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Contenders of UCL quarterfinals winnowed out

Posted March. 19, 2021 07:35,   

Updated March. 19, 2021 07:35


Robert Lewandowski (pictured) of FC Bayern Munich is in the homestretch to clinch the title of UEFA Champions League’s top scorer for two seasons in a row.

On Wednesday local time, Bayern defeated S.S. Lazio 2-1 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League octo-finals, which took place at the German club’s home Allianz Arena. Having sunk the Italian contenders by 4-1 in the previous match, Bayern advanced to the quarterfinals with an aggregate 6-2 victory. The German club currently remains undefeated for the 19th Champions League match from last season (18 wins and one draw).

The team’s hero was Lewandowski, who proved to be the most prolific scorer last season with 15 goals. This time too, it was the Polish striker who netted an opener in the 33rd minute with a penalty kick. Having scored an opener in the first match with Lazio, Lewandowski has so far found a total five goals (jointly ranked in the 8th) this season in the UCL. While five goals behind Erling Haaland (10 goals), there is a good chance to catch up as Bayern will likely go all the way up to the finals.

In the Bundesliga, the local German league, Lewandowski is an undisputed top scorer with 32 goals. The number is astonishing compared to the top scores of other major European football leagues which range from 17 to 23. Also, the 32-year-old has recently become the second biggest scorer in history of Bundesliga with a cumulative 268 goals.

“Lewandowski made every step he had to make to become the goal machine he is today,” said Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp in an interview with Sport Bild, naming him as the best player he has ever managed.

On the same day, Chelsea subdued Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in their second match against the Spanish visitors on Round 16. Having already won the first game 1-0, Chelsea cruised to the next round with an aggregate 3-0 win after failed attempts to achieve the feat over the last seven seasons.

The Wednesday matches sealed the fortunes of the eight clubs that have safely landed on the quarterfinals. The biggest share came from the EPL including Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea while the Bundesliga has sent two teams – Bayern and Borussia Dortmund – to the next round. The Spanish La Liga (Real Madrid), France Ligue 1 (Paris Saint-Germain, and Primeira Liga (FC Porto) have each produced one team to join the constellation. The matchups for Round 8 will be fixed on Friday, with the first and second legs slated for April 7 and 8, and April 14 and 15, respectively.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com