Champions League last-16 Power Rankings— Real Madrid lead the way as Manchester City disappoint

Betting tips and odds for Real Betis vs Real Madrid fixture


Betting tips and odds for Real Betis vs Real Madrid fixture

UCL Champions League last-16 Power Rankings— Real Madrid lead the way as Manchester City disappoint

Joba Ogunwale 14:11 - 23.02.2023

Real Madrid remain on course for another title defence but the Premier League champions are struggling in Europe once again.

The first leg of the Champions League 2022/2023 round of 16 is done and dusted, with some interesting results. 

PSG’s clash against Bayern Munich and AC Milan’s home tie against Tottenham Hotspur kicked off proceedings on Valentine’s day. 

The following day saw Borussia Dortmund host Chelsea and Benfica travel to Brugge to take on Club Brugge. 

This week, Liverpool hosted Real Madrid while Napoli clashed against Eintracht Frankfurt at Deutsche Bank Park. 

The first leg finished with Leipzig’s clash against Manchester City and Inter Milan’s game against FC Porto. 

At the end of the first leg, it is the Italian teams who are on top as all of Italy’s representatives left in the competition won their games. 

However, Premier League teams have work to do as all but one lost their games, with only Man City salvaging a draw against Leipzig. 

The German teams fared better, with two wins, one draw and one defeat. Meanwhile, Portuguese teams had mixed results with one win and one loss. 

Having analysed how each league fared, we want to rank the performances of their teams from the first legs. 

Pulse Sports Power Rankings 

16th. Liverpool 

When the draw was made, Liverpool’s clash against Real Madrid was seen as the tie of the round due to their history and recent matchups. 

Liverpool were seeking revenge, having been on the receiving end of some painful defeats at the hands of Real Madrid, including two finals. 

The Reds went into the game backed by a boisterous Anfield crowd, and that showed in their game as they took a two-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes. 

But that was as good as it got for Jurgen Klopp’s men as Real Madrid bounced back to secure a stunning 5-2 win. 

Liverpool were on the receiving end of a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid

It was a really poor performance from Liverpool, especially in defence. To show how Liverpool were poor defensively, Madrid scored five goals from just six shots on target.  The Reds now face the monumental task of going to Santiago Bernabeu to overturn the result. 

Although the Reds are famous for their comebacks in the Champions League, this may be too big for them to overcome. 

15th. Club Brugge 

Club Brugge were the surprise team of the group stage after finishing second in a group that had Porto, Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid. 

The Belgian champions narrowly missed out on the top spot on the final matchday, but they still got the best possible round of 16 draw against Benfica. 

However, Brugge, while they were always going to be underdogs, looked like a shadow of the team that played in the group stage. The Belgian side had just one shot target with an Xg of 0.20. 

Club Brugge are at the end of the road in their Champions League journey

They showed Benfica too much respect and paid for it by losing 2-0 at home. The result brings an end to their Champions League journey, even though they still have the second leg to play. 

14th. Eintracht Frankfurt 

Frankfurt got into the Champions League after winning the Europa League, so they should be proud of their run. 

Still, Oliver Glasnern will be disappointed with how his side made it too easy for Napoli in their clash on Tuesday. 

Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Napoli

Playing at home, Frankfurt were totally outclassed and outplayed as they lost 2-0. It could have even been more if Khvicha Kvaratskhelia had converted his penalty.

13th. Tottenham Hotspur 

Tottenham will definitely be disappointed in their performance against AC Milan after losing 1-0 at San Siro. 

Emerson Royal had one of the three shots on target Tottenham had in the game

The Lily Whites offered nothing in attack after conceding an early goal in the sixth minute. Aside from a few shots from outside, Antonio Conte’s men offered nothing in the game. 

With an Xg of 0.44 compared to Milan’s 1.98, it is fair to say Spurs got the result they deserved. 

12th. PSG 

PSG were always going to have a hard time against Bayern Munich, but not in the way they played at home. 

Christophe Galtier’s men played like there was nothing at stake as they were second-best for most parts of the game. 

It was not until Bayern took the lead that PSG came alive, and in fairness, they were unlucky not to get an equaliser. 

PSG are staring at another second-round exit after losing to Bayern Munich

However, when you play against a side like Bayern, you need to be on your game at every moment, which was what PSG failed to do. 

11th. FC Porto 

Porto did quite okay against Inter Milan but on the balance of play, they did not do enough to win, either. 

The Portuguese champions only ventured forward a few times, although, on those occasions, they almost got their reward. 

Zaidu Sanusi could not help Porto avoid a defeat against Inter Milan

With an Xg of 1.59, Porto could have left San Siro with something if they had been more clinical in front of goal. The good news for them, though, is that they can turn it around at Estadio do Dragao. 

10th. Chelsea 

Chelsea have been depressing to watch lately but they did play well against Dortmund and were unlucky to lose. 

Chelsea were unlucky against Borussia Dortmund

The Blues were clearly the better side with 21 shots, eight on target and an Xg of 2.20. However, they have themselves to blame for their profligacy in front of goal, and that has put pressure on them ahead of the second leg. 

9th. Manchester City

Manchester City are favourites for this season’s competition but they would be disappointed in their inability to get a win in their clash at Leipzig. 

Manchester City played out a disappointing 1-1 draw against Leipzig

Although City scored first, they never looked in total control in the game and were deservedly pegged back. 

City will likely go on to win the tie at home in the second leg, but Wednesday’s night performance was disappointing. 

8th. RB Leipzig 

Leipzig should be proud of their performance against Pep Guardiola’s men, even though they are likely going to get blown apart in the second leg. 

Manchester City held to a draw by Leipzig
Leipzig held City to a 1-1 draw against Manchester City

They restricted City to just three shots on target, with one resulting in a goal. However, they carved chances of their own and got a deserved equaliser. 

The result should give them hope going into the second leg, even though that hope may be little. 

7th. Inter Milan 

Inter Milan left it late against Porto but will feel confident in their chances going into the second leg after Romelu Lukaku’s header gave them a 1-0 win. 

Lukaku inspired Inter to victory against Porto
Lukaku inspired Inter to victory against Porto

Inter looked like deserved winners on the balance of play as they dominated possession, created more chances and had more shots on target. 

6th. Borussia Dortmund 

Dortmund were lucky to get away with a victory in their clash against Chelsea as they were second-best for most parts of the game. 

However, in a knockout tie, the result is the most important thing and that was what Dortmund achieved against Chelsea. 

Karim Adeyemi scores again for Dortmund
Karim Adeyemi scored the only goal as Dortmund beat Chelsea

Also, keeping a clean sheet in a high-stakes game is no mean feat, so Dortmund deserve credit for that. 

5th. AC Milan 

Inter’s city rivals, AC Milan, secured a more impressive win in their clash against Tottenham. Milan got off to a perfect start against Spurs and were the best side throughout the clash at San Siro. 

Brahim Diaz scored the only goal for AC Milan against Spurs

The only blemish in their performance was the lack of a second goal, which could eventually cost them in the second leg. 

4th. Benfica 

Benfica are unlikely to win the Champions League but they deserve plaudits for their performance this season. 

The Portuguese giants have roughed it with the big boys, finishing ahead of PSG and Juventus in their group. 

Benfica are on course to reach the quarterfinal

Their composed performance against Club Brugge is admirable. They never looked to be in trouble all game, even though they did not find the breakthrough until the second half. 

3rd. Bayern Munich 

Bayern Munich will go into the second leg of their clash against PSG with a 1-0 advantage following a solid display in Paris. 

Bayern Munich beat PSG 1-0

Julian Nagelsmaan were deserved winner, never mind PSG’s late pressure. The Bavaria giants  played better as a team in contrast to PSG, who were a team of individuals. 

Bayern outplayed PSG by every metric. The German champions had seven shots on target to PSG’s four while they also dominated possession. 

The win was also a statement win for Bayern as they are one step away from eliminating one of their biggest rivals. 

2nd. Napoli 

What a season Napoli are having. The Neapolitans are the champions-elect in Serie but there were doubts if they could transfer that form into the Champions League. 

Goals accumulator, odds and betting tips for Sunday football fixtures
Napoli are the surprise package of this season Goals accumulator, odds and betting tips for Sunday football fixtures

Napoli, who were arguably the best team in the group stage, have answered the question anyone might have over their potential following a dominant 2-0 win over Frankfurt. 

The word dominant is in every sense of the word. Spalletti’s men had a massive ten shots on target in the game, restricting their opponents to just one.

Napoli were not seen as one of the picks for the title when the competition started, but they are now genuine favourites. 

1st. Real Madrid

Real Madrid look like they are about to go on another title-defence run following a stunning 5-2 win over Liverpool at Anfield. 

Real Madrid thrashed Liverpool 5-2

Even during their banter era, not many teams came to Anfield and made Liverpool look like a mid-table team. 

That was what Real Madrid did, and they did this by coming back from two goals down. It is even more impressive because Liverpool were the team in form going into the match. 

But Real Madrid showed again why the Champions League is their territory. There is a spirit that takes over Los Blancos anytime the Champions League anthem comes on. What a performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men. 

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