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Sporting CP
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5
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Manchester City
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Champions League scores, takeaways, ratings: Kylian Mbappe comes through for PSG; Manchester City score five

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The Champions League knockout stage got started with a bang Tuesday. Manchester City had no trouble in their dispatch of Sporting CP with a 5-0 win in Portugal. Kylian Mbappe, meanwhile, saved PSG against his possible future suitor Real Madrid with a goal deep into stoppage time for a 1-0 win in the first leg. The second legs of both of these matchups will take place next month on CBS and Paramount+.

Here's a breakdown of both games, and highlights from the day's action.

Mbappe saves PSG

It looked like Real Madrid would get a draw against the odds after Thibaut Courtois saved Lionel Messi's penalty in the 61st minute, but ultimately PSG's pressure proved to be too much.

Real Madrid spent most of the match in a shell, allowing 21 shots for a combined 1.85 xG while their attack did not put a single one of their three shots on target and ended the night with a paltry 0.14 xG. The attacking players struggled to complete their passes as PSG pressed them off the pitch, shooting with ease. I'm not sure what Mauricio Pottechino said at the half but it must have worked as 15 of PSG's shots came in the final 45.

There was a noticeable increase in their attack when Neymar entered, as the Brazilian made his first appearance since Nov. 28. Neymar was credited with the assist on Mbappe's stoppage-time winner, his second in only four days.

Real Madrid will likely need to get something from Marcelo in the second leg as Ferland Mendy will be suspended due to yellow-card accumulation. They'll also need to fill the massive void left behind by Casemiro who is also out due to yellow-card accumulation. 

Spectacular City

It's one thing to call Sporting underdogs heading into this match, it's another to envision the Portuguese side down three 32 minutes into the game. Only VAR and a few inches stood between Bernardo Silva and a hat trick as City can kick their feet up at home in the second leg. Scoring five goals from only six shots on target is impressive stuff from Pep Guardiola's side. And it seemed like City players were trying to one-up one another with the goals.

Silva's goal was spectacular. 

The ball from Riyad Mahrez on Phil Foden's goal was out of this world.

And then Raheem Sterling's finish is something to behold.

Confidence flows when you're having fun and City were pinging the ball all over the park as they moved one step closer to an elusive Champions League title.

Notable Performances

Lionel Messi, PSG: Getting on this list for the wrong reasons, Messi seemed a step slow at times against Real Madrid. While he created four chances and took eight shots, the missed penalty will be the memory of the night. Messi also wasn't accurate with his shooting, only putting two shots on target. As he doesn't bring much defensively when the ball isn't hitting the back of the net, Messi will need to produce if PSG are expecting to be serious Champions League contenders. Rating: 5

Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid: Where would Real be without Courtois? Out of this tie is a good guess considering that he made seven saves, including the denial of Messi's PK. Real Madrid's defense didn't help much as all the pressure was on Courtois to keep them in the game and he delivered so that his team has a chance in the second leg at home. Rating: 9

Marco Verratti, PSG: Another world-class performance from the PSG midfielder. Taking a team-high 123 touches, Verratti orchestrated the midfield, creating six chances while also getting nine ball recoveries. Possibly the most important player each week for PSG, he got the job done again limiting Real's chances. Rating: 8

Adnan, Sporting: A goalkeeper's job isn't easy. Not only was Adnan ineffective in net, he was wasteful in possession, only completing 37 percent of his passes to invite pressure onto his defense at every chance. Only making one save in the match, he almost allowed every shot on target to hit the back of the net. Rating: 3

Rodri, Machester City: While City scored five goals and Rodri assisted none of them, it was the defensive midfielder's guile in the middle of the park that made this possible. Making a match-high nine recoveries, Rodri was quick to switch defense into attack and rarely misplaced a pass, completing 95 percent of his 83 passes. Good in the air, Rodri did everything for City. Rating: 9

Goal of the Day 

While City may have scored the better goals, it was Mbappe who scored the most meaningful. His last-second goal capped off an excellent performance where he created chances but his teammates couldn't get on the end of them. Mbappe accounted for half of the team's shots that hit the target as well. An excellent performance that makes you wonder why he didn't take the penalty that Messi missed.

Outlook for the second legs

Manchester City vs. Sporting CP, March 9 (Paramount+): Manchester City will have smooth sailing into the last eight as Pep Guardiola may leave some key members out of the squad to rest for Premier League play. As City are struggling with injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish, it's good to get this match taken care of and leave no doubt in the second leg.

Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain, March 9 (CBS and Paramount+): For PSG, things are trickier. They outclassed Real Madrid in every aspect but only have a 1-0 lead heading into the second leg in Spain. Neymar's return will be a boon to the attack but they'll have to be on their game as another wasteful performance will see Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior light up the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid are one team you can never count out of a Champions League comeback.  

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Just off by Mbappe

Every attack by PSG is just an inch or so away from being a goal, Mbappe played a ball across the face of the net but no one was there to push it in. A draw here will be a disappointment for a PSG side that has struggled when the bright lights turn on.

February 15, 2022, 9:50 PM
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Real Madrid needs fresh legs

Luka Modric has left the match as Real are holding on for dear life as they look for a draw. Vinicus Junior was also taken off as Eden Hazard and Federico Valverde entered the match to defend the 0-0 draw.

February 15, 2022, 9:43 PM
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Things have finally slowed down for Manchester City

Already being up 5-0, the tempo has dropped for the Manchester City attack. They're still causing issues but it doesn't seem like they're putting full effort forward as Sporting are allowing them to walk down the pitch with ease. They still may get another goal but 5-0 could be the final.

