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Top Winners and Losers After Wednesday's Champions League Round of 16 Leg 1 Results

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 16, 2022

AP Photo/Alexandra Beier

Kingsley Coman played the role of spoiler as he denied Red Bull Salzburg an improbable victory in the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Salzburg was clinging to a 1-0 lead before Coman got onto the end of a Thomas Muller header at the back post to bring Bayern Munich level in the 90th minute. The match finished at 1-1.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Kingsley Coman with a 90th-minute equalizer 💥 <a href="https://t.co/d4LaK5QQQE">pic.twitter.com/d4LaK5QQQE</a>

Elsewhere across Europe, Liverpool snatched a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan at San Siro in a match that wasn't as one-sided as the final score would suggest.

Here are some of the winners and losers from Wednesday's action.


Winner: Red Bull Salzburg Youngsters

Almost a year ago to the day, Chukwubuike Adamu was loaned out to FC St. Gallen. On Wednesday, he was netting the opener for Red Bull Salzburg against Bayern Munich.

Adamu didn't even get the start, coming on in the 12th minute for the injured Noah Okafor. Nine minutes later, he made it 1-0 for the home side.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

20-YEAR-OLD CHUKWUBUIKE ADAMU. 💥<br><br>Off the bench. First time finish against Bayern. And he hit the Griddy. 🕺 <a href="https://t.co/3Bre7bRPmz">pic.twitter.com/3Bre7bRPmz</a>

OptaFranz @OptaFranz

21 - Junior Adamu's goal for FC Salzburg in the 21st minute against Bayern Munich was the earliest by a substitute in a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> game since Thierry Henry against Slavia Prague for Arsenal in October 2005 (also 21st minute). Impact. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SALFCB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SALFCB</a> <a href="https://t.co/v14bhGJrcn">pic.twitter.com/v14bhGJrcn</a>

For American fans, the goal was a reason to celebrate because of Brenden Aaronson's role in the buildup. The United States international flicked the ball on for Adamu to earn an assist.

herculez gomez @herculezg

Brendan Aaronson with the filthy touch to set up the goal for Salzburg! 🔥 <br><br>Mr. Futbol Americas 😉

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

Aaronson is proof that the “biggest move” isn’t always the “best move”. Fantastic transition from <a href="https://twitter.com/MLS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLS</a> to Europe on the heels of <a href="https://twitter.com/RedBullSalzburg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RedBullSalzburg</a>. Now destined to make a bigger move at the better time for him. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

100% take-ons completed<br>83% pass accuracy <br>30 touches<br>3 chances created <br>2 shots <br>1 assist <br><br>Brenden Aaronson is putting on a show vs. Bayern Munich. 🇺🇸💯 <a href="https://t.co/xGPO7Wv27X">pic.twitter.com/xGPO7Wv27X</a>

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Mohamed Camara put in a man-of-the-match performance in central midfield. He didn't look overawed in the slightest by Bayern Munich.

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

Focus will be on Adeyemi as usual but it's all about Camara in midfield so far. Been aggressive and energetic when looking to win possession then with the ball composed, distributing intelligently.

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

Camara quite clearly MOTM. 22-years-old but looked like a vet out there. Steered Salzburg out of trouble when they had to defend and his ball was vital in the opening goal. Immense performance, get the feeling he will produce many more in CL.

Salzburg has been a stopping ground for a number of promising young players. Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino, Dominik Szoboszlai and Naby Keita are among the stars who have used the club as a springboard to one of Europe's five big leagues.

Adamu, Aaronson and Camara are examples of how the assembly line continues on despite the talent Salzburg loses on an almost yearly basis.


Winner: Manchester City

Looking at the remaining field, Bayern Munich might be the biggest foe standing between Manchester City and a long sought after Champions League title.

City made a statement Tuesday with a 5-0 hammering of Sporting CP. Bayern responded Wednesday with a lackluster performance against Salzburg.

B/R Football @brfootball

Saturday: Crushed by Bochum in the Bundesliga <br><br>Wednesday: Losing to RB Salzburg after 21 minutes in the Champions League <br><br>🤷‍♂️ Bayern 🤷‍♂️ <a href="https://t.co/pg605C58QN">pic.twitter.com/pg605C58QN</a>

Especially with the second leg being played at Allianz Arena, it isn't exactly a five-alarm fire for Julian Nagelsmann's squad. Removing the away goal rule also lessens the likelihood of a shocking upset because Salzburg really could've put the pressure on Bayern with one or two goals in Munich.

Still, the odds of Bayern Munich crashing out of the Champions League in the round of 16 went up after Wednesday. The Germans finished with 63 percent possession and 21 shots but couldn't make the most of those chances.

