Real Madrid v Paris St Germain – story of the match
Real are aiming for their third straight Champions League title.
Two late Real Madrid goals earned the reigning Champions League holders a 3-1 home victory over Paris St Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Zinedine Zidane’s side had fallen behind to Adrien Rabiot’s opener before Cristiano Ronaldo levelled from the penalty spot prior to the break.
Zidane, under increasing pressure due to Real’s domestic struggles, then introduced Marco Asensio with 11 minutes to go and the substitute’s cross was eventually turned in by Ronaldo’s knee, with another Asensio cross then finished by Marcelo for the second goal in three minutes.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Cristiano Ronaldo
Reports of Ronaldo’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. His first goal may have been from the penalty spot, and he may have known little about his second, but when Real needed their talisman he once again stepped up in the big occasion.
The importance of Asensio’s arrival
PSG were well on top in the second half but after Zidane called for Asensio 11 minutes from time, the tide turned. The substitute was responsible for creating both of Real’s two late goals as the visitors never got to grips with him down the left.
PSG unravel again
It was not quite as dramatic as last year’s collapse against Barcelona but PSG once again suffered in a Champions League knock-out contest by losing concentration late on. For all their attacking flair, they still appear to be missing some steel and European nous.
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas 6 (out of 10), Nacho 7, Sergio Ramos 8, Raphael Varane 6, Marcelo 8, Toni Kroos 7, Casemiro 6, Luka Modric 6, Isco 6, Karim Benzema 6, Cristiano Ronaldo 8. Substitutes: Gareth Bale (on for Benzema, 68) 7, Lucas Vazquez (on for Casemiro, 79) 6, Marco Asensio (on for Isco, 79) 8.
Paris St Germain: Alphonse Areola 7, Dani Alves 6, Marquinhos 7, Presnel Kimpembe 7, Yuri Berchiche 6, Marco Verratti 6, Giovani Lo Celso 5, Adrien Rabiot 8, Kylian Mbappe 6, Edinson Cavani 6, Neymar 6. Substitutes: Thomas Meunier (on for Cavani, 66) 6, Julian Draxler (on for Lo Celso, 85) 6.
Who’s up next?
Real Betis v Real Madrid (LaLiga, February 18)
Paris St Germain v Strasbourg (Ligue 1, February 17)