Champions League scores: PSV salvage Borussia Dortmund draw while Inter take advantage over Atletico Madrid

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Inter have one foot in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after a 1-0 first leg win over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday while PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund is poised 1-1 after a tie in the Netherlands.

Marko Arnautovic scored the only goal of the game with 11 minutes to go in Milan in a game of few chances which enabled last year's finalists to come out on top by the end. 

Elsewhere, a Luuk de Jong penalty tied things up for PSV deservedly after they had fallen behind to a Donyell Malen opener at Philips Stadion.

Although there are the second legs to come, the Eredivisie leaders did not look out of their depth in the round of 16 against their seasoned Bundesliga counterparts while Inter needed to grind out their win in a typically tight affair with a stingy Atleti side.

It might not have been the richest evening in terms of goals scored across two games, but the final scenario leaves us with plenty to look forward to when the second legs roll around.

Champions League scores

  • Inter 1, Atletico Madrid 0
  • PSV 1, Borussia Dortmund 1

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Scores

  • Inter 1, Atletico Madrid 0 (FT)
  • PSV 1, Dortmund 1 (2H)
February 20, 2024, 8:00 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:00 pm EST
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PSV 1, Dortmund 1

We might not have been rich in goals overall this evening but Eindhoven certainly saw more action in and around the goals than Milan did. PSV were good value for their draw and arguably shaded the game although Dortmund were more clinical in the first half against the enterprising hosts. Both sides are still in it and the Dutch giants showed that they are absolutely not out of place at this level. However, going back to Germany needing a win to progress suits BVB given the atmosphere that their home fans can and will generate.

 
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Inter 1, Atletico 0

Inter may be in control of the tie heading into the second leg in Madrid but they'll have wanted a bigger advantage than only one goal after missed chances were the name of the game. The defense held Atletico Madrid without a single shot on target but Marko Arnautovic's missed chances were a defining moment of the match. He did eventually get the go ahead goal but he also could've had a hat trick in the match as well. 

February 20, 2024, 10:00 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 5:00 pm EST
 
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USMNT history in the UCL

Now that Pepi is on the field for PSV, this is the first time in history that three American international have played in the same Champions League knockout round game.

 
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Try and try and eventually you get one!

Jan Oblak did everything in his power to stop Inter by denying Lautaro from point-blank range before getting a hand to Arnautovic's shot before it squeaked into the back of the net. It took 17 changes, but Inter have finally broken the deadlock.

February 20, 2024, 9:40 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 4:40 pm EST
 
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You're not going to get better chances than those

Since entering the match at half, Marko Arnautovic has taken three shots putting none on target and creating an xG of .81. Thuram's thigh injury could be critical in this tie as Inter should be well ahead at this stage of play.

February 20, 2024, 9:26 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 4:26 pm EST
 
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PSV 1-1 Dortmund

De Jong makes no mistake from the spot! Meyer was not far off, but it is 1-1 and the Dutch hosts are level. This tie is now well and truly open again after Dortmund allowed their opponents back into it. Debatable as the penalty decision was, though, PSV have been good so far and are not poor value for being level overall. 

 
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Morata is on

Saul exits as Atletico will move to a more familiar attack. Lino has a chance from the left that he can't put on target as well but the game is opening up.

February 20, 2024, 9:16 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 4:16 pm EST
 
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PSV penalty!

Tillman goes down after some poor control. To the surprise of everyone, the penalty is given. VAR confirms it! Big chance for PSV here...

 
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Armie will want that back

With almost his first touch of the game, Arnautovic had the goal gaping in front of him but he couldn't make his chance count as we're still in search of the first goal of the match.

February 20, 2024, 9:09 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 4:09 pm EST
 
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A halftime change

Thuram has exited for Marko Arnautovic. It feels like this has to be injury related as Thuram was having a great first half of play. Savic has also entered for Gimenez after the half changing the complexion of the match.

