UEFA Champions League Cup
UEFA Champions League Cup (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Football | UEFA Champions League 2023 | Round of 16 First Leg | Round-up

By Chris Sampson

  • Milan edge Spurs in San Siro
  • Dortmund continue winning streak against Chelsea
  • City go top as title race momentum shifts.
Europe -Tottenham and Chelsea both returned from difficult away ties a goal down ahead of the second leg. Meanwhile, the top two clashed in the Premier League.


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AC Milan 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

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An early goal from Brahim Diaz’s early goal sent Tottenham to a 1-0 loss against AC Milan in the San Siro  in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

With seven minutes on the clock the former Manchester City winger scrambled the ball home from close-range.

Spurs were lucky not to fall further behind late on when Milan failed to take  two good chances through Charles De Ketelaere and Malick Thiaw.

While Tottenham are a goal down in the tie Antonio Conte will be satisfied. His team have emerged from a difficult away tie only a goal down and still very much in the tie.  Due to injury and suspension issues Conte was forced to field Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr in central midfield. The pair were very solid on their full Champions League debuts, with Spurs a lot more solid than they were in their defeat at Leicester last weekend. However, Spurs struggled to create chances themselves and Milan will travel to London with a one goal advantage.

Spurs will be hopeful that they can make home advantage count in the second leg, though a yellow card for Eric Dier means he will miss out through suspension.


Borussia Dortmund 1 Chelsea 0

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Chelsea suffered defeat in their last-16 Champions League first leg tie at In-form Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga club will go into the return leg at Stamford Bridge one goal to the good, thanks to a brilliant individual effort from Karim Adeyemi.

Graham Potter’s side missed a number of chances. Joao Felix fired over the top from a promising position and then hitting the bar in the second half. And Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel made two fine save from Reece James.

The visitors appeared to be growing in confidence and Dortmund struggled to create clear cut chances, though England midfielder Jude Bellingham performed well.

But a counterattack saw Adeyemi break from his own half after a Chelsea corner, before rounding Kepa Arrizabalaga and despatching the ball  into the net.

Chelsea showed character and put the hosts under pressure. A goal bound effort from Kalidou Koulibaly was cleared off the line by Emre Can and Kobel saved superbly from Enzo Fernandez to maintain Dortmund’s advantage.

At one goal down, Chelsea are still in the tie, however Dortmund are a quality side and turning things round, even with home advantage, is not likely to be easy.


Arsenal 1 Manchester City 3

A pulsating match at the Emirates saw Manchester City replace Arsenal at the Premier League summit with a 3-1 win.

Pep Guardiola’s side had taken the lead on 24 minutes through Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian international reacted to a poor backpass from Takehiro Tomiyasu to lift a superb first time effort over Aaron Ramsdale. Arsenal deservedly equalised through a Bukayo Saka penalty, after Ederson had fouled Eddie Nketiah.

However, the second half belonged to City with goals from Jack Grealish (72) and Erling Haaland (82) sealing victory.

Mikel Arteta’s side have played one game fewer, meaning that their destiny is still in their own hands. However, this result extends their winless run in the league to three games and the momentum may have shifted to City.

The Champions League las 16 second leg ties for Chelsea and Spurs take place on March 7 and 8. Next week sees Liverpool and Manchester City play their first leg ties. The Premier League returns with Matchweek 24 on Saturday February 18.