Real Madrid advanced to the quarter-final of this season’s Champions League, forcing Paris Saint-Germain out at the earliest with a 2-1 away win at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.
The current holders took a 3-1 advantage into the second leg, while the French side had it all to do, especially after losing Brazilian sensation Neymar to injury.
Things kicked off after a moment of silence was observed in light of the passing of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori. And the home side certainly looked up for it, racing out of the blocks under the cover of a thick fog of smoke caused by the many flares cracked in the French stadium.
Madrid weren’t made to feel very uncomfortable though, appearing up for it just as much as the hosts. The Spanish side recorded the first shot on target, coming very close to taking the lead in the 17th minute through Sergio Ramos’s close-range shot after he got on the end of Marco Asensio’s cross to force a good save from Alphonse
Real didn’t take very long to get things going in the second half, with their most likely scorer Cristiano Ronaldo breaking the deadlock by means of a precise header in the 51st minute.
Dani Alves somewhat lackadaisically gave the ball away to Asensio
The goal marked the 437th of Ronaldo’s Madrid career, an incredible stat when you realise he’s scored 10 more goals than he’s played games for Los Blancos.
Things were made significantly worse for the home side when Marco Verratti was shown red for a second bookable offence in the 66th minute. Yet they did manage to put one past the Madrid defence 20 minutes from time when Angel di Maria’s cross found Thiago Silva, whose header hit Ramos before bouncing off Cavani’s leg and into the goal.
Madrid regained the lead not long after, however, with Casemiro’s deflected shot beating Areola to give the visiting side a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes to go.
Unai Emery took Kylian Mbappe off for former Real midfielder Lassana Diara after the goal, suggesting that he had given up all hope of an improbable comeback.
And after all of the intense summer spending and team building which took place during the summer, it would be the current champions who would march on from this tie, despite their horrific domestic form.
PSG: Alphonse Areola; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Yuri Berchiche; Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot; Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe.