Five-times Europa League winners Sevilla advanced to the last 16 of the competition with a 2-0 home win over Lazio.
Atletico Madrid took a huge advantage in their heavyweight Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, earning a 2-0 home win thanks to late goals from Uruguayan defenders Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin in a tense, incident-packed game on Wednesday.
Gimenez slid to the floor in a crowded penalty box to bundle the ball into the net from close range in the 78th minute, after former Juve forward Alvaro Morata had had a goal ruled out following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.
Atletico also had a penalty awarded then taken away by the technology earlier in the game but only grew in determination and captain Godin grabbed a vital second goal in the 83rd minute to take into the return leg in Turin.
The veteran defender appeared at the near post to knock a loose ball into the net after Atletico wreaked havoc again from a set-piece, the shot deflecting off familiar foe Cristiano Ronaldo on its way in.
“It’s a magnificent result, we scored twice and they did not but we still have the second leg and we know the 90 minutes in Turin will be just as difficult as they were tonight,” Godin said.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable and luckily we were able to overcome adversity after the decisions of the referee and VAR.”
The meeting of two European juggernauts, who have reached four of the last five Champions League finals between them without lifting the trophy, was as bruising and tight a match as could be expected between sides renowned for their intimidating defences.
Juve’s signing of Ronaldo was a clear attempt to boost their firepower and hopes of winning the competition but the man who scored 22 times against Atletico as a Real Madrid player was kept relatively quiet on his return to the Spanish capital.
The Portuguese tested Atleti keeper Jan Oblak early on with a scorching free kick and as his side chased an away goal in stoppage time he headed over the bar, prompting gleeful whistles from the home supporters at a raucous Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which will host the competition’s final in June.
“Small incidents decide games like this, we knew they were very dangerous from set pieces and we should have been more focused,” said Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini.
“We are not happy at all, it’s a big result to come back from, but we’ll give everything in Turin.”
Atletico had made a timid start and their best moment before the interval was when a bursting run from Diego Costa drew a foul by the area which was initially given as a penalty then reduced to a free kick.
Roared on by their famously fervent supporters and animated coach Diego Simeone, Atletico grew in confidence in the second half and should have taken the lead when a pass from deep by Antoine Griezmann released Costa, who rampaged towards the area but dragged his shot well wide of goal.
Emotional scenes as Vonn, Djokovic and Biles win Laureus Awards
France forward Griezmann came much closer to scoring moments later but his attempted chip was turned on to the crossbar by Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
That save did not halt Atletico’s momentum and they were well worthy of the two goals although they must do without Costa and Thomas Partey, who are suspended from the second leg on March 12 along with Juve’s Alex Sandro.
Late goals give Manchester City narrow win
Ten-man Manchester City staged a dramatic comeback with late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling securing them a 3-2 win at Schalke 04 in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Wednesday that put the English side in the driving seat.
Substitute Sane scored against his former club with a sensational free kick in the 86th and Sterling grabbed a 90th minute winner after Nabil Bentaleb converted two spot kicks in the 38th and 45th minutes in Schalke’s own comeback.
Sergio Aguero had given City the lead in the 18th and the English champions were left with 10 men in the 68th minute when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off following a second booking.
City, who have conceded at least two goals in six of their seven games in the Champions League knockout stages under Pep Guardiola, will also be without yellow-carded Fernandinho for the return leg in Manchester on March 12.
“We know that we will get our scoring chances and most of the times we use them,,” scorer Leroy Sane, a product of Schalke’s youth academies, told reporters.
“I was a bit lucky that the goal goes in from that position. We did not find it easy to settle in the game and we struggled to find spaces.”
Argentine Aguero, who netted two hat-tricks in his previous three Premier League games, scored with a simple tap-in after a pass from keeper Ralf Faehrmann was intercepted.
City completely overran the Germans at the start but instead of scoring again, they inexplicably fell back, allowing Schalke to come forward.
The Royal Blues were rewarded when a handball earned Otamendi a booking and the hosts a spot kick that Algeria international Bentaleb converted after the use of the video assistant referee (VAR).
Schalke then went ahead seven minutes later after earning another penalty when Fernandinho clumsily brought down Schalke’s Salif Sane.
Bentaleb again stepped up and scored his second goal of the evening despite keeper Ederson getting his hands on the ball.
With coach Guardiola growing increasingly frustrated, the visitors tried for an early goal after the break but this time came up against an organised Schalke backline.
To make matters worse for City, Otamendi was sent off with a second booking in the 68th to take any pace left out of City’s game before Leroy Sane’s missile saved the day for the English side.
Sterling then slipped into the box late in the game to grab victory with a dramatic winner.
"It is extremely bitter and it hurts," said Schalke midfielder Daniel Caligiuri. "With an extra player we should have controlled the ball and made it 3-1. We should have solved this situation better."
Sevilla power past Lazio
Five-times Europa League winners Sevilla advanced to the last 16 of the competition with a 2-0 home win over Lazio on Wednesday, with a goal in each half sealing a 3-0 aggregate victory as both sides finished the game with 10 men.
French forward Wissam Ben Yedder, scorer of the only goal in the Spanish side’s 1-0 win in Rome last week, gave Sevilla a two-goal cushion in the tie 20 minutes into the game by pouncing on the rebound after Thomas Strakosha had parried Franco Vazquez’s shot.
Lazio required two goals to stay in the competition and they missed a golden opportunity to get back into contention early in the second half when defender Francesco Acerbi sneaked into the area but was thwarted by Sevilla keeper Tomas Vaclik.
The Italians’ hopes of a comeback were boosted when Sevilla midfielder Franco Vazquez was sent off for a second yellow card with half an hour remaining and former Sevilla forward Ciro Immobile sent a shot on to the roof of the net.
But Simone Inzaghi’s side surrendered their numerical advantage 11 minutes later when Adam Marusic was given a straight red card for striking Roque Mesa in the face.
Sevilla midfielder Sarabia closed out the tie in the 78th minute with a well-worked goal, playing a one-two with Jesus Navas down the right wing and racing into the box to smash the ball inside the near post.
The win eased the pressure on Sevilla coach Pablo Machin after Sunday’s chastening 3-0 defeat at Villarreal in La Liga and should boost their confidence ahead of Saturday’s game against leaders Barcelona.
Lazio suffered their third straight defeat in all competitions.