Angel Fernandez/Associated Press
What a day of football.
The second day of the Champions League Round of 16 took place Wednesday, with two one-goal thrillers: Borussia Dortmund beating Sevilla 3-2 and Porto shocking Juventus 2-1.
Both games had plenty of drama, brilliant performances and head-scratching moments. Let’s break down the winners and losers from an exciting evening on the pitch.
Winner: Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland and UCL dominance, name a more iconic duo.
The Borussia Dortmund striker added to his legend Wednesday, scoring two more fantastic goals to lead his side to victory:
This man’s goal-scoring prowess in Europe’s premier competition is just absurd at this point:
Dortmund needed both of those goals, too, as a shaky finish saw Sevilla nearly draw even in the closing minutes. Things got nervier than expected for the German side, but Haaland’s brace was enough to give them the early advantage in the draw, with the second game back home.
Loser: Wojciech Szczesny and Juventus’ Composure
Here’s what the first minute of the game looked like for Juve:
And here’s the first minute of the second half:
It would be harsh to lay all of the blame on Wojciech Szczesny for the two goals. On the first, a dreadful back pass was the main culprit. On the second, he was beaten from point-blank range.
But Champions League games are won and lost on the margins, and Szczesny could have done better on both. On the first, his initial pass left his defender in a tough spot, and his reaction to the back pass was just slow enough to leave an opening for the goal. On the second, well, no goalkeeper wants to get beaten at his near post.
All in all, two lapses of concentration from Juventus that cost them the first leg and put them in a one-goal hole. If Juventus are going to make a run at the quarterfinals, they’ll need to clean that up.
Loser: Sevilla’s Clean-Sheet Streak
Sevilla had gone seven games without allowing a goal. Mo Dahoud quickly took care of that:
Oh, and that Haaland guy got involved, too:
Sevilla’s defense simply couldn’t handle Dortmund’s blistering counter-attack. To be fair, more than a few clubs will struggle against Dortmund’s talented attackers.
But it’s a part of the game Sevilla will need to shore up if they’re to have any shot of erasing a one-goal deficit and moving on to the quarterfinals.