And two more teams are in.
PSG and Liverpool booked their places in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, with the former drawing Barcelona 1-1 (5-2 on aggregate) while the latter defeated RB Leipzig 2-0 (4-0 on aggregate).
Below, we’ll break down the day’s biggest winners and losers (and one player who managed to be both).
Winner: Lionel Messi’s Highlight Reel
Maybe Messi isn’t the best player in the world any longer, but not many forwards can score goals like this one.
What a stunning strike. Even at 33, Messi is still capable of wonder.
Still, it wasn’t exactly a good day for the Argentine…
Loser: Lionel Messi’s UCL Future with Barcelona
Is this the last time we ever see Messi play a Champions League game with Barcelona?
It’s certainly possible. It would be a tough memory for Messi to go out on, missing a penalty while young phenom Kylian Mbappe converted his.
There’s been a real “passing of the guard” feel to the past two days, with ascending superstar Erling Haaland firing Dortmund to the quarterfinals on Tuesday with a brace while Cristiano Ronaldo was poor for Juventus—and his involvement in a porous wall on an extra time free kick contributed to Porto scoring a shocking, game-winning goal in extra time.
And so we’ll be without Messi and Ronaldo for the rest of the competition. And perhaps we’ll never see Messi play in the UCL for Barca again. Time will tell.
Winner: Keylor Navas and the PSG Defense
On a day when Barcelona dominated the run of play, created countless chances and generally looked a far greater threat, Keylor Navas and his back line held them to a single goal and a 1-1 draw.
That’s a good sign for PSG going forward in this competition. Sure, Barcelona could have been more clinical. But PSG defended well as a unit, knowing they simply had to play it safe given their substantial advantage on aggregate.
And Navas made some fantastic saves, snuffing out good Barca chances.
All in all, a very positive result for PSG at the back. Continue reading