Manuel Veth @ManuelVeth

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bayern?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bayern</a>'s possession is now 70.5%. But still no way through that very well organized Salzburg defense.

Salzburg did an especially good job of isolating Robert Lewandowski.

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski has only touched the ball 15 times<br><br>0 shots ❌<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bbcfootball?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bbcfootball</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SALFCB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SALFCB</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a>

The Analyst @OptaAnalyst

FC RB Salzburg lead the German champions Bayern Munich at half-time. None of Bayern's eight shots in the first half have come via Robert Lewandowski. <a href="https://t.co/SfL79Hmjdy">pic.twitter.com/SfL79Hmjdy</a>

Even assuming Bayern Munich survive, Salzburg might have shown other teams the blueprint for quieting the Bundesliga giant in a knockout tie.


Loser: Inter Milan

The aforementioned abolition of the away goal rule works as a double-edged sword for Inter Milan.

A 2-0 result at Anfield in the second leg won't be enough to secure passage to the quarterfinals. However, Inter isn't looking at a situation where one goal from Liverpool early in the return fixture is basically a death knell.

Hakan Calhanoglu was inches away from putting the Serie A champion ahead in the 16th minute as his left-footed shot hit the crossbar.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

HAKAN... AGAINST THE BAR. ❌ <a href="https://t.co/PalADULCtV">pic.twitter.com/PalADULCtV</a>

As the second half progressed, it looked like Inter might be able to hold onto at least a draw and potentially grab a late goal as Ivan Perisic posed a constant threat down the left flank.

Then second-half substitute Roberto Firmino put Liverpool ahead in the 75th minute from a corner. Mohamed Salah added a second in the 83rd minute.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

BOBBY FIRMINO. WITH THE BREAKTHROUGH. 💥 <a href="https://t.co/XMebHcdlJ3">pic.twitter.com/XMebHcdlJ3</a>

Suddenly, what had been a competitive match tilted significantly in Liverpool's favor in a space of eight minutes. Inter manager Simone Inzaghi has a tall order ahead to overturn a two-goal deficit at Anfield.

DAZN Canada @DAZN_CA

Liverpool only had two shots on target against Inter Milan<br><br>They scored them both 😅<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> <a href="https://t.co/dnQ32W9Uf6">pic.twitter.com/dnQ32W9Uf6</a>

Carlo Garganese @carlogarganese

Harsh scoreline on Inter. Were the better team for stretches and created the better chances<br><br>Inzaghi got his tactics spot on but let down by the final ball, a lack of pace in attack and a really dismal Lautaro. He’s not worth €100m<br><br>Perisic fantastic again <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InterLiverpool?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#InterLiverpool</a>

Dominic King @DominicKing_DM

That, in terms of resilience and concentration and ruthlessness, is as good as Liverpool have played away in Europe since beating Bayern Munich in March 2019. Inter are a fine, battle-hardened side and had chances. Somehow, they finish the night staring at elimination.

This was Inter Milan's first excursion into the knockout stage of the Champions League since 2011-12, and its stay may not extend for much longer.


Winner: Harvey Elliott

It has been quite the journey for Harvey Elliott this season.

The Liverpool midfielder saw a bright start interrupted due to a fractured ankle. But his recovery progressed better than anybody could've expected, and he was back in the squad for a 3-1 win over Cardiff City in the FA Cup on Feb. 6.

On Wednesday, Elliott made his Champions League debut.

James Pearce @JamesPearceLFC

Harvey Elliott at the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev as a fan with his dad Scott. Tonight he makes his European debut for the Reds in the San Siro. He’s living the dream. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/L9l72okWZ8">pic.twitter.com/L9l72okWZ8</a>

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

18 - Aged 18 years and 318 days, Harvey Elliott is the youngest player ever to start a European Cup/Champions League match for Liverpool (excl. qualifiers), overtaking teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold (18y 354d v Spartak Moscow in 2017). Stage. <a href="https://t.co/gIXvm6nm89">pic.twitter.com/gIXvm6nm89</a>

As Jurgen Klopp explained before the match, the 18-year-old's start was both a testament to his development so far and the big role he's likely to occupy for the Reds going forward:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"The boy's in good shape, in a good moment, and is exactly the type of player we need tonight."<br><br>"There's no pressure on his shoulders. It's just an opportunity."<br><br>Full faith from Jürgen Klopp as he talks about handing Harvey Elliott his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> debut to <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDesKelly?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheDesKelly</a> 🗣 <a href="https://t.co/k6Tdj7TzXK">pic.twitter.com/k6Tdj7TzXK</a>

Elliott ultimately had little impact on the match before exiting in the 60th minute for Keita. But simply appearing in a Champions League knockout match this year was seemingly out of the question in the immediate after his ankle injury in September.

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