The quarterfinal of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League will not feature either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – a first such occurrence in almost 15 years.
In many ways, this marks the beginning of the end of the domination of the two biggest names in the football world. Get the full scoop below.
Barcelona lose to PSG despite Messi’s stunner
After losing the home leg to Paris Saint-Germain by 4-1, the Catalans faced an uphill task of staging a comeback. It was a seemingly impossible task, to begin with as no other team has ever managed to beat PSG at the Parc des Princes by a margin needed by Barca to win.
Nonetheless, Ronald Koeman’s side went in the match with a positive attitude. They were putting on early pressure but a penalty conceded to PSG shifted the momentum entirely. Kylian Mbappe gave his side a 1-0 lead and effectively decided the tie.
Minutes later in the first half, Messi scored a stunner from outside the box in what was undoubtedly one of the best goals of the season. In the closing minutes of the first half, the Argentinean had another chance to give the lead to Barca when he was awarded a penalty. As fate would have it, Messi missed the penalty.
The second half saw Barca trying to break the dreadlock but in futile attempts as the match ended with a 1-1 draw.
Porto win on away goals against Juventus
Ronaldo’s Juventus couldn’t make it past FC Porto despite winning the second leg 3-2 at home.
Porto entered the game with a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Portugal. In the first half, they got an early penalty and Sergio Oliveira didn’t waste the opportunity in giving his side a 3-1 lead overall.
That score, however, was effectively neutralised by the Bianconeri in the second half, courtesy of Federico Chiesa’s brace. With the aggregate score tied at 3-3 at the end of the 90th minute (match score 2-1 to Juventus), the match went into extra time.
At the 115th minute, Porto got another breakthrough, thanks to Oliveira’s goal which effectively gave them two away goals in contrast to Juventus’ one.
Adrien Rabot scored for Juventus minutes later to give them a 3-2 lead in the match but it was of no use as Porto looked prime to win on the away goal rule.
Ultimately, the Italians won the battle 3-2 but lost the war.
Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund through to the quarters
Liverpool reached the quarterfinal of the European Cup after beating RB Leipzig by 2-0. With an aggregate score of 4-0, they reached the next round, despite a fairly disastrous run in their domestic campaign.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund survived a thriller against Sevilla as they beat the Spanish side 5-4 on aggregate. Dortmund won the first leg 3-2 and drew 2-2 at home in the second leg.
Erling Haaland scored 4 of those 5 goals for the German side and became the youngest player to reach 20 Champions League goals, requiring just 14 matches.
The quarterfinal ties will be decided next week, following the completion of the remaining Round of 16 matches.