February 20, 2024, 9:05 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 4:05 pm EST
 
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HT: PSV 0-1 Dortmund

The Germans lead at the break in Eindhoven. Malen has come back to haunt PSV with Dortmund's only goal so far. The Dutch outfit have arguably been the better side with Tillman bright in places, but he and his teammates will feel that they should at least be level given some of the chances that they have enjoyed so far.

 
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Halftime performance incoming?

February 20, 2024, 8:43 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:43 pm EST
 
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We got one!

Oblak is forced into a save as Barella played a beautiful cross to Lautaro that was placed on target. It took 36 minutes but we finally have a shot on target in Italy. Hopefully, more to come before the half.

February 20, 2024, 8:40 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:40 pm EST
 
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PSV coming back into it

Behind to Dortmund against the general flow of the game, the hosts are starting to get a foothold back in the game. Bakayoko just went close knocking an effort wide with the ball too high to really connect. Tillman flashed an offside header wide too once PSV were 1-0 down. Can the Dutch get themselves back level before the break? Saibari does his best to equalize but Meyer repels him with five minutes to go in the first half.

 
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Did I jinx things?

25 mintues in, and Inter and Atleti have combined for .20 xG between them with none of the five shots so far testing either keeper. It has been a touch and go match but nothing is happening in the boxes. 

February 20, 2024, 8:28 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:28 pm EST
 
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PSV 0-1 Dortmund

It had to be him! Donyell Malen gives the Germans the lead. A strong hit in off the post which just about crept over the line. Benitez was unable to keep it out and it took a deflection on its way in, but Dortmund lead in the Netherlands. To be fair, Malen has looked like a man on a mission all game so far.

 
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Tillman fires wide!

A great chance for the USMNT man and arguably the best of the game so far... Played in wonderfully on the edge of the box by De Jong, Tillman drags his effort wide when he really should be hitting the target when one-on-one with Dortmund goalkeeper Meyer who had a last minute call to arms after Kobel's injury in the warm-up. 

 
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Can Inter string it together in the final third?

So far, the Italian side have started strongly at home but they haven't been able to unlock Atletico Madrid's back five in the early going. Once they enter the final third, Inters pass accuracy falls from 85% to 55.6% which is exactly what Diego Simeone wants. He has no issues conceding possession since Atletico can spring a counter-attack with ease but Atletico will need to create their own chances too.

February 20, 2024, 8:16 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:16 pm EST
 
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Goalless in Eindhoven

Checking in from the Netherlands where we are yet to have a shot on goal from either side. Fairly even in terms of possession too, so a very level encounter so far. Tillman's cross/shot was blocked on the edge of the box moments ago and an interception which led to a snuffed out pass was deflected back into Meyer's gloves. One of two USMNT stars in the PSV XI from the off with Pepi on the bench while we also have Mexico's Hirving Lozano too. Malen is looking to tear into his former team too -- one to keep an eye on here.

 
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Thuram with the first chance

He wasn't able to get his first touch right but it's a warning sign for Atletico with the speed that Barella set up the attacking play.

February 20, 2024, 8:07 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 3:07 pm EST
 
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Almost time to get underway

Just over 10 minutes until today's matches kick off and there should be goals in these ties. Atletico may be known for their defense but this season's squad is much more attacking which will test Inter while PSV and Dortmund is setup to be an end to end soccer match.

February 20, 2024, 7:48 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 2:48 pm EST
 
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Jadon Sancho is back in the XI

Dortmund will roll in at full strength in a tough away trip to the Netherlands.

Starters: Meyer, Schlotterbeck, Sancho, Reus, Fullkrug, Hummels, Sabitzer, Malen, Maatsen, Can, Ryerson

Reserves: Wolf, Lotka, Moukoko, Bensebaini, Brandt, Ozcan, Watjen, Duranville, Bynoe-Gittens, Bamba

February 20, 2024, 7:36 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 2:36 pm EST
 
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Pepi moves back to the bench

It was expected after his performance on the wing during the weekend but that doesn't mean that the American won't have a role to play in the match.

