BERLIN – All the four teams from the English Premier League were unable to win in the UEFA Champions League season 2022/23 round of 16 first leg.
On the last day of the session, Manchester City could only draw 1-1 against RB Leipzig in Germany on Wednesday night.
The EPL reigning champion who is also the top favourite of UCL winners this season, missed their best midfielder Kevin de Bruyne before the game, ending with an unsatisfactory performance on their attacks.
Riyad Mahrez helped the visiting team to take a lead with an opening goal in the 27th minute, but an equalising score from Josko Gvardiol in the 70’ makes the Bulls to stand on the same starting line in their second meeting.
Guardiola’s Strange Move
The Cities are not in deep disappointment with a draw in the away game, but the strange operation of their head coach Pep Guardiola gives the whole team and their fans a big question.
The Spanish didn’t make any substitutions for the entire match, to make adjustments or replace players who seemed tired in the second half.
Meanwhile, Leipzig, who changed five players in 88 minutes, received effective improvements on their players’ stamina and strategy adjustments.
This was also the first time a team didn’t substitute any players in an entire Champions League match since 2018.
Pep’s such move gives the media a doubt in the interview after the game, he explained that he was satisfied with his first line-up’s performance in the ninety minutes, there was no need to send them off.
Fate of The English Clubs
After eight matches of the UCL round of 16 first leg finished, none of the English clubs had a bright advantage in the second bout two weeks after.
Both the London clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea each lost 0-1 to AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund in their away game. They are still holding an average chance to reverse the aggregates at their home stadiums.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, who lost badly 2-5 to Real Madrid at Anfield this Tuesday, could only hope for a huge miracle to overturn their fate, to beat the defending champion with at least three goals at Bernabeu.
Lukaku Secures Inter’s Home Win
In another match last night, Inter Milan beat Porto 1-0 at San Siro, thanks to the late goal from Romelu Lukaku in the 86th minute.
Efforts from Lautaro Martineze and Edin Dzeko couldn’t bring a score for the home team most of the time, until the substitution of the Belgian striker to change the situation.
The Portuguese visiting team’s key player Otavio was sent off with a second yellow card in the 78th minute, causing his absence in their second meeting.
The Champions League round of 16 second leg will be continued starting 7th March, to decide the eight teams into the quarter finals.
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