Champions League: Scores, highlights, quarterfinalists and more as Messi leads Barcelona past Chelsea
The final eight are now known
The Champions League round of 16 officially concluded on Wednesday, and eight teams are left standing in Europe as two more clinched. Here's everything you need to know about Wednesday's action and more.
Mr. Messi leads the way
After a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Lionel Messi put together another stunning Champions League performance, reaching 100 goals in the competition as Barca won the second leg 3-0, advancing 4-1 on aggregate.
In the third minute of the game, Messi put home a narrow shot to put Chelsea quickly on its heel, scoring the earliest goal of his career:
Then he set up Ousmane Dembele for his first goal at the club before a golazo in the second half to put this one away:
That was No. 100 for Messi in the Champions League. And, come on, Thibaut Courtois, That's two nutmeg goals. Can somebody at Chelsea please expense this for him?
And Chelsea's up and down season got worse as a result, while Barcelona continues to fly high. Undefeated in La Liga, in the Copa del Rey final and through to the final eight, the treble is still a possibility for the club.
Bayern didn't mess up
Bayern Munich also made the quarterfinals on Wednesday, winning at Besiktas in the second leg 3-1. That came after winning the first leg 3-0, so this was pretty much all over before kickoff. Thiago Alcantara and Sandro Wagner scored for Bayern, and they also got an own goal.
The German giants fielded a weaker-than-usual squad and look like a strong contender to make a run to the final, while more attention seems focused on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City.
The Quarterfinal Draw
The quarterfinal draw is on Friday at 7 a.m. ET. And the teams that will be picked are Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma and Sevilla.
For fun, let's do a mock draw and just see what it would look like, as there is no country protection.
How about a mock draw, just for fun?
Here are the results, which came via my daughter picking the names out of a hat just for fun:
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich
Roma vs. Juventus
Sevilla vs. Barcelona
Quick reaction: That would be a tasty draw. Liverpool and Real Madrid would be something considering Real's inconsistency atthe back, and City vs. Bayern would see a strong contender crash out. Then two ties between clubs from the same country to round it out. If this were how the draw played out, I'd predict Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona to advance.
It's the Terps vs. the Zips for the 2018 NCAA title
It's the second leg and everything is on the line at the Monumental
A goal in either half for the hosts led to a 2-0 victory for Atlanta United
The big final is set for Saturday night in Atlanta
A huge result for the Blues has blown the title race wide open
Esteemed soccer expert Roger Gonzalez has his finger on the pulse of MLS teams