Village Voice News

The Champions League knockout phase begins

<p>Real Madrid and Manchester City are often at the center of the Champions League story.</p>
<figure id=”attachment_403738″ aria-describedby=”caption-attachment-403738″ style=”width: 1123px” class=”wp-caption alignnone”><img decoding=”async” class=” wp-image-403738″ src=”×540.jpg” alt=” the champions league knockout phase begins 2024 2largeimg 1720000703″ width=”1123″ height=”809″ title=”The Champions League knockout phase begins 7″ srcset=”×540.jpg 750w,×553.jpg 768w,×108.jpg 150w, 787w” sizes=”(max-width: 1123px) 100vw, 1123px” /><figcaption id=”caption-attachment-403738″ class=”wp-caption-text”>Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Granada – Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain – February 11, 2024<br />FC Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Albert Gea</figcaption></figure>
<p>The only teams to win six games and get through the group stage were the previous two European champions. They will also play their first game tomorrow when the Round of 16 of the most prestigious club football league commences.</p>
<p>Madrid will host Leipzig for the opening leg of their match against Man City, while Copenhagen will host Man City for their first-ever trip to the knockout round. The two clubs most likely to win the trophy warmed up on Saturday thanks to goals from standout players and easy victories.</p>
<p>With both goals in Man City’s 2-0 victory against Everton, Erling Haaland demonstrated his return to form after a foot injury. This was his first goal since November 28, when Leipzig lost 3-2 in their Champions League group. Jude Bellingham of Madrid has a La Liga-best 15 goals, while Haaland leads the Premier League with 16 goals. Both players scored twice in a 4-0 thumping of second-place Girona, who are controlled by the same Abu Dhabi group as Man City.</p>
<p>However, Bellingham is doubtful to play against Leipzig because to an ankle injury. On Saturday, he requested to be replaced.</p>
<p>While Madrid was dominating their match to win the domestic championship, Bayern Munich was losing badly to Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in their own match to finish top of the table.</p>
<p>After narrowly hanging on to the championship on the last day of the previous season, Bayern is currently five points behind Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen, putting their record of 11 league titles at jeopardy once again. Though Harry Kane has scored 28 goals this season and the 2020 Champions League champions have gone through the group stage undefeated for the sixth consecutive year, their aura is dampened when they visit Lazio on Wednesday. — AP</p>
<p>Barça supporters mock the team after a draw.</p>
<p>Following another setback to their prospects of successfully retaining the Spanish league championship, Barcelona’s supporters voiced their opinions once again. Barcelona’s 3-3 tie with bottom-place Granada resulted in jeers at home. The loss moved the Catalan team 10 points behind champions Real Madrid, who on Saturday crushed second-place Girona 4-0. Barcelona is three points clear of fourth-place Atletico Madrid, who suffered a 1-0 loss at Sevilla earlier on Sunday, and trails Girona by five points. Coach Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona, who recently said he would not be returning after the season, will probably feel even greater pressure as a result of the draw. “The league was already hard for us, and it’s two points harder now,” Xavi said. AP</p>