Starters: Benitez, Teze, Schouten, Boscagli, Dest, Veerman, Tillman, Saibari, Bakayoko, De Jong, Lozano

Reserves: Drommel, Waterman, Obispo, Sambo, Ramalho, Van Aanholt, Mauro Jr., Babadi, Pepi

February 20, 2024, 7:30 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 2:30 pm EST
 
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Inter are among the favorites 

By Francesco Porzio

The side coached by Simone Inzaghi had an incredible Champions League season last campaign when they made the final, losing to Manchester City after beating Porto, Benfica and city rivals AC Milan. This season, Inter are flying and despite the Coppa Italia elimination against Bologna, they already won the Supercoppa Italiana and are currently leading the Serie A table with a nine-point advantage on Juventus, with also one game in hand. Inter are dominating the league and want to win the title as soon as possible, but they will also try to make another exciting European campaign and they have the potential to make it happen. Inter are playing great football and the results (59 goals scored and only 12 conceded in 24 Serie A games) speak volumes, but they did end up second in the UCL group stage behind Real Sociedad. 

Inter will have to face Spanish side Atletico de Madrid in the round of 16 but the feeling is that after what happened last season, Inzaghi's team are much more aware of their potential and can dream to become one of the contenders for the final win. After Bayern's defeat, and also looking at the teams around Europe, only Manchester City and Real Madrid have more chances to win the competition. However, we know how the Champions League is challenging and always gives us a lot of surprises, so Inter can have a chance but of course need to knock out Atletico first. 

 
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Marcos Llorente stays up top

Alvaro Morata is fit enough for the bench but a brace over the weekend will see Llorente partner Griezmann in attack to start the match for Atletico Madrid who have built up quite the collection of forwards.

Starters: Oblak, Hermoso, Witsel, Gimenez, Lino, Molina, Saul, Koke, De Paul, Griezmann, Llorente

Reserves: Moldovan, Gomis, Paulista, Savic, Reinildo, Vermeeren, Barrios, Memphis, Correa, Morata

February 20, 2024, 7:25 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 2:25 pm EST
 
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Inter lineups are in

The strike partnership of Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram has pushed Inter to new heights while their midfield trip is also set to go in the match to break down Atletico Madrid.

Starters: Sommer, Pavard, De Vrij, Bastoni, Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco, Thuram, Lutaro

Reserves: Di Gennaro, Audero, Dumfries, Arnautovic, Klaassen, Frattesi, Buchanan, Asllani, Carlos Augusto, Bisseck, Stankovic, Sanchez.

February 20, 2024, 7:15 PM
Feb. 20, 2024, 2:15 pm EST
 
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Luuk De Jong, PSV Eindhoven

By James Benge

Trouble's brewing in Eindhoven. Two draws, yes, two! There will be no perfect season for the Eredivisie leaders, a side whose domestic record now reads at an embarrassing played 22, won 20, draw two, lost none, scored 70, conceded 10. Will Peter Bosz be able to pick his players up off the mat now they have dropped points twice in their last five games?

Whether one is being serious or not, it tends to be an almighty challenge to assess any Dutch representatives at this stage of the competition. For every side that captures the imagination of Europe on a deep run (Ajax, 2018-19) there is another that starts brightly but fritters things away with a defeat to relatively ordinary opposition (Ajax, 2021-22). It is even harder to get a grasp on which side PSV might be given that they came through one of the most favorable of group stages; finishing ahead of Spain's 15th best team and France's sixth hardly screams Champions League dark horses.

