After Round of 16 first-leg, how do teams rank in 2023-24 UEFA Champions League?

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The first leg matches of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the 2023-24 season have concluded, with some major teams facing the risk of an early exit, while others have secured a chance to advance to the quarter-finals.

Several matchups remain undecided ahead of the return leg matches next month, but Manchester City, the defending champions from the previous season, and Real Madrid are largely expected to progress to the quarter-finals.

Paris Saint-Germain seems to be in a strong position, and Inter, last season's runner-up, appears formidable again. "Man City Square" ranks the teams based on their strength and their potential to win the title this year as follows:

16. Copenhagen
Copenhagen's journey in this season's UEFA Champions League was initially underestimated by critics, facing tough opponents like Bayern Munich and Manchester United in the group stage. However, the team secured a historic qualification to the crucial rounds after a remarkable 4-3 victory over Manchester United, a goalless draw against Bayern Munich, and a 1-0 win against Galatasaray in the final group match.
Despite reaching the Round of 16 for only the second time in the club's history, Copenhagen's Champions League campaign is nearing its end after a 3-1 defeat in the first leg against the reigning champions, Manchester City.

15. RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig came close to topping Group 7 after a surprising 2-0 lead against Manchester City in the fifth round, but they eventually lost 3-2. The German team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the Round of 16 first leg, missing key player Bellingham. Their chances of advancing in the tournament are now challenging.

14. Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad caught the attention of European football with consecutive victories over Benfica, who reached the quarter-finals last season. They remained unbeaten in the group stage, but a 2-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16 first leg puts them in a challenging position. Real Sociedad needs offensive strength and successful goal-scoring in the second leg to continue their journey.

13. PSV Eindhoven
PSV Eindhoven had a disastrous start in the Champions League, losing 4-0 to Arsenal in the first round and later drawing with Sevilla and Lorient. However, they secured the second spot in the group behind Arsenal and advanced to the Round of 16. PSV managed to achieve a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in the first leg, displaying impressive performances domestically.

Despite Dortmund's struggles in the Bundesliga, they performed well in Europe, making it difficult to defeat them at their home stadium.

12. Napoli
Napoli is not the same impressive team as last season, mainly due to the dismissal of coach Luciano Spalletti and the subsequent changes in coaching staff. Currently sitting in seventh place in the Serie A, Napoli faces challenges in qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Despite Napoli's domestic struggles, they managed to draw 1-1 against Barcelona in the Round of 16 first leg. Victor Osimhen, the team's star, returned to score goals, and Napoli will fight to revive their season.

11. Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone expressed satisfaction with his team's performance despite a 1-0 loss against Inter in the Round of 16 first leg at San Siro. Atletico Madrid is capable of a comeback in the second leg at the Metropolitano, with Alvaro Morata expected to be ready. However, Inter is currently in excellent form, boasting the best defense in Europe, making the Spanish team's task challenging.

10. Lazio
Despite poor performances in Serie A, Lazio reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League with one match to spare. They continued their European success by defeating Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first leg of the Round of 16. If Lazio manages to advance at the expense of Bayern Munich, it will be the surprise of the tournament, but the Bavarian giants will undoubtedly fight to qualify in the return leg.

9. Porto
Porto secured qualification to the Round of 16 with a 5-3 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, finishing second in Group 8 behind Barcelona. In a surprising turn of events, Porto defeated Arsenal 1-0 in the first leg of the Round of 16. While the second leg at the Gunners' stadium will be challenging, Porto has nothing to lose and will continue to fight for progression.

8. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich secured qualification to the crucial stages of the Champions League after the fourth round, earning 16 points out of 18. However, they suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat to Lazio in the Round of 16 first leg, leading to the decision for manager Thomas Tuchel to leave at the end of the season. Bayern needs to win convincingly in the second leg to continue their campaign.

7. Arsenal
Arsenal delivered an impressive performance in their return to the Champions League group stage after a four-year absence. Despite a surprising defeat to Lorient in the second round, they bounced back with three consecutive victories to top Group 2 before facing a shocking 1-0 loss to Porto in the Round of 16 first leg. While manager Mikel Arteta expresses confidence in their ability to qualify, the defeat suggests Arsenal lacks sufficient European experience to advance further.

6. Barcelona
Barcelona achieved their primary goal of qualifying for the Round of 16 for the first time in three seasons, which holds significant importance from both a sporting and financial perspective. However, Barcelona failed to capitalize on Napoli's chaos, settling for a 1-1 draw in the Round of 16 first leg, postponing the determination of the quarter-finalist to the second leg. While Barcelona is the likely candidate to advance, they must exert significant effort against Napoli, who might improve their performance in the coming month.


5. Borussia Dortmund
Very few critics gave Dortmund a chance to survive the "Group of Death," but the German team shattered expectations by qualifying before the final round and topping the group. Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 against PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 16 first leg but remains in a good position to advance to the quarter-finals.

4. Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the Round of 16 as the runner-up in Group 6, but the team, under coach Luis Enrique, has not shown convincing form in this season's Champions League. Kylian Mbappe's struggles in leading the team individually were evident. PSG achieved a crucial 2-0 victory over tough opponents Real Sociedad in the Round of 16 first leg. Paris relies on Mbappe's prowess and his desire to win the title before leaving at the end of the season. While not reaching the same level as City and Madrid, PSG should at least secure qualification to the quarter-finals.

3. Inter Milan
The reigning runner-up has not displayed exceptional form so far, but they managed to qualify for the Round of 16 and secured a crucial 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the first leg. Inter will travel to Madrid with confidence in their defensive excellence and counter-attacking prowess to complete the task and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.

2. Real Madrid
Real Madrid maintained a perfect record in the group stage, winning all their matches and showcasing offensive strength by scoring 7 goals against Napoli. Despite Manchester City's superiority over Real Madrid in last year's semi-finals, the presence of Jude Bellingham may make Real Madrid's journey to the final easier this year. Real Madrid secured a 1-0 victory over German side RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 first leg, even without Bellingham due to injury. Despite missing key defensive and attacking players, the Spanish team proves their status as European football kings.

1. Manchester City
The defending champions qualified for the Round of 16 two rounds before the group stage's conclusion, as expected in their relatively weaker Group 7. Manchester City boasts a perfect record, winning all six matches, though they showed some vulnerabilities by keeping a clean sheet only once. Pep Guardiola is confident in his ability to defend the title, especially with Kevin De Bruyne's return. Drawing Copenhagen, the easiest opponent in the Round of 16, City secured a convincing 3-1 victory in the first leg, making their progression to the quarter-finals highly likely.