European Champions League Roundup Feb. 25
The European Champions League continued on Wednesday, February 25 with games in England and Germany. Bayer Leverkusen of the German Bundesliga hosted Spanish La Liga Champions Atletico Madrid while Arsenal of the English Premier League took on French Ligue 1’s Monaco at home at the Emirates in London. The matches were the first in the two-legged ties of the competition’s round-of-16 knockout stage with the second legs scheduled for three week’s time.
In Leverkusen, the home team earned a 1-0 win at the Bay Arena. The only goal of the game came courtesy of Hakan Çalhanoğlu in the 57th minute. Tiago of Atletico made a comeback harder in the second half when he was dismissed from the match after receiving his second yellow card in the 76th minute. He received his first yellow in the 22nd minute. Overall, there was a total of 11 yellow cards dished out, including four in the last two minutes of the contest. Atlético also lost left-sided players Guilherme Siqueira and Saúl Ñíguez in the first half with injuries. Diego Godín is now suspended for the second leg on March 17 due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Arsenal gave a woeful performance at the Emirates in London by dropping a 3-1 decision and could very well be knocked out at the round-of-16 stage for the fifth year running. Monaco opened the scoring in the 38th minute on a goal by Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dimitar Berbatov doubled the score after 53 minutes. Arsenal pulled one back in the first minute of injury time when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found the back of the net. Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco then scored a huge third away goal just before the final whistle when he deposited the ball in the net from the right side of the pitch past keeper David Ospina. The second leg of the tie is scheduled for March 17 and AS Monaco FC could reach the quarterfinal stage of the event for the first time since the 2003/04 season when they made it all the way to the Final.