The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first legs continued on Wednesday with two teams grabbing important advantages ahead of the March return legs.
RB Leipzig picked up a 1-0 road win over Tottenham in London thanks to a second-half penalty kick from leading scorer Timo Werner. It was a dominant performance from the Bundesliga side who had numerous chances to further extend their advantage.
Hugo Lloris was busy early for Spurs, denying Werner from point-blank range in the second minute. A minute prior saw Manchester City loanee Angelino rattle the left post.
Leipzig’s pressure finally paid off in the 56th minute as Ben Davies brought down Konrad Laimer, giving the visitors a penalty kick. Werner beat Lloris to the bottom-left corner giving Julian Nagelsmann’s side a 1-0 advantage.
Spurs got better in the second-half with Giovanni Lo Celso striking the post as well in the 72nd minute. Lucas Moura missed a late header which could’ve easily leveled things up, but ultimately Spurs lacked the final product in front of goal.
Peter Gulasci made five saves to preserve the clean sheet, while Lloris made four. RB Leipzig hosts Tottenham in the second leg in March, knowing both Harry Kane and Son-Heung Min are out for the visitors.
Atalanta 4 – Valencia 1
Italy got the better of Spain in the second matchup on Wednesday with Atalanta steamrolling Valencia 4-1 at the San Siro.
Hans Hateboer broke the deadlock in the 16th minute, smashing home at the back post after Alejandro Gomez’s cross was not dealt with by the La Liga visitors.
Valencia came close to equalizing in the 30th minute as Maxi Gomez hit the post after Atalanta’s defenders switched off.
The miss would come back to haunt Valencia as Josip Ilicic doubled the hosts lead on the verge of halftime. Mario Pasalic found Ilicic with a pass before the Slovenian stroked a shot into the top-left corner.
Atalanta are in dreamland! 🤩
Josip Ilicic has them up 2-0 at halftime vs Valencia in their first-ever #UCL knockout tie.
(via @brlive) https://t.co/HPHi2IVp61
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 19, 2020
The onslaught continued in the second-half with Remo Freuler getting in on the action. Alejandro Gomez picked Dani Parejo’s pocket before the midfielder looped a shot from 25 yards out for a 3-0 Atalanta lead.
Hateboer capped off the scoring for the hosts in the 62nd minute, squeezing an effort past Jaume for his second goal of the night.
Denis Cheryshev pulled a goal back for Valencia just four minutes later, but the Spanish side has it all to do at Mestalla in March if they want to advance to the quarterfinals.
The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first legs continue on Feb. 25-26.