits, Arsenal did a remarkable job to keep them quiet for three-quarters of this UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie.

Indeed, the home side had even begun to get on top midway through the second period. As ever, though, with the opposition pushing upfield, Barcelona proved at their most dangerous. They leapt from defence to attack in the 71st minute, Suárez on the left touchline feeding Neymar who surged forward and – with Arsenal stretched to the limit – squared to Messi to score.

It was over in a flash – Arsenal's best efforts for more than an hour undone by the most lethal triumvirate in world football. "It was a very fast break which is how we like to play – with open space – and luckily we were able to do that," Messi, the man of the match, told UEFA.com. "Neymar passed to me and I managed to score. It's wonderful playing with them. We get along really well on and off the pitch. We really are friends and that is really important to enable us to play this kind of football."

Read more: Messi and friends give Arsenal sinking feeling

Our panel of host Rob Daly, Chris Parrott, Richard Kaufman and Phil Blacker review Tuesday's UEFA Champions League action as Lionel Messi beat Arsenal 2-0 and Juventus came from behind to hold Bayern 2-2. and look ahead to Wednesday's round of 16 first legs in the official podcast. You can listen in the player above or download the podcast from iTunes.

Massimiliano Allegri wants Juventus to repeat their second-half showing in the return ...

I've got to commend the boys on what they did. It was a big test for us as we were facing one of the favourites for the Champions League. The aim was to keep the tie alive and the lads did that. It was never going to be easy to beat a side with great quality. My players have to realise they have a lot of quality themselves and we've got to do better than we did in the first half.

To go through, we've got to win, or draw 3-3 there, but we don't have many options. We intended to play the first half differently. Apart from [Thomas Müller's] open goal, we didn't give away any big chances. We could have done better. In Europe, when you're playing a last-16 tie which is like a semi-final, it's nothing to be ashamed of, conceding twice to Bayern.

It's a knockout match in Munich. We've got to win, we have no choice. Whether we win in the first or the last minute doesn't change anything. We have to win. We had a lot of opportunities in the second half and this has got to give us the strength and belief that we can compete with Europe's best.

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Meanwhile, Josep Guardiola says Bayern had "controlled the game well" in Turin ...

There are moments when you are up against [Paul] Pogba, [Mario] Mandžukić, [Álvaro] Morata and [Leonardo] Bonucci – one of my all-time favourite players – and [Gianluigi] Buffon, so you can't expect to come here and dominate for 90 minutes. We performed really well. We tried to win but this is football.

Will it be enough to reach the quarters? I don't know, because I expect Juve to be even more aggressive in Munich. But I'm very happy – this is maybe the happiest evening of my career.

The return will be different. They will come to win or to get a 3-3. We will try to score. I don't expect us to protect this result. We will only defend when we are faced with their incredible attack. We're up against a side with many great players, starting with Buffon and going all the way through. It's going to be a brilliant second leg.

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After two days off, Paris returned to training this morning ...

Luis Enrique "liked everything about Barcelona" last night ...

I liked everything about Barcelona from the very beginning. I liked the way we scored, we had plenty of possession and in the first half we managed to have a lot of the ball. Arsenal defended with every player in their own half but we still managed to trouble them. In the second half they pressed a bit higher and we managed to stop the transitions, that's how we decided the game in our favour.

Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world when it comes to transitions and I felt my players performed perfectly and were deserved winners. The result is really good but obviously nothing is decided yet, we will have to play really well in front of our fans in order to go through.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger thinks Barcelona have a 95% chance of reaching the last eight:

Barcelona are a great team. We put a lot of energy into the game and technically we were very average. The regret I had was that just as we looked like we could dominate the game, we gave the goal away. It was similar with Monaco last season, naive, and that is frustrating.

Realistically it will be very, very difficult, if not impossible. We have to go there and fight. We had chances tonight, we didn't score. They are better than us, there is no shame, they are European champions and that is no coincidence.

Barcelona are through 95% of the way but we want to go there and play. We are Arsenal and we want to go out there and play, we have absolutely no chance but everyone is focused now on the next game. It's a shame the players have got no satisfaction tonight because energy wise they put absolutely everything in to it.

