UEFA Champions League: Atletico, Barca progress to last-16

Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona both progressed to the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League as the top teams. Atletico beat Lazio 2-0, while Barcelona lost against Royal Antwerp. Antoine Griezmann got Atletico ahead, scoring after just six minutes. He made the most of a chance created by Samuel Lino, who brilliantly worked through challenges on the left.

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Then, Mario Hermoso scored for Atletico in the 39th minute. But the goal was canceled after VAR found Lino in an offside position, affecting the play directly. Lino made up for the disallowed goal by scoring their second in the 51st minute. He scored via  a volley, set up by Memphis Depay. The second goal dashed Lazio’s hopes, as they needed three goals to lead the group. In contrast, Atletico controlled the game comfortably in the last half-hour.

Barcelona’s progress to the next round as group leaders was secured, but Xavi Hernandez’s search for relief after their 4-2 loss to Girona last weekend was dashed. A 3-2 defeat against Royal Antwerp did little to ease worries about his team’s crisis.

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A Barcelona team with young Hector Fort playing at right-back fell behind early to an Arthur Vermeeren goal in the second minute. Though Ferran Torres equalized for Barcelona before halftime, Vincent Janssen put Antwerp back in the lead with a left-foot shot from the center of Barca’s area.

Youngster Marc Guiu appeared to have saved a point for Barcelona with a header in the 91st minute. But just a minute later, George Ilenikhena scored a low shot past Inaki Pena, giving the Belgian team their first win of the tournament.

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