Chelsea saw first-hand last night the level required to compete in the Champions League knockout stages, after they were humbled in their own back yard against Bayern Munich.
The 3-0 first-leg win for the Bavarian side was described by Frank Lampard as a “reality check” for his young team, leaving them plenty of work to do in the return leg at the Allianz Arena in three weeks time.
It’s a result that continues a pretty bleak round of 16 so far for English clubs, with Liverpool, Tottenham and now Chelsea all losing the first leg of their respected ties.
Manchester City will be hoping to avoid that trend tonight when they face 13-time winners Real Madrid in what is arguably the tie of the round.
Tuesday 25 February Bronze Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Serge Gnabry (2p)
- Top Defender: David Alaba (2p)
- Top Midfielder: Serge Gnabry (2p)
- Top Forward: Robert Lewandowski (2p)
- Media: Lionel Messi (3p)
Serge Gnabry Lights Up London Once More
After failing to establish himself as a first-team player during his time at Arsenal, it looks as if Serge Gnabry (£3.91) has it in for London.
Having netted four goals in his previous Champions League game in London this season against Tottenham in the group stages, he was at it again with a brace at Stamford Bridge last night.
Rising by 39p following last night’s display, the 24-year-old now has six Champions League goals this season, all of which have come in the English capital, while his overall tally this campaign for Die Roten stands at an impressive 17 goals in all competitions.
Wasn’t All Smiles for Bayern’s Wingers However…
While Gnabry stole the headlines last night for his two-goal display, Bayern’s other winger on the night, Kingsley Coman (£2.24), left the field after 66 minutes with a suspected hamstring injury.
It’s meant his Share Price has dropped by 13p in the last 24 hours, although it looks as if the injury isn’t as bad as first feared.
According to SportBild’s Tobias Altschäffl, he has reported that the injury sustained by the French international is “nothing serious” with the hope that he’ll return to action fairly soon.
Historic Night at the Stadio San Paolo
The other Champions League round of 16 tie taking place last night came from Naples, as Napoli and Barcelona faced-off for the first time in a competitive fixture.
It’s a tie that’s firmly in the balance following the 1-1 draw, but it was a night that’ll live long in the memory of Dries Mertens (£1.08).
That’s because he netted his 121st goal for the club with a sublime curling finish beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen (£0.57) to become the club’s joint-top all-time leading scorer alongside Marek Hamsik (£0.19).
The Belgium international is up 3p in the last week, while the 32-year-old could be a decent hold for the remainder of the season, especially as he’s set to leave Napoli in the summer and him being part of Belgium’s Euro 2020 squad as well.
Raheem Sterling Set for Santiago Bernabeu Spotlight
Looking ahead to tonight’s fixtures now and Real Madrid’s game against Manchester City is one that should excite every football fan.
There will be stars everywhere you look, although much of the attention could be on one Raheem Sterling (£6.05), with many viewing this tie as a possible audition ahead of a move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Describing Los Blancos in the build-up as a “fantastic club” has already set the rumour mill going despite Sterling himself downplaying any move by insisting he’s “really happy” at Manchester City.
Sterling however will be hoping to leave people talking about his actions on the field tonight. He’s in good form in the Champions League having scored 10 goals in his last 13 appearances, while only Lionel Messi (6) and Cristiano Ronaldo (5) scored more in last season’s knockout stages than his four.
Rises for Attacking Duo Ahead of Lyon vs Juventus
The other Champions League round of 16 tie taking place this evening comes from France as Lyon host Juventus.
With the French side struggling this season domestically, Juve will see this as a great opportunity to reach the quarter-finals with minimum fuss.
One of their players hoping to make life easy for the Serie A side is Paulo Dybala (£3.32). The 26-year-old has three goals and two assists in the competition so far this season, while he’s risen 5p on the Index in the last 24 hours.
While the 23-year-old has scored 14 Ligue 1 goals this season – as well as being up 5p in the last 24 hours – he’s yet to score in this season’s Champions League.
Dembele, who has been repeatedly linked with a move away to the Premier League, will be hoping to put that right tonight and give Lyon an advantage ahead of the return leg in Turin.
*All Share Prices, rises and falls accurate at time of writing