Real Madrid 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain: Cristiano Ronaldo hits century for Real as holders take charge
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 15/02/18 9:07am
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st Champions League goals for Real Madrid as the holders came from behind to secure a late 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in their last-16 first-leg tie at the Bernabeu.
Adrien Rabiot fired PSG ahead in the 33rd minute but Ronaldo equalised on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot to become the first player to hit a century of goals for one team in Europe's elite club competition.
PSG dominated the second half but were made to pay for not converting their chances as Ronaldo's second (83) was followed by a third from Marcelo (86) to give the 12-time winners a healthy lead ahead of the return leg in Paris on March 6.
Real Madrid: Navas (7), Nacho (6), Varane (7), Ramos (7), Marcelo (8), Casemiro (6), Modric (6), Kroos (7), Isco (7), Benzema (6), Ronaldo (8).
Subs: Vasquez (6), Bale (6), Asensio (7).
Paris Saint-Germain: Areola (8), Alves (7), Marquinhos (6), Kimpembe (6), Berchiche (6), Verratti (6), Lo Celso (5), Rabiot (7), Mbappe (6), Cavani (6), Neymar (8).
Subs: Meunier (5), Draxler (n/a).
Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo.
With their season - and potentially Zinedine Zidane's future - hinging on their Champions League campaign, Real flew out of the traps, pressurising the youthful backline selected by Unai Emery.
Surprise PSG inclusion Yuri Berchiche was fortunate not to be penalised for a foul in the area on Toni Kroos in the early Real onslaught, before Ronaldo fired a volley wide in a frantic opening few minutes.
PSG soon found their groove though, with Neymar the chief tormentor of the Real Madrid defence - and the Brazilian played a part in the opening goal, cushioning a Kylian Mbappe cross into the path of Rabiot, who fired over the diving Keylor Navas.
The visitors were well worth their lead and should have doubled their advantage when a close-range Edinson Cavani shot deflected inches wide on 38 minutes, but Real were level within seven minutes.
After the impressive Alphonse Areola had tipped a curling Karim Benzema effort behind for a corner, Giovani Lo Celso hauled Kroos to ground in the area, allowing Ronaldo to reach of century of Real Madrid goals in Europe from 12 yards.
Navas got down low to deny Mbappe's first attempt on goal within four minutes of the restart as PSG took control of the second half, which could have been lost had Neymar picked up a second yellow for theatrically going to ground under a Casemiro challenge.
Instead, it was the 79th-minute inclusion of Marco Asensio which wrestled control away from PSG as his two low crosses were dispatched by the knee of Ronaldo and Marcelo's drive in a thrilling three-minute spell which ensured Zidane, and Real's Champions League defence, lived to fight another day.
Zinedine Zidane made three changes from Saturday’s 5-2 win over Real Sociedad as Nacho, Casemiro and Isco started in place of the suspended Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Unai Emery made a couple of changes following PSG’s 1-0 victory over Toulouse on Saturday as Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani replaced Lassana Diarra and Angel di Maria.
- Real Madrid have won each of their seven Champions League knock-out games at the Bernabeu under Zidane.
- Paris Saint-Germain have lost consecutive games in the Champions League for the first time since April 2015 (under Laurent Blanc).
- Ronaldo's last 12 appearances in the Champions League have seen him score 21 goals, while the only game which he failed to score in this run was against Atletico Madrid in May 2017.
- Paris Saint-Germain have scored 127 goals in 39 games in all competitions this season; the most of any team in the Top 5 European Leagues.
- Rabiot scored his first Champions League goal since April 2016 (v Manchester City), while each of his five goals in all competitions for PSG this term have come in different competitions.
Man of the Match - Cristiano Ronaldo
Asensio's impact from the bench was pivotal but Ronaldo's coolness from the spot to equalise, and awareness to be in the right place to knee Real into the lead after spells of PSG dominance, was telling.
On a night when the Portuguese became the first player to score 100 Champions League goals for a single club, claims of his diminishing influence were firmly put to one side as he set his sights on yet more glory on the biggest of stages.
Real and PSG have nine domestic League and Cup fixtures between them to contest before they battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals at the Parc des Princes on March 6.