The first four UEFA Champions League 2011/12 Round of 16 First Leg matches took place on the evenings of 14-15 February 2012, as eight teams across Europe looked to get closer to a place in the Quarter Final stage of the World’s biggest club football competition.
Lyon 1-0 APOEL
Lyon performed well within themselves to collect a 1-0 victory at home to Champions League newcomers, APOEL Nicosia, of Cyprus.
The French outfit won courtesy of a 58th minute deflected strike from Alexandre Lacazette, but will be particularly pleased not to have conceded an away goal, as this means any score from them in the away leg puts them at a good advantage: APOEL would have to score three times under such circumstances, in order to progress.
Leverkusen 1-3 Barcelona
Bayer Leverkusen entertained holding champs, Barcelona, but were unable to prevent the Catalan giants from scoring three good away goals, as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat on Tuesday evening.
Two goals from Alexis Sánchez and a Lionel Messi strike were enough to see Barca through to the win despite the hosts equalising through Michal Kadlec early in the second half.
Zenit 3-2 Benfica
The tie of the week was in Russia, where Zenit St Petersburg came from a goal behind to defeat Benfica, of Portugal, 3-2.
Roman Shirokov scored twice for the hosts, who battled back from an early Maxi Pereira goal behind to go 2-1 in front. Óscar Cardozo equalised with a second away goal following a fumble from Zenit keeper, Yuri Zhevnov, with just minutes on the clock, but Shirokov popped up with a late winner to send home fans away happy.
The two away goals for Benfica may be telling, yet – for either side to guarantee to progress from this tie, winning in Portugal should be enough.
AC Milan 4-0 Arsenal
Milan showed that their good group stage performances were no fluke by putting down an impressive marker at the San Siro in their opener with Arsenal – taking a difficult to surpass 4-0 lead through to the second.
Milan produced their win with goals coming from Kevin-Prince Boateng, a Robinho brace and a late Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty, on a night which was otherwise more even than the score might suggest, with both sides having roughly the same possession and shots on target on the evening, though Milan were by far the more ruthless in front of goal, and have all but assured progress to the next round.
Tuesday 14 February 2012 – UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Results
- Lyon 1-0 APOEL
- Leverkusen 1-3 Barcelona
Wednesday 15 February 2012 – UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Results
- Zenit 3-2 Benfica
- AC Milan 4-0 Arsenal