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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Top Winners and Losers After Tuesday’s Champions League Round of 16 Results

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Chelsea's Olivier Giroud celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the National Arena stadium in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

The Champions League continued on Tuesday, with Chelsea securing a crucial 1-0 away win over Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich all but guaranteeing their spot in the quarterfinals after a 4-1 thrashing of Lazio. 

Below, we’ll go over the winners and losers from the day’s round-of-16 action.

Winner: Robert Lewandowski‘s Legacy

He did it again. 

Robert Lewandowski scored yet again in the Champions League, this time getting his goal delivered on a silver platter from Lazio’s back line: 

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Lazio gift Lewandowski his 72nd #UCL goal 🎁 https://t.co/zuPs7zBln5

With that finish, Lewandowski moved into third on the all-time UCL scoring list:

B/R Football @brfootball

Robert Lewandowski passes Raul to become the third all-time top goalscorer in the Champions League 🌟 https://t.co/tRyN3FkgUV

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

👏 Top scorers in Champions League history:

⚽️1⃣3⃣4⃣ Cristiano Ronaldo
⚽️1⃣1⃣9⃣ Lionel Messi

⚽️7⃣2⃣ Robert Lewandowski
⚽️7⃣1⃣ Raúl González

#UCL https://t.co/yUjqoBa1ae

Perhaps it’s time he changed his named to Legendowski. He’s earned it.  

Winner: Olivier Giroud

Just look at this goal:

Champions League on CBS Sports @UCLonCBSSports

Worth the wait. Olivier Giroud with a spectacular finish. 🚲 https://t.co/VT5ojrD2NS

Beautiful. All the more so considering it was the winner.

Of course, Giroud has provided some truly stunning goals in his past. Who could ever forget his famous scorpion kick vs. Crystal Palace in 2017?

Add Tuesday’s goal to the list of stunning Giroud finishes.

Loser: Diego Simeone

Atletico’s attack just lacked serious bite on Tuesday, and Diego Simeone’s tactics will come under scrutiny heading into the second leg for that reason. 

Yes, Atletico are known for being defensively stout under Simeone. But they need more ambition and creativity in the second leg if they’re going to advance to the quarterfinals. 

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

The deserved respect for Simeone often means the utter dullness of so many of their games is overlooked.

Michael Cox @Zonal_Marking

Surprise 6-3-1 without the ball from Simeone. Mount seems like the key player here. Space for him over to the right, and if he can attract Lemar inside then Hudson-Odoi gets free

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

FT Atletico 0-1 Chelsea. New Atletico try to play like Old Atletico, and it does not go well. Super disappointing for / by Simeone’s side.

One concern for Atletico is that the defense hasn’t exactly been spectacular in recent weeks, either:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

That’s eight games in a row conceding at least once by Atletico – longest run of Simeone’s time in charge. Began just after Trippier ban was confirmed too.

Simeone has a lot of questions to answer heading into the second leg. A repeat performance simply won’t be enough to get by a Chelsea side in a run of excellent form.

Winner: Thomas Tuchel 

Speaking of that excellent form, do you know how many games Thomas Tuchel has lost since taking over as Chelsea’s manager? 

Throw up the goose eggs:

Amazon Prime Video Sport @primevideosport

✅ Unbeaten in 8 games
✅ 6 clean sheets
✅ 2 goals conceded
✅ First manager to win an away knockout leg vs Diego Simeone in the #UCL

Thomas Tuchel is loving life as @ChelseaFC manager! https://t.co/aTaR9d3miK

B/R Football @brfootball

—Undefeated in all 8 games
—In touch of the top four
—First leg win over Atletico

Chelsea are warming to life with Thomas Tuchel 💙 https://t.co/jRi8OaCs01

Jeff Borzello @jeffborzello

• Olivier Giroud’s goal was unbelievable. Clutch, winning striker.
• Christensen outstanding in middle of a back 3.
• Good response from CHO.
• Not Mendy’s best effort, but also not tested.
• Going to miss Mount 2nd leg.
• Thought Ziyech and Kante brought an edge. #CFC

Rory Smith @RorySmith

I’m starting to think that firing Lampard and hiring Tuchel might not have been a disaster for the development of Chelsea’s young players, you know.

Chelsea is thriving under their new manager. They are a major threat in Europe given the immense talent and depth they possess. Tuchel has the Blues moving in a very positive direction. 

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