Real Madrid strike late to leave Paris with it all to do
Cristiano Ronaldo notched up his 100th and 101st UEFA Champions League goals for Real Madrid as the holders struck late to take a firm grip on this last-16 tie.
Paris Saint-Germain spent much of the evening in the ascendancy at the Bernabéu, and for 12 first-half minutes they held the lead through Adrien Rabiot. Yet right on half-time Giovani Lo Celso, one of several youngsters in the visitors’ side, was penalised for a foul on Toni Kroos and Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot.
The French side had the better of the second period but Madrid remained patient and seven minutes from time Ronaldo struck a fortuitous second. Marcelo soon rubbed salt in Paris wounds scarcely healed from their last trip to Spain 12 months ago, when Barcelona sensationally overturned a 4-0 deficit.
Madrid still have to go to France, though.
Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Ever a man for the big occasion. With his team on the ropes, it was Ronaldo who converted the penalty just before the break, his 100th UEFA Champions League goal for Madrid. He began on his next century late on, finding himself in the right place at the right time to force in after Alphonse Areola had pushed out Marco Asensio’s deflected cross to put his side 2-1 up. There is just something about the No7 and this competition.
Reporter talking points
Joe Walker, Real Madrid: The cliche says it’s a game of two halves but this was more like four quarters for Madrid. They were second best for large parts but Paris could not make their dominance pay and Madrid showed just why they are the kings of Europe. The way they scored two late goals, scenting blood and going for the kill, was the mark of champions.
Chris Burke, Paris: A year on from their Camp Nou collapse, Paris were once again stung by late goals in Spain to leave their quarter-final hopes in doubt. The Ligue 1 leaders acquitted themselves well until the final ten minutes, but they allowed Madrid too much space down their right channel and now face a real test of their credentials at home. Given the firepower in their ranks, however, this tie is far from over.
- Ronaldo is the first player to score 100 UEFA Champions League goals for one club, reaching the landmark in his 95th game
- Ronaldo has scored in the first seven matchdays this season – also a record
- Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in his last 12 UEFA Champions League appearances
- Ronaldo’s tally of 27 round of 16 appearances is three more than any other player
- This is a record 15th round of 16 tie for Real Madrid, one more than Arsenal and, as of next week, Barcelona and Bayern
- Paris lost 3-1 at Madrid in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1993, and won 4-1 at home
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