Champions League Round of 16: 5 big names who failed to step up
After a string of surprises, eight teams have qualified for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.
While the likes of Liverpool, Juventus, Barcelona, Porto, Ajax, and Manchester United produced extraordinary turnarounds in the second leg, the reigning Champions Real Madrid were humbled by the Dutch outfit Ajax at Santiago Bernabeu in the last round. Atletico Madrid were blown away by the Old Lady after taking a 2-0 lead from the first leg.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Sadio Mane were irresistible in their play and helped their sides to slide into the next round of the competition. They dominated the headlines by standing up on the perfect occasion to bail their clubs out of threat by bagging goals on the big stage.
On the other hand, plenty of sides were not able to muster results in the second leg of the tie and their clubs eventually faced elimination from this tournament. Many players were fizzled out by the opponents in the second part of the tie and will not want to recall those miserable moments.
Even though there are plenty of players who have failed to step up the gear, we shall look at the five among them from the last round of the Champions League.
#5 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund were hit with an injury crisis ahead of the first leg against Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16 of the competition. Captain Marco Reus along with Paco Alcacer were ruled out for the clash at Wembley, which forced Lucien Favre to slot Christian Pulisic in the left wing.
The USA International, who is joining Chelsea in the summer transfer window, failed to put in a good performance and missed many chances in the process. During the first half, he was one-v-one with Hugo Lloris, but he somehow found a way to pass the ball to the Spurs skipper instead of wrapping his foot around it.
Besides, the visitors were the best team during the first half, but they failed to take any advantage of it as they lacked conviction when it mattered the most.
Christian Pulisic was the main culprit for that, as the lack of away goals blew away the chances of a comeback at Signal Iduna Park. However, in the reverse leg, he found himself on the bench, and rightfully so.