If any player typifies the challenge of understanding PSV it is Luuk De Jong, the 33-year-old who has underwhelmed almost everywhere he has been outside the Netherlands (though he did score some big goals in the Europa League for Sevilla). In 22 Eredivisie games this season, he has 19 goals and eight assists. Defenses have no answer for this penalty box predator, one who doesn't just win all the aerial duels you'd expect of a 6-foor-1 striker but who also does an impressive trade in first-time finishes off his left foot.

The same was true in qualifying for the Champions League, where he put Sturm Graz and Rangers to the sword. Then came the group stages, where De Jong was restricted to just 15 shots, more than half of which came in the desperate but ultimately successful scrabble for a draw against Sevilla. His 447 minutes in the competition brought two goals, one a penalty, and an average of 0.23 non-penalty expected goals (npxG) per 90 minutes. That sort of return will not be good enough against Borussia Dortmund, who might not be setting the Bundesliga alight this season but have not conceded two goals in a game since early December.

If the Germans' backline does not feel a threat from the center forward position then they can shade towards the real danger men of this PSV side: the fearless, shoot-first ask questions, such as, 'Should I actually have passed there?' later wing tandem of Noa Lang and Johan Bakayoko. For those two forwards to be the best version of themselves, they need an option in the penalty area, a center forward who can test Mats Hummels et al. Can he be Eredivisie De Jong in the Champions League? If so, PSV have a chance of making some noise in this round.

 
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Marcus Thuram, Inter

By James Benge

This has been the season of Lautaro Martinez, the Argentine timing his leap in excellence to coincide with that of Inter, who return to Champions League action looking to be even more intriguing dark horses than 12 months ago when they made it all the way to the final. Martinez is their X factor, the sort of forward who could swing a tie in his side's favor, but that status can weigh heavily on even the greatest. Lucky for the Argentine then that he has a running mate more than capable of easing the burden.

Indeed if it weren't for Martinez Thuram might be the name on everyone's lips. The France international, picked up on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer, has 12 goals and eight assists across 34 games in all competitions this season, solid numbers that still don't tell the full story of his form in an Inter shirt. Thuram is a selfless, energetic forward who is more than happy to chase lost causes and move into the channel, taking a center back with him to forge space for Martinez. 

Increasingly the new signing is doing more than merely serve the main forward. He opened the scoring in the 4-0 rout of Salernitana at the weekend, a goal on the back of an even more impressive display when Inter quelled the Stadio Olimpico to beat in-form Roma. His smart run across the center back got his side their equaliser in the second half and it was then his pressure that forced Angelino to turn into the net for Inter's decisive third goal. "I always try to either get to the ball, or else put pressure on the defender," he said after, comments that typify Thuram: an almighty headache for defenders with more than enough excellence to punish their mistakes. The trouble for Atletico is he isn't even the hardest assignment on their scouting report.

 
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PSV vs. Dortmund

Not forgetting PSV vs. Dortmund which is equally appetizing and could have a distinct USMNT flavor if Ricardo Pepi features heavily...

By Pardeep Cattry

One matchup to watch: Luuk de Jong vs. Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule.  The former is PSV's leading goalscorer this season with 18 league goals and another two in Champions League play, and will no doubt be the focal point of their attack as they eye their first quarterfinal berth since the 2006-07 season. As for Schlotterbeck and Sule, the center backs will be tasked with not just keeping de Jong at bay but hanging onto their strong recent defensive record that has seen Dortmund collect three clean sheets in their last five.

Most likely to score a goal: Niclas Fullkrug. With six goals in Dortmund's last five games, Fullkrug will be the one tasked with ensuring his side take an advantage back home with them for the second leg.

Man of the match: Luuk de Jong. PSV will be eager to stay competitive in this tie and de Jong might just be the key to success this week, and his strong recent form might be enough to keep them in the conversation for the last eight.

Match Prediction: PSV 1, Dortmund 1. The visitors might be the slight favorites but there's no reason to doubt the Eredivisie leaders, which teases a tightly-contested matchup. Paired with the fact that both teams have a striker in strong form, there might be some goals in this one, too.

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