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Contract fulfilled for Zidane and Guardiola

Victorious away from Atalanta Bergamo (1-0) and Mönchengladbach (2-0), Zinédine Zidane’s Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City moved closer to the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday

Victorious away from Atalanta Bergamo (1-0) and Mönchengladbach (2-0), Zinédine Zidane’s Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City moved closer to the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday

Regularly tossed around this season with see-saw results, Zidane was able to bite his fingers for a long time on Wednesday. Because despite 70 minutes spent in numerical superiority in Bergamo after the exclusion of Remo Freuler (at fault on an incursion of Ferland Mendy) the success of Real Madrid in Italy took a long time to take shape.

It is also from the French international that he ended up arriving: the former Lyonnais unleashed a distant strike from his wrong foot, the right, to unlock the counter a few minutes from the end (86th).

A reward worthy of the very good match of Mendy, who had also had this week very strong words in favor of his coach, winner of three C1 in a row between 2016 and 2018 but deprived Wednesday of his two executive players, the defender Sergio Ramos and striker Karim Benzema. These two were nevertheless missed at the “White House”, far from having been the most impressive team of these 8th to go.

19 in a row for City

Manchester City’s victory was drawn much faster, after a header from the Portuguese Bernardo Silva (29th), well served by his compatriot Joao Cancelo. The Brazilian Gabriel Jesus doubled the bet (65th). The English thus chained a 19th consecutive victory in all competitions, a completely crazy series which also allows them to largely lead the English Championship.

Pep Guardiola, who dreams of taking Manchester City to the roof of Europe, a joy he has not known since his two trophies with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, this time avoided the surprise, several months after a unexpected elimination against Lyon in the quarter-finals.

The meeting was relocated to Budapest (Hungary) due to travel restrictions in force in Germany in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Favorites at the rendezvous

This meeting closed a first leg of the round of 16 without surprise, with victories for seven of the initial eight seeds. A rare statistic: never in the history of the Champions League, since the return of the round of 16 in the competition format in 2004, seven of the round of 16 first leg had resulted in an away victory … Even if this notion of displacement has little value this year, pandemic and closed doors oblige …


Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 16, 2021. ( Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Author of a hat-trick at Camp Nou against FC Barcelona (4-1), the French football player achieved a galactic performance, in the absence of Neymar, to propel PSG to the gates of the quarter-finals of the League of champions, Tuesday.


Among these victories on rival territory, two teams particularly marked this month of February, Bayern Munich and Paris SG. The defending champion and his runner-up both rolled away, winning 4-1 at Lazio Roma and Barcelona respectively.

Liverpool and Dortmund have mastered their meetings against RB Leipzig (2-0) and Sevilla (3-2), while Chelsea struck a big blow by going to beat Atlético Madrid (1-0) on Tuesday, with a gem goal signed Olivier Giroud.

Only Juventus were surprised in Porto (2-1). Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction is expected: meet on March 9 in Turin.


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