With three wins and a goalless away draw, England's four representatives once again reigned supreme in the first legs of the UEFA Champions League first knockout round, and now look favourites to advance to the quarter-finals.
While Juventus still have a reasonable chance of progressing after losing 1-0 at Chelsea, Real Madrid have a much tougher task ahead of them. 1-0 losers at home to Liverpool, the Spaniards will need to produce something special if they are to break their miserable run of four consecutive last-16 exits.
Bayern Munich shrugged off their Bundesliga problems with a thumping 5-0 away win to Sporting Lisbon, who paid dearly for their lack of experience. Another visiting team pleased with their evening's work were Panathinaikos, who grabbed an all-important away goal in a 1-1 draw at Villarreal.
Chelsea 1-0 Juventus
Goal: Didier Drogba 12
Chelsea made a whirlwind start, pinning Juventus back and denying them a chance to get organised. The Londoners' high-tempo tactics paid dividends early on when Salomon Kalou played a superb defence-splitting ball to his Côte d'Ivoire team-mate Didier Drogba, who powered a low drive past Gianluigi Buffon.
With Alessandro Del Piero troubling the Blues defence more than anyone, Juve slowly worked their way back into the game, their studied build-up play contrasting with Chelsea's more urgent attacking rhythm, making for an absorbing encounter. There were no further goals, however, and both sides will fancy their chances ahead of the return leg.
The other games
Real Madrid's eagerly awaited tie with Liverpool was played at an altogether less frenzied pace. Mindful of what was at stake, both sides cancelled each other out for long periods. The highlight of an otherwise disappointing first 80 minutes was Xabi Alonso's spectacular strike from 55 yards out, which Iker Casillas did well to tip over the bar.
Just when it seemed both sides had decided to settle for a goalless stalemate, Steven Gerrard's stand-in Yossi Benayoun, found some space in the middle of the Real box to head a Fabio Aurelio free-kick firmly into the back of the net, leaving Real with much to do at Anfield in a fortnight's time.
Bayern Munich made sure of their place in the next round with an impressive display of finishing. Pressurised for long periods by a Sporting Lisbon side seemingly incapable of taking their chances, the Bavarians took the lead just before the interval courtesy of Franck Ribery's fine solo effort.
The visitors added a second just after the restart when Luca Toni flicked on Massimo Oddo's flighted cross from the right to allow Miroslav Klose to nudge the ball home. That goal took the German international level with Lisandro Lopez as the competition's top scorer. Ribery then notched a second from the penalty spot before Toni applied the coup de grace with a brace in the closing minutes.
Panathinaikos had to weather a lengthy storm when they took on Villarreal at El Madrigal. On the back foot for most of the first half, the Greeks found themselves in a similar position at the start of the second only for Giorgos Karagounis to unleash a wonderful 20-yard drive into Diego Lopez's corner with an hour gone.
The hosts pulled level eight minutes later when Giuseppe Rossi converted from the spot after Robert Pires had been brought down. Let down by some poor finishing, the Spaniards will need to take whatever chances come their way when they travel to Greece.
14 - The number of consecutive away games in which Bayern Munich have managed to score in the UEFA Champions League. The previous record of 13 matches was held by Lyon and Chelsea.
Sporting Lisbon 0-5 Bayern Munich
Franck Ribery 42 (0-1)
Leading a rapid Bayern counter-attack, the Frenchman somehow squeezed between Tonel and Anderson Polga, enjoying a fortunate rebound in the process, before bearing down on goal and sliding the ball under the advancing Tiago.
What they said
"I would have preferred us to score as an away goal is essential in this competition. This is a result we can still come back from, though. It's going to be a very tough second leg," Claudio Ranieri, Juventus coach.
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