And Then There were Eight: Review of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16

Review of the 2023 24 UEFA Champions League Round of 16

 After the dust settled, we are now left with eight contestants in this year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier international club tournament. Let us now take a preliminary look at the likelihood each team has to win the trophy as well as the date and time of the draw for the quarter-finals.

Round of 16 results

 Before we take a look at the quarter-finals, let us take a look at the result of the previous round: the Round of 16.

Benfica v. Arsenal (1-1, Arsenal won 4-2 on penalties)

 Benfica was matched up against high-flying Arsenal and managed to secure a shock 1-0 win at home with a last-minute screamer from Galeno. However, the Gunners struck back in London with a goal from Leandro Trossard to tie the game on aggregate. However, neither teams managed to grab the winning goal, and the competition saw its first penalty shoot-out in almost 7 years (the last one being the 2016 final).

 David Raya became a cult hero to the London side as the goalkeeper saved two Porto penalties from Wendell and Galeno, earning Arsenal their first quarter-final appearance since 2010.

Napoli v. Barcelona (Barcelona won 4-2 on aggregate)

 The two fallen giants were tied 1-1 in the first leg at Napoli’s Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, with Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski giving the Spanish side the lead in the second half, before Victor Osimhen equalized in the final 15 minutes. In the second leg, Barcelona comfortably slotted three past the Italian side in a 3-1 victory and advanced to the next round. Goals from Lopez, Cancelo and Lewandowski sufficed to overcome Rrahmani’s early conciliation.

Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Sociedad (PSG won 4-1 on aggregate)

 Dark horses Sociedad looked to continue their great run of form, but was no match to the French champions Paris Saint-Germain. Three goals from Kylian Mbappe across two legs proved to be decisive, as the Frenchman made his final push to win the European crown with the Parisien side before leaving at the end of this season.

Inter Milan v. Atletico Madrid (2-2, Atletico won 3-2 on penalties)

 After 7 years without a penalty shootout, we were treated to two shootouts in two days in a row. Arriving in Spain with a 1-0 advantage, Inter Milan was even more confident after taking the lead in the second leg with Dimarco’s goal in the 33rd minute, but it was quickly equalized by Griezmann. Inter was progressing until Memphis Depay’s goal in the 87th minute made it 2-2 on aggregate.

 Nothing happened after that, so the tie had to be decided by a penalty shootout. Jan Oblak managed to save Sanchez’ and Klaassen’s penalties, as well as put off Inter captain Martinez to the extent that the Argentinean skied his shot. Atletico won and progressed to the quarter-finals.

PSV Eindhoven v. Borussia Dortmund (Dortmund won 3-1 on aggregate)

 Two Dutchmen scored in Eindhoven for each team, making the first leg a quintessential Dutch affair where everyone was left an equal share of 1 goal each. The second leg saw an early lead by the returning man Jadon Sancho. Despite PSV’s attempt to tie the game, Dortmund’s defence proved invincible throughout 90 minutes. PSV’s defending mistake cost them a second goal in the late stages from Marco Reus and also their opportunity to advance.

Lazio v. Bayern Munich (Bayern won 3-1 on aggregate)

 Bayern under Thomas Tuchel had been utterly underwhelming going into this tie, and their 0-1 loss to Lazio in Rome proved just that. Ciro Immobile’s penalty proved to be enough. Although the Italian side was hopeful arriving in Germany, Harry Kane’s brace and Thomas Muller’s goal in between them helped Bayern overturn the tie in their favor.

This also turned out to be Maurizio Sarri’s last Champions League game for Lazio as he suddenly resigned shortly thereafter.

FC Copenhagen v. Manchester City (City won 6-2 on aggregate)

 Moving onto the most predictable tie in this Round of 16, FC Copenhagen eliminated Manchester United in the group stage and was looking to do a double over the other Manchester club, whereas Manchester City remained indomitable in their quest to defend their European crown. City made light work out of Copenhagen, winning 3-1 on both occasions and qualified to the next round.

Leipzig v. Real Madrid

 14-time champions and European football royalty Real Madrid struggled massively against newbies RB Leipzig. The Men in Whites managed to scrape a narrow 1-0 victory in Germany, before drawing 1-1 in Spain. Notably, Vinicius got involved in a choking incident with Leipzig’s Orban and controversially avoided a sending off before giving Real the lead in the 65th minute.

Preview of the Quarter-Finals

 Eight teams in total qualified for the quarter-finals: five champions, including Real Madrid (all-time record winner), Manchester City (defending champion), Bayern Munich (6-time champion), Barcelona (5-time champion), Borussia Dortmund (1-time champion), Porto (1-time champion) and three finalists Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

When will the Draw for the Quarter-Final of the Champions League Take Place?

 The draw for the quarter-final, semi-final and the final will take place on Friday March 15, 2024, at 12.00 CET. Unlike the draw for the Round of 16 fixtures, teams from the same league can now be drawn up against each other.

UEFA Champions League Winner Odds before the Quarter-Final Draw

Who will win the UEFA Champions League this year? Here is what experts think and how they rank the top eight teams. If you are looking for a credible and effective website to place your bets for this year’s Champions League, head to this link to see the top 5 best online football betting websites in Thailand for 2024.

  1. . Manchester City: defending champions and 2023 Premier League champions
  2.  Real Madrid: 14-time champions with 82% percent success rate in finals
  3. Arsenal: 2006 finalists and 2024 Premier League leaders
  4. Bayern Munich: 6-time champions and 2023 Bundesliga champions
  5.  Paris Saint-Germain: 2020 finalists and 2023 Ligue 1 champions
  6.  Barcelona: 5-time champions and 2023 La Liga champions
  7. Atletico Madrid: 2016 finalists
  8. Borussia Dortmund: 1997 champions and 2013 finalists

UEFA Champions League Top Scorer as of the Round of 16

Here are the list of players who have scored 4 goals or more in this year’s UEFA Champions League. Information accurate as of the end of the Round of 16.

(Players in bold are still active)

1. Erling Haaland with 6 goals in 598 minutes

Antoine Griezmann (641 minutes)

Harry Kane (710 minutes)

Kylian Mbappe (720 minutes)

2. Julian Alvarez with 5 goals in 246 minutes

Rasmus Hojlund (489 minutes)

Alvaro Morata (558 minutes)

Galeno (651 minutes)

3. Gabriel Jesus with 4 goals in 360 minutes

Phil Foden (477 minutes)

Danylo Sikan (479 minutes)

Evanilson (489 minutes)

Ciro Immobile (507 minutes)

Jude Bellingham (534 minutes)

Lois Openda (558 minutes)