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Only one man's name on everyone's lips this morning in Spain: Lionel Messi. The Argentina international earns the headline "Magic" from Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo following his two-goal salvo against Arsenal last night. The paper salutes Messi for finally helping the Catalan outfit win away to the London club and point out that he has finally managed to score past Petr Čech in a competitive game, exercising a few demons in the process.

Mundo DeportivoMundo Deportivo

Sport lead with 'Messi Power' in a nod to the mercurial forward's seemingly magic powers. Inside they say Barcelona have a foot and a half in the quarter-finals and salute the side, who are now 33 games unbeaten in all competitions. They go on to say the side has 20 'finals' left this season if they want to repeat their historic treble of Liga, Copa del  Rey and UEFA Champions League glory.


Dynamo Kyiv have confirmed that Ukraine international midfielder Serhiy Sydorchuk will miss the first leg against Manchester City through injury. Mykola Morozyuk (knee) and suspended first-choice left full-back Antunes also miss out. Andriy Yarmolenko (knee) trained with the rest of the team yesterday but the final decision on his fitness will be made today.

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Olivier Giroud says Marc-Andre ter Stegen's second-half save to keep out his header was a turning point in Arsenal's defeat to Barcelona.

"That was maybe the turning point," Giroud said. "The keeper did very well. I am very frustrated because we played well but it was not enough. We couldn't score in the first half when we played well on the counterattack and were dangerous. But we couldn't finish our work and it's a shame because at the end of the day it's 2-0 down and our chances of qualifying are very small.

"I said beforehand that we need to be cautious and that if we cannot win the game we can't concede goals to keep our chances for the second leg – even if at Camp Nou it is very, very difficult to win. We can have regrets tonight."

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Munich-based German newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung argues that Bayern would have taken a 2-2 draw before the last-16 meeting in Turin against Juventus, especially since the hosts had won their last 15 Serie A fixtures – a club best – before Friday's goalless draw at Bologna. However, there is a sour aftertaste now. "The match threatened to become a historic disaster for the Italians. Why that didn't materialise will remain a major conundrum," the paper writes. "As was the case in their 3-1 reverse against Gladbach in the Bundesliga or the 3-0 defeat against Barcelona [semi-finals, first leg, 2014/15], Bayern were unable to halt the opponents' momentum."

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Manuel Pellegrini has told Manchester City side who have lost their last three matches to "focus on our tasks" as they visit Dynamo Kyiv looking to reach a first quarter-final ...

We will have a similar squad to the one that played the last game in the Premier League. We had to make a difficult decision about the FA Cup game against Chelsea [on Sunday]. We had only 13 first-team players available and we could not afford to lose more, so we had to sacrifice one of the tournaments. But now we have the intention to continue in all competitions. We won our group in the Champions League and we'll try to go as far as we can.

[Leaving the club at the end of this season] is not a problem. All the players understand that we have very important challenges in the Champions League and the Premier League, and we have to play well in every match. It's very easy for us because we have to focus on our tasks.

I'm not thinking about the future, only about this match. The most important thing for me is our performance here. I want my players show all they can. We understand it's only the first game but we need to be at our best to make our task easier for the second leg.

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Serhiy Rebrov says Manchester City's recent domestic struggles "mean nothing" ...

City have scored more than any other team in the Premier League [alongside Leicester] and their recent defeats mean nothing. Their squad, even without all the injury absentees, includes many top players. In fact, all their players are world class. Their domestic form doesn't matter as the Champions League is a completely different competition, and we saw their priorities at the weekend.

We have analysed their strengths and weaknesses and we know how powerful their attack is, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Sergio Agüero – who is worth half of their team right now. With Vincent Kompany back, the defence has become much tougher. However, City also have some weaknesses and we've explained them to the players. I hope they will use that knowledge.

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Given this is Dynamo's first competitive outing since early December, their main task is to keep a clean sheet. The home team will play on the break and avoid taking risks, just as they did in the 0-0 group stage draw with Chelsea in Kyiv. Physical condition may decide matters; Manchester City's match fitness could tell in the closing stages, something Serhiy Rebrov's men must be wary of.

The return of Andrés Guardado, who was passed fit after shaking off a hamstring injury, has been welcomed by PSV midfielder Davy Pröpper. "Guardado always helps the team. He is our best big-match player."