February 15, 2022, 9:40 PM
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Neymar has entered the match

PSG needs something extra so it will be up to him to provide it with only 20 minutes remaining.

February 15, 2022, 9:29 PM
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Phil Foden and John Stones get rested for City

Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko enter the match which will see Cancelo move to right back. Sporting has also taken off Pedro Goncalves as resting for the league has become more important.

February 15, 2022, 9:26 PM
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Courtois denies Messi!

It's still 0-0! Messi goes down to the bottom right, and Courtois guesses it perfectly, pushing the penalty wide. 

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City are playing playground soccer as Raheem Sterling uncorks a rocket!

5-0 to City as they're running up the score with ease. The ball found Rodri and who else but Bernardo SIlva to assist Sterling on the beautiful curling shot. City players are just trying to one up each others goals now.

February 15, 2022, 9:20 PM
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PENALTY TO PSG!

Mbappe is taken down in the box by Carvajal, and it's an easy call!

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Clutch Courtois

That is a massive save from the Belgian to deny Mbappe. The hosts really should be ahead by now. Will PSG be made to regret that and some of their other chances?

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PSG are growing in dominance in the second half

Since halftime has ended, PSG already has six shot attempts four of which have been on goal. Courtois is holding strong but it's only a matter of time until he's beaten for a goal.

February 15, 2022, 9:15 PM
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Bernardo Silva is denied his hat trick by VAR

He doesn't score many headers but due to Raheem Sterling being offsides, Bernardo will have to try again for his third goal. He shouldn't have to wait long as City are creating chances every time they touch the ball.

February 15, 2022, 9:12 PM
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We're back underway, can Sporting get a consolation goal? Also, Cancelo and De Bruyne may leave the match sooner than later as they'll be suspended for the next leg if they are yellow carded.

February 15, 2022, 9:05 PM
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Real Madrid are still holding serve against PSG

It's not pretty but Real will take things being level at the half. PSG has all of the ball but hasn't been able to do much with it in the early going only pitting one shot on target. Di Maria has been the most dangerous attacker but he has been wasteful with his chances allowing Real Madrid a way back into the match. If the midfield can get anything going, the game is there for the taking in the second half.

February 15, 2022, 8:56 PM
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Halftime is here and Sporting may not want to come back out.

Five shots on goal, four goals for Manchester City as they're running riot in Portugal. Sporting doesn't have a shot on target while Bernardo Silva has a brace. We may get to see some youth in the second half as leg one is all but over by now.

February 15, 2022, 8:54 PM
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Everything they touch is goal! 4-0 Manchester City wow

Raheem Sterling takes a heavy touch in the box but is able to play it back to Bernardo Silva for his second goal of the match. City can do no wrong in this first half.

February 15, 2022, 8:46 PM
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Thrice as nice! Manchester City are out of sight 3-0

Phil Foden gets this one following Mahrez megging two defenders with his pass on the way to him. Quite a beautiful goal that shows off City's dominance in the early going. This could get ugly 

February 15, 2022, 8:34 PM
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Looking back at PSG vs. Real Madrid

27 minutes have passed and it looks like Carlo Ancelotti's men are at least settling into a defensive shell. It feels weird for a Real Madrid side to not even have a shot almost 30 minutes into a Champions League match but as PSG have accumulated a 0.48 xG from their four shots, it's not like Real are giving up great chances. They'll want to have the ball more than 30 percent of the time but weathering the storm is okay.

February 15, 2022, 8:32 PM
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Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good

Sporting almost had a chance via Pedro Goncalves but he ran into John Stones with his back turned to lose possession. Sporting can't afford to be sloppy facing the CIty machine already behind by two goals. 

February 15, 2022, 8:27 PM
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The 2-0 lead for City 

Here's how the visitors doubled the lead with the former Benfica man scoring against Sporting Lisbon:

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Sporting, wake up

20 minutes in and City already have ripped off six shots. Sporting wasn't given much of a chance prior to the match but we may not need a second leg if City can keep this up. Sporting can barely get a touch in let alone a shot as they're being run off of their own park.

February 15, 2022, 8:23 PM
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Mahrez's opener

Here's how City got the early lead against Sporting Lisbon, thanks to Riyad Mahrez seven minutes in. The English club have since made it 2-0, and they are running away with it. 

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Bernardo from the top of the box!

It looked like Manchester City's corner wouldn't amount to much but the ball found Bernardo. He hit his strike sweetly on the bounce delivering an unstoppable strike past Antonio Adan. Only 18 minutes in but this may be out of reach as City are up 2-0.

February 15, 2022, 8:19 PM
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Real Madrid can barely get out of their own half

Something needs to change as PSG has an impressive 63 percent of the possession early. While they don't have a goal to show for it yet, it feels inevitable at this rate.

February 15, 2022, 8:16 PM
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Mahrez scores for City!

De Bruyne to Mahrez = perfection. Initially ruled out due to offsides, the goal will count after going to VAR and City are up 1-0 only 10 minutes in. Manchester City's leading scorer gets his sixth goal in Champions League play and Sporting already has a hole to climb out of.

February 15, 2022, 8:12 PM
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5' Nearly from PSG!!!

That was almost the opener at the Parc des Princes! Mbappe's elusiveness and technical ability turns Carvajal inside out, as the Frenchman gets towards the endline and delivers a ball with pace into the box. On the other end was Angel di Maria, but he got under it, sending it way over the goal. A first real chance. 

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Only five minutes in Manchester City gets their first chance

Kevin de Bruyne's corner finds Rodri's head but ends up amounting to nothing but Sporting can't get a foot to the ball early on.

February 15, 2022, 8:06 PM
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