On the opening day of the UEFA Champions League knockout round, both favorites emerged with road wins via shutout, powered by goals from their big guns. Here are five notes on Tuesday’s action…
• In Barcelona’s 2-0 win at Manchester City, Lionel Messi converted a penalty for his 66th Champions League goal, five behind Raúl’s record of 71. Eight of Messi’s UCL goals have been from the penalty spot, and 30 have been scored in the UCL knockout round, the most by any player.
Today’s goal was Messi’s 67th in all UEFA club competitions, tying Andriy Shevchenko for third-most on the all-time list, 10 behind Raúl’s record.
• The Martin Demichelis red card in the 53rd minute led to Messi’s penalty and was a defining moment in the game. To that point, Man City had outshot Barcelona 6-3; in the remaining 37 minutes, Barcelona outshot Man City 7-3.
Barcelona completed nearly three times as many passes as Man City after the red card (380 to 130), compared to an edge of slightly more than double before the penalty (437 to 215).
• Dani Alves’ 90th-minute goal doubled Barcelona’s lead and improved the Spanish club's odds of advancing from 82 percent to 94 percent, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index.
• In Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in three minutes on Tuesday to bring his Champions League scoring total to 41 goals. He’s the 10th player with at least 40 career Champions League goals.
• Unsurprisingly, SPI rates PSG a 99.9 percent favorite to reach the quarterfinals. No club has advanced in UEFA competition after losing the first leg by four or more goals.