Real in Champions League quarters after beating PSG

BY: BBC

European champions Real Madrid moved into the Champions League quarter-finals as they beat Ligue 1 leaders Paris St-Germain at Parc des Princes.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the first leg at home, which Real won 3-1, and he headed in from Lucas Vazquez's cross to extend Real's lead in France.

PSG had midfielder Marco Verratti sent off for two bookable offences, before Edinson Cavani pulled a goal back.

But Casemiro's heavily deflected strike sealed Real's victory.

For PSG, 14 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, it is the second successive season where they have gone out at the last-16 phase and it leaves manager Unai Emery's future at the club in doubt.

They were without injured forward Neymar and were not helped by Verratti's needless dismissal in the 66th minute. The Italy international was booked when he fouled Casemiro in the first half and was shown a second yellow card when he sprinted after referee Felix Brych and was cautioned for dissent.


Real are now into the Champions League quarter-finals for an eighth successive season and remain on course for a third title in a row.

Real ease pressure on Zidane

Real won the Spanish Supercup in August and the Fifa Club World Cup in December, but manager Zinedine Zidane has come under increasing pressure with the club struggling in La Liga. They are in third place in the Spanish top flight, 15 points behind leaders Barcelona.

However, Zidane got his tactics spot on against PSG, leaving Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale on the bench as he looked to hit the hosts on the counter-attack, with Vazquez and Marco Asensio occupying the wide midfield roles.

PSG had scored 86 goals in 28 Ligue 1 matches and also netted 25 times in their six Champions League group games, but were restricted to only three shots on target in this second leg, which was played in a fantastic atmosphere in Paris.

Ronaldo netted his 12th goal in this season's Champions League when Real pounced on a Dani Alves error and the Portugal forward converted with a powerful header from six yards out after Vasquez's fine cross.

Cavani scored a fortunate equaliser when a clearance rebounded off him into the net, but Casemiro's strike went in off PSG defender Marquinhos as Real made sure of their passage into the next round.

It could have been even worse for PSG as Real also hit the woodwork twice, through Asensio and Vasquez, who collected a pull-back from substitute Bale, but struck the foot