Wow, it’s been an extremely busy week of cup competitions what with FA Cup Fifth Round action last weekend, Champions League Round of 16 first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday, and UEFA Cup Round of 32 second legs today.
Four out of the five British teams, including all three English teams, left in the UEFA Cup advanced to the next round after doing enough in their respective matches this evening. Draws for Bolton (0-0), Rangers (1-1), and Tottenham (1-1) sealed all three sides’ places in the last 16.
Perhaps the most surprising of those three teams, Bolton came into today’s game at Sergio Aguero-less Atlético Madrid with a 1-0 lead on aggregate and knew what they needed to do: just get a draw or lose by one goal while scoring at least one goal themselves. They had one shot (which was on goal), ONE shot, but in a performance former manager Sam Allardyce would’ve been proud of, the 4-5-1 formation more than did its job and the match ended scoreless. Atlético clearly missed Aguero; they showed little creativity in the attacking third and were stifled all game long.
Aberdeen needed a miracle performance in Munich to beat Bayern, having conceded two goals at home in the first leg. Virtually no one expected this tie to be even heading back to Germany, so just making this game mean something had to have been a bonus for Aberdeen. The Dons lost 5-1 today as Lukas Podolski bagged a brace for the hosts, and while perhaps they will be disappointed with their showing in this game, they’ll surely take solace in reaching this stage of the competition.
Finally, Everton thrashed Norwegian side SK Brann 6-1 behind a hat trick from Yakubu and two goals from Andy Johnson. This was a tie Everton had always expected to win, but they have to be especially pleased with a performance like they gave today.
Round of 32 Final Aggregates (teams listed first advance):
Hamburg SV-3, FC Zürich-1
Bayer Leverkusen-5, Galatasaray-1
Olympique Marseille-3, Spartak Moscow-2
PSV Eindhoven-4, Helsingborg-1
Tottenham-3, Slavia Prague-2
Rangers-1, Panathinaikos-1 (Rangers advance on away goals)
Bayern Munich-7, Aberdeen-3
Sporting Lisbon-5, FC Basel-0
Getafe-4, AEK Athens-1
Everton-8, SK Brann-1
Bolton-1, Atlético Madrid-0
Benfica-3, FC Nuremberg-2
Zenit St. Petersburg-2, Villarreal-2 (Zenit St. Petersburg advance on away goals)
Werder Bremen-4, Braga-0
The draw for the Round of 16 was also released this afternoon, and the four British teams left will have their work cut out for them. The tie of the round could very well turn out to be Spurs-PSV Eindhoven, as both teams love to attack and play a fast tempo. These ties will be played March 6 and 12/13
Complete Round of 16 Draw (home teams listed first):
Anderlecht vs. Bayern Munich
Rangers vs. Werder Bremen
Bolton vs. Sporting Lisbon
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hamburg SV
Getafe vs. Benfica
Fiorentina vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. PSV Eindhoven
Olympique Marseille vs. Zenit St Petersburg
Note: British teams are in bold