The UEFA Champions League round of 16 match day 2 was played across two countries last night with Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Club Brugge and Benfica all involved.
Borussia Dortmund secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the Signal Iduna Park in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. Karim Adeyemi scored a magnificent solo goal to give the hosts the edge in the game.
Chelsea had opportunities to take the lead, with Joao Felix squandering a good chance and hitting the crossbar in the first half. Reece James also tested the Dortmund goalkeeper with two impressive saves in the second half. However, the visitors were punished for their missed chances when Adeyemi scored a counter-attacking goal midway through the second half.
Although Chelsea tried to find an equalizer, their efforts were thwarted by Dortmund’s defense, with Emre Can clearing the ball off the line to deny Kalidou Koulibaly’s deflected strike, and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel producing a superb stop to deny Enzo Fernandez’s long-range effort in stoppage time.
The result leaves Chelsea with a tough task ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge on March 7, as they look to overturn the deficit and progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Meanwhile, on his Champions League managerial debut with Club Bruges, Scott Parker faced a defeat against Benfica in the other game of the night. The Portuguese side, who had finished atop Group H ahead of Paris St-Germain and Juventus, outclassed the Belgian champions. Bruges, making their debut in the Champions League knockouts, now have an uphill task to guide their side into the quarter-finals.
Joao Mario scored the opening goal for Benfica from the penalty spot after Jack Hendry tripped Goncalo Ramos in the area, four minutes into the second half. Despite Simon Mignolet pushing his shot onto the underside of the bar, Mario managed to find the back of the net. With just two minutes remaining, David Neres doubled the visitors’ lead after Bjorn Meijer’s defensive error.
The defeat meant that Parker has won only one of the eight games he has been in charge of Bruges. The second leg of the last-16 tie will take place in Lisbon on 7 March.