Thrilling Champions League round of 16, Premier League top four race takes a turn

Real forward Lucas Vazquez, background, and Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico challenge for the ball during the Champions League soccer match between Real Madrid and Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Champions League (Round of 16-2nd Leg)

Ajax Amsterdam shocked the soccer world Tuesday by completing a second-leg comeback to knock defending champions Real Madrid out of the Champions League, while booking a place in the quarterfinals. After dropping the opening leg 2-1 at home, the Dutch side thrashed perennial contender Real Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu to advance 5-3 on aggregate. While it was certainly an unbelievable upset for Ajax, Real Madrid’s embarrassing defeat at home is simply the latest part of what has been an unusually inconsistent season for the Spanish powerhouses, who sit just third in La Liga.

At Westfalenstadion, Harry Kane struck just after halftime to lead Tottenham to a 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund Tuesday in the second-leg as the Spurs rolled to a spot in the quarterfinals. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made seven saves, including several early in the game that stifled any hope for Dortmund, who were tasked with overcoming a 3-0 loss at Wembley in the first leg.

Marcus Rashford converted a stoppage-time penalty as Manchester United came back to stun Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes Wednesday. After losing 2-0 at home in the first leg, Manchester United gutted out a 3-1 victory to earn a berth in the quarterfinals. Striker Romelu Lukaku, arguably United’s most in form player, struck in the second minute of the game before PSG’s Juan Bernat evened the score just 10 minutes later. Lukaku again gave United a lead with a second goal before halftime, and Rashford fired home the decisive third away goal to break the 3-3 aggregate deadlock from the penalty spot after a controversial handball call was made by the VAR.

In similar comeback fashion, FC Porto erased a first leg defeat at AS Roma as Alex Telles scored a late overtime penalty goal Wednesday to send the Portuguese side into the quarterfinals. Francisco Soares and Moussa Marega also scored for Porto, who were able to knock off Roma 3-1 at home after falling to the Italian side 2-1 in the opening leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

English Premier League

Riyad Mahrez scored a second-half goal to propel Manchester City to a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and into first place in the English Premier League, ending Liverpool’s season-long stranglehold over the top spot. City were able to capitalize on Liverpool’s 0-0 draw at Everton on Sunday and now sit a single point ahead of the Reds at the top of the table.

Bitter Rivals Tottenham and Arsenal fought to a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the North London Derby. Harry Kane’s 74th minute penalty cancelled out Aaron Ramsey’s first half counterattack goal as third-place Tottenham kept fifth-place Arsenal from cutting their lead in the table to just a point. Spurs goalie Hugo Lloris stoned Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty in stoppage time to keep the game level.

Manchester United barely avoided a draw with lowly Southampton as Romelu Lukaku scored his second goal of the game in the 88th minute to lead the Red Devils to a 3-2 win Saturday at Old Trafford. United have not lost in league play since a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool on Dec. 16 and now sit just three points behind Tottenham.

New signing Gonzalo Higuain and Jorginho each scored first-half goals as Chelsea topped relegation-bound Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage in the West London derby on Sunday. Chelsea, who currently are in sixth place, continue to put pressure on United and Arsenal for a top four spot. The Blues trail Arsenal by a single point and United by just two points and have a game in hand.


Story Salit is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at story.salit@uconn.edu.