Kicks of the Week: UEFA Champions League knockout stage

Adam Luther

Sports Blogger


Besiktas at Bayern Munich


German champion Bayern Munich bested Besiktas 5-0 on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

The first 15 minutes featured end-to-end football, with both teams having several attacking chances.

Besiktas center back Domagoj Vida was sent off in the 16th minute for denying Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski of a clear goal scoring chance.

Besiktas, the Turkish side, attempted to play its usual up-tempo style for several minutes after it was reduced to 10 men before backing off and playing behind the ball.

Bayern kept possession for essentially the remainder of the first half, whipping countless crosses into the danger area but not generating many shots on target.

The Germans finally broke through in the 43rd minute. French winger Kingsley Coman dashed down the left side before driving a low cross, which took a fortunate deflection off his teammate, David Alaba. The ball fell to Thomas Müeller, who slotted a right-footed shot through Beskitas keeper Fabri’s legs.

Bayern midfielder James Rodriguez took a knock in the 44th minute, and veteran Dutchman Arjen Robben replaced him.

Early in the second half, Brazilian right back Adriano appeared to foul Lewandowski inside of the box, but Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan ruled the infraction occurred just outside of the penalty area. Lewandowski, a Polish athlete for Bayern, took the ensuing free-kick, and it rattled the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Kingsley Coman tallied his second goal of this Champions League campaign after Lewandowski cut back into the middle and found him open. Coman fired home a left-footed shot to give the Germans a two-goal advantage.

Soon after that, Besiktas substitued Brazilian striker Vágner Love for Serbian defender Dusko Tosić, looking to weather the storm for the second leg in Istanbul.

The night only got longer for the Turks, though. Müeller scored his second goal on the half-volley, blasting his shot through Fabri’s hands off a cross from German right back Joshua Kimmich.

Lewandowski extended the scoreline to 4-0 with a tap-in after Fabri failed to parry Bayern center back Mats Hummels’ shot away from goal.

Lewandowski added his second goal of the match with another tap-in in the 89th minute, rounding off the scoring after Müeller unselfishly passed it to him instead of completing his hat-trick.

Barcelona at Chelsea

La Liga leaders Barcelona and reigning English Premier League champion Chelsea battled to a 1-1 finish Tuesday at Stamford Bridge in London.

A goalless first half saw Barcelona and Chelsea sticking to their respective game plans. Barcelona dominated in possession but failed to generate a clear-cut chance.  Chelsea attacking midfielder Willian was the best player for either side in the first 45 minutes. He continually beat Barcelona players with the ball at his feet and to 50-50 balls. Unfortunately for the Blues’ supporters, he had two shots that looked to beat the Barcelona keeper but hit the post.

The match continued in the same fashion for the first quarter-hour of the second half before Chelsea opened the scoring at the hour mark. Willian finished off a well-worked move from the top of the box that beat two defenders and Barcelona keeper Mark André ter-Stegen.

In the 75th minute, Barcelona made Chelsea pay for its first major defensive mistake of the match, when Andreas Iniesta intercepted a pass deep in the Chelsea half and played a perfectly weighted ball into the middle of the pitch for striker Leo Messi. Messi ‘s golden left foot delivered the equalizing goal, his first in nine matches all-time against Chelsea.




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