Football Across Europe: March 7-8

Champions League (Round of 16, 2nd Leg)

Napoli vs. Real Madrid (agg. 1-3): Napoli welcome Real Madrid to the Stadio San Paolo facing a two-goal deficit, but will be telling themselves they are alive with a valuable away goal to their credit. Holding Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and company to a 2-0 score will be quite the challenge, but a place in the Champions League quarterfinals is on the line.

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich (agg. 1-5): Arsenal face die Bayern in a second leg match at Emirates on Tuesday. Though they own an away goal, they face a steep 5-1 deficit from the first leg. Bayern Munich is coming off a 3-0 league win on Saturday, while Arsenal suffered a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. If they are to have any chance, they will need to deliver a clean sheet and see goals aplenty from their attack or it will be another early exit from the Champions League for the Gunners.

Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica (agg. 0-1): If Borussia Dortmund are to erase a 1-0 first-leg deficit at home against Benfica, they’ll have to do so without superstar Marco Reus. The 27-year-old is out until April with a thigh injury, meaning Dortmund will need to rely on young USA star Christian Pulisic and others to guide them to the quarterfinals. Dortmund failed to secure an all-important away goal in the first leg, so keeping a clean sheet is practically a must.

Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (agg. 0-4): Perhaps the most shocking result of the world football season came in Paris Saint-Germain‘s 4-0 thrashing of the giant FC Barcelona at Parc de Princes in the first leg of their Champions League showdown. The outcome left Lionel Messi, Neymar and crew needing at least an identical domination of PSG at home Wednesday to stay alive. Winners of four Champions League titles in the last decade, Barca are perennial European favorites but have their work cut out for them against a PSG side that just needs to avoid total implosion to knock out the Spanish giants.



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