Manchester City survived a scare in a pulsating first leg of their last-16 Champions League encounter at the Etihad against Monaco last night. Monaco missed the chance to take a 3-1 lead early in the second half when Falcao missed a penalty, and while the French side still took a 3-2 lead midway through the half, a strong finish to the game from City with three goals meant they will enter the away leg in a fortnights time with a two-goal lead, but with the handicap of the away goals rule.
The other tie on the night was also a pulsating affair between Bayern Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid at the Roger Schmidt Arena. The tie produced six goals and Atletico emerged victorious on the night winning 4-2, which puts them in a commanding position ahead of the return leg in a fortnight times.
Tonight’s last set of last-16 Champions League encounters feature Sevilla and Leicester at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium and Porto and Juventus at the Estádio do Dragão. While defending Premier League champions Leicester were flying high in the Champions League before Christmas there fairy-tale bubble seems to have well and truly burst and their troubles were compounded further at the weekend when they were knocked out of the FA Cup in cruel fashion thanks to an 89th minute winner from Milwall.
Nothing seems to be going right for the Foxes at present, especially in attack, and Vardy and Mahrez their two star players last year have struggled to hit the same heights this season. Leicester were without forwards Mahrez and fellow Algerian Slimani due to the African Nations Cup this year and manager Ranieri and Foxes fans will be hoping the duo and Vardy can rediscover their scoring touch tonight. However, with confidence at an all-time low and the Foxes offering very little in terms of attacking prowess at present it’s unlikely we will witness an upset tonight and the best Leicester can hope for is probably a low scoring defeat say 1-0 or 2-0 or if they are fortunate grabbing a vital away goal in a 2-1 or 3-1 defeat.
Manchester United are also in action tonight for the return leg of their last-16 Europa League encounter against St Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and with a 3-0 lead from the first leg and their attacking players in a rich vein of form it will be a big shock if United don’t progress to the last eight.