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Zenit midfielder Aleksandr Ryazantsev has joined FC Ural until on loan until the end of the season. The 29-year-old who has five Russia caps under his belt has already joined his new club at their training camp in Cyprus. Ryazantsev made five appearances for André Villas-Boas's side during the group stage.

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Diego Simeone, Atlético coach:

The team are in good shape at the minute. We have won some and we also got a draw [at the weekend]; now we have a busy period of matches against different opponents. PSV are very strong opponents, they're dangerous in attack, they can hurt us. They can score from different situations – set pieces, individual actions, team play. We are looking forward to this fixture.

PSV are a very good side, only Ajax can keep up with them [in the Netherlands]. This is a different competition and it will be an intense game played at high speed – the players will have to show plenty of energy. Our aim is to take control of this and to control the match.

The Champions League does not involve as many games [as the league] to win a trophy, but they're very difficult matches. We believe in taking it step by step, from game to game. I ask that of my players. You cannot think of the title. First, we want to win here.

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Meanwhile, Phillip Cocu says a clean sheet is a priority for PSV:

Diego Simeone is bringing success back to Atlético. You can see his character as a player reflected in his team – I applaud that. They have a clear style of play. Would I settle for a 0-0 draw? Keeping a clean sheet could be very important.

Atlético have a consistent side, they're a great team unit, they won't give anything away. They always play the same way – they are winners and they play a compact game despite a busy fixture list. They are a nice example of everybody playing for each other and for the team. You have to be prepared and give your all every time.

PSV coach Phillip Cocu and Atlético boss Diego Simeone faced each other only once before on the pitch; a World Cup quarter-final in 1998. The Netherlands triumphed that day 2-1, thanks to an incredible last-minute winner by Dennis Bergkamp. Both men share a similar philosophy; the defence must be solid, and collective effort is more important than individual brilliance.

Antoine Griezmann, Atlético forward:

It will be a complicated match, like with every major competition. We have to be ready. All the effort the group puts in defending is very good and in the attack too, but we need to score goals.

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One of the most encouraging aspects of PSV's 2-0 victory against Heracles at the weekend was the return of left-back Jetro Willems. The Dutch international, making only his second start of the season after missing six months through a knee injury, was in scintillating form. "He's a top player, we were all talking about him in the dressing room after the game," said Heracles midfielder Iliass Bel Hassani. "I thought at first he was overweight, but it’s all pure muscle. If you run into him you just bounce back."

Wolfsburg have confirmed that midfielder Maximilian Arnold has extended his stay at the Bundesliga outfit by signing a new contract until June 2020 with the Wolves. The 21-year-old, described by General Manager Klaus Allofs as an "identification figure of the club", became the youngest ever player to feature for the senior team after debuting at the age of 17 in 2011. "Maxi has proven his value to the team many times over recent years," coach Dieter Hecking said. "If he's on the pitch, he is an example for determination and fighting spirit."

Wolfsburg, who take a 3-2 lead over Gent into the second leg in Germany, also saw the return of Carlos Ascues to training. The Peruvian international, signed last summer, has recovered from a knee surgery and is hoping to make his debut in the coming weeks.

PSV will be able to call on the services of midfield linchpin Andrés Guardado, who has recovered from a hamstring injury. Jetro Willems and Marco van Ginkel are both in line to make their first UEFA Champions League outings this season. The main concern for the home side will be replacing captain and leading scorer Luuk de Jong, who is suspended.

Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Dynamo goalkeeper:

Unquestionably the pace of the game has increased since I first played in the UEFA Champions League in 1994. The goalkeeper's role has changed a lot. Now the keeper is one of 11 players who help in both defence and attack. Nothing stands still. Tactical emphases, formations, interplay between the lines, players operating in between the lines – all that has developed and got better, thanks largely to competitions like the Champions League and Europa League.

Some matches stand out. One of our best performances was in the 1998/99 Champions League when we reached the semi-finals, beating Real Madrid [in the quarter-finals]. That was a team where everybody complemented one another and where personal ambitions came second. We understood exactly what we were aiming for and we knew how to go about our work. There was a great understanding between the players, almost intuitive.

Diego Godín, Atlético defender:

We're treating this tie with the utmost seriousness and above all with respect for what they have achieved. PSV qualified from a very difficult group, they've made it to the last 16 for a reason. They have a young team and they try to impose their game with their fast young players.

For us, we know the first leg there will be decisive. We know that in two-legged ties the first leg is pretty decisive as it defines how you will play the second leg and how you can achieve the right result. So we will be completely focused on that first leg. And then at home, with our fans behind us, we will play according to the result in the Netherlands.

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Head over to the UEFA Champions League MatchCentre for more build-up to tonight's round-of-16 first leg ties as Dynamo Kyiv welcome Manchester City and Atlético Madrid travel to the Netherlands to face PSV.

The two visitors are favourites to progress across the two legs but, if the previous match nights have proven anything across the last fortnight, it is that anything can happen in the UEFA Champions League. We will have team news an hour before kick-off and plenty of build-up beforehand. Don't forget we will be back here first thing in the morning with reaction and analysis.

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Good morning and welcome to UEFA.com following another dramatic night in the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 as Manchester City secured a crucial 3-1 victory against Dynamo Kyiv which puts them in a commanding position over the two leg tie. Goals from Sergio Agüero, David Silva and Yaya Toure set the English Premier League side on their way but Vitaliy Buyalskyi narrowed the arrears for the hosts.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, PSV held Atlético Madrid to a goalless draw despite going down to ten men when Gastón Pereiro was dismissed late on, but will fancy their chances ahead of return trip to Vicente Calderón. Stay right here for reaction from last night and a look ahead to this evening’s UEFA Europa League fixtures.

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David Silva (Manchester City)
David Silva (2nd L) of Manchester City celebrates with team-mates after scoring their second goal during their UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg against Dynamo Kyiv

There is a feeling of disappointment in the Madrid press after Atlético drew a blank in Eindhoven, and concern about Diego Simeone's side's goalscoring record of late.

"The team didn't click, not Griezmann nor an Atlético that was weak in attack, unable to spark when it came to shooting at goal," explains the match report in AS.

"And when you don't score, there's suspense, the feeling you're walking on an eternal tightrope. This time, you couldn't say the team didn't try, because it did, every way possible, with long balls and desperation. With Vietto, Correa and Torres, against 11 men and against ten, but it was useless, every time they came unstuck."

Marca meanwhile points to Saturday's Madrid derby as a the moment Atlético and local rivals Real Madrid need to get out of their current run of results.

"The derby is the cure," is their headline, adding 'Atlético and Real head into Saturday's game with an urgent need to win'.

Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev and full-back Igor Smolnikov have returned to full training having been out for most of the team's winter break due to injuries.

The Russian side, managed by André Villas-Boas, fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Benfica in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie with Benfica courtesy of a late winner by Jonas at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica. They welcome the Portuguese club to St Petersburg on 9 March.

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Replaced at half time against Bayern Munich after suffering a thigh injury, Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio underwent tests today and was happy to hear that muscle damages were excluded. “He will be able to completely recover in seven days,” informed Juventus' official website. The 30-year-old will miss the Serie A game against Inter on Sunday but will be available for the return leg in Germany on March 16.

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Manchester City players have woken up to positive headlines in England with many of the national newspapers praising manager Manuel Pellegrini for his squad rotation. The Chilean notably started with a youthful line-up for the FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea, which City lost 5-1, but he has been justified by their 3-1 round of 16 victory at Dynamo Kyiv.

British tabloid The Sun say Pellegrini's 'gamble' paid off in Ukraine on Wednesday night as the Manchester club look well placed to qualify for the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Click on the video below for match highlights from PSV's home draw with Atlético Madrid in the Netherlands as Gastón Pereiro is sent off in the closing stages for a second bookable offence. Both sides can be pleased with their defensive showings but Diego Simeone will be frustrated not to have a precious away goal to take back with him to the Vicente Calderón.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany speaks to the media after his side's 3-1 victory against Dynamo Kyiv last night in Ukraine.

The English Premier League side know they only have to keep their cool at the City of Manchester Stadium, in the second leg, to progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter finals for the first time. The Belgium is continuing his return from a recurrent injury problem and will be key to their domestic and European ambitions this season. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set to miss Arsenal's second leg at Barcelona on 16 March after suffering a knee injury in the 2-0 home defeat to the holders on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain face Lyon for the fifth time this season on Sunday, but midfielder Thiago Motta admits the second leg at Chelsea the week after next is already at the front of his mind.

We need to go there looking to impose our style, like we did last season," he insisted. "We need to control the game and make them run. Since the start of the season, we have trained every day to ensure we are 100% for the big day. Today it's in the balance, 50-50. We know it will be tough, but we will do everything to qualify!

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Paris have announced that right-back Serge Aurier will be suspended from the first-team squad until 20 March for disciplinary reasons. Aurier will be permitted to train with the reserves until the end of his suspension. Meanwhile, according to a statement from the Ligue 1 champions, "he has proposed various initiatives to help the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation and the club's academy."

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Gent 3-1 Lokeren (Renato Neto 9, Dejaegere 38, Depoitre 90; Harbaoui 42pen)
The Buffalos kept the pressure on Belgian leaders Club Brugge thanks to an east Flanders derby win, Renato Neto lighting the way with an acrobatic finish. Brecht Dejaegere added a second towards the end of the first half, and although Lokeren cut the deficit, Laurent Depoitre's 12th league effort this term ensured that Gent moved level with Club Brugge before the rest of the weekend's games.

Dynamo Kyiv forward Júnior Moraes could miss the second leg at Manchester City on 15 March after being ruled out for three weeks with a muscle strain suffered in Wednesday's 3-1 first-leg defeat.

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Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayern (Coman 66, Lewandowski 74)
Bayern marked their 116th birthday by extending their lead at the summit to 11 points, having played a game more than title rivals Dortmund. Kingsley Coman sidefooted the German champions in front with his first goal since November before Robert Lewandowski notched his 23rd league goal to seal the away success at Wolfsburg. 

Real Madrid 0-1 Atlético (Griezmann 53)
became the first side in Liga history to claim three successive wins at the Santiago Bernabéu and dealt a major blow to Real Madrid's title hopes in the process. Antoine Griezmann notched the decisive strike - his first in six league outings - as the second-placed visitors moved to within five points of the leaders. Zinédine Zidane's charges, in third, now trail Barcelona - who have a game in hand on the capital sides - by nine points with 12 games to go.

Southampton 1-2 Chelsea (Long 42; Fàbregas 75, Ivanović 89)
Chelsea remain unbeaten in 11 league games under Guus Hiddink after coming back from a goal down to beat the Saints courtesy of Branislav Ivanović's second goal for the Blues in 12 months. Shane Long clipped a shot over Thibaut Courtois after a mistake by Abdul Baba Rahman to give the hosts a first-half lead. However, the visitors fought back; a Cesc Fàbregas cross crept in at the far post before Ivanović met Willian's corner to seal the comeback success.

On Tuesday, 18-year-old Real Madrid forward Borja Mayoral reached seven UEFA Youth League goals for the second season running as his two strikes inspired Santiago Solari's side to a 3-1 victory over Manchester City and a place in the quarter-finals. Then, on Saturday, Zinédine Zidane brought him on for Karim Benzema in the derby against Atlético, only Borja Mayoral's second first-team appearance.

Empoli 1-3 Roma (Zukanovic og 22; El Shaarawy 5 74, Pjanić 27)
On-loan forward Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice as Roma moved up to third in Serie A by securing their sixth league win in succession. The 23-year-old opened the scoring with a fine individual effort inside five minutes, but the hosts levelled via an own goal when Wojciech Szczesny's clearance hit team-mate Ervin Zukanovic and looped into the net. Miralem Pjanić fired through a crowd of players after his free-kick was blocked to restore the Giallorossi's lead. After the break El Shaarawy notched his second, pouncing after Łukasz Skorupski could only parry Mohamed Salah's effort into his path. Empoli were reduced to ten men in added time when Mário Rui picked up a second booking.

PSV 2-0 Den Haag (Van Ginkel 72, De Jong 82)
Luuk de Jong struck his 50th goal for PSV as Phillip Cocu's side claimed a ninth successive league win. The home side had to be patient against resilient visitors but once on-loan midfielder Marco van Ginkel had broken the deadlock with his third for the club there looked only one likely winner. De Jong, returning from a ban that forced him to sit out the draw with Atlético, then made sure with his landmark goal.

There are seven UEFA Champions League teams in action on Sunday, with silverware on offer in England:

Manchester United v Arsenal (15.05CET)
Zenit v Kuban (Russian Cup quarter-finals, 17.00)
Liverpool v Manchester City (League Cup final, 17.30)
Benfica v União (18.00)
Barcelona v Sevilla (20.30)
Juventus v Inter (20.45)
Lyon v Paris (21.00)

Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal (Rashford 29 32, Ander Herrera 65; Welbeck 40, Özil 69)
Having scored twice on his UEFA Europa League debut, 18-year-old Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford struck two more inside four first-half minutes on his Premier League debut to damage Arsenal's title hopes. Rashford, making only his second ever senior appearance, took his tally to four goals in as many days before former United striker Danny Welbeck nodded Arsenal back into the game. The Gunners went further behind after the break when Ander Herrera's deflected strike evaded Petr Čech. Mesut Özil's volley gave third-placed Arsenal hope, but the hosts held to leave Arsène Wenger's side five points behind the leaders.

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Benfica p-p União
The Eagles will have to wait until Monday to get to grips with União after adverse weather conditions in Madeira prevented their opponents from being able to travel. The two sides will meet at 20.45CET, with Benfica three points behind Liga leaders Sporting CP, who also play on Monday.

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Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (aet, City win 3-1 on penalties)
Willy Caballero saved three spot kicks as Manchester City won the English League Cup for the second time in three seasons under Manuel Pellegrini. After a 1-1 stalemate during normal time at Wembley, Caballero - selected ahead of Joe Hart in domestic competitions - denied Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in the shoot-out before Yaya Touré converted the decisive penalty. Fernandinho had put City in front from a tight angle after the interval, but Coutinho levelled seven minutes from time, after substitute Lallana had struck a post to take the game into extra time. However, Pellegrini's charges came out on top after penalties to lift the trophy for the fourth time in their history.

Zenit 1-0 Kuban Krasnodar (aet)
André Villas-Boas's Russian title holders returned to domestic action with a hard-fought victory in the last eight of the Russian Cup as Maurício's extra-time goal sealed a semi-final berth. The Brazillian midfielder, who joined the Zenitchiki from Terek in January, hit the winner via a 25-metre free-kick following a goalless stalemate in normal time. Zenit will face either Dinamo Moskva or Amkar Perm in the last four.

Barcelona 2-1 Sevilla (Messi 31, Piqué 48; Vitolo 20)
Luis Enrique's men equalled Real Madrid's Spanish record run of 34 games unbeaten in all competitions to restore their eight-point Liga lead, but they had to come from behind to do it. Sevilla were the last team to overcome the Blaugrana, on 3 October, and they threatened to repeat the feat when Vitolo turned in from a Benoît Trémoulinas cross. The hosts soon drew level via a superb Lionel Messi free-kick, however, and continued their title surge when Gerard Piqué finished from a Luis Suárez pass.

Juventus 2-0 Inter (Bonucci 47, Morata 84pen)
Juve returned to winning ways after two consecutive draws to bolster their Scudetto bid, having been held at Bologna last before their midweek UEFA Champions League draw with Bayern München. The scoreline was goalless at half-time, but Leonardo Bonucci made the breakthrough shortly after the restart, bundling in Paulo Dybala’s free-kick, and Álvaro Morata added a late penalty to send the Serie A leaders four points clear of Napoli, who play on Monday.

Lyon 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain (Cornet 13, Darder 45+2; Lucas 51)
Laurent Blanc's men have finally been beaten in Ligue 1 after a record 36 top-flight outings without defeat – 27 this season – though they remain 23 points clear of Monaco at the head of the standings. Paris were swept aside by Lyon in an excellent first half for the hosts, Maxwel Cornet hitting the opener before a superb solo goal from Sergi Darder. Missing injured duo Ángel Di María and Marco Verratti, the visitors gave themselves hope via Lucas after the break, but Lyon were not to be denied a famous win.

This blog is closing down for the night, but our rolling coverage of the UEFA Champions League will resume on Monday.


Ben Gladwell, Turin

Alessandro Massimo

Ben Gladwell, Turin

Bogdan Buga, Kyiv

Chris Burke

Derek Brookman, Eindhoven

Eugene Ravdin

Igor Linnyk

Igor Linnyk, Kyiv

Joseph Walker

Julian Beattie, London

Michael Harrold, London


Ondřej Zlámal, Prague

Paolo Menicucci

Paolo Menicucci, Turin

Philip Röber

Philip Röber

Philip Röber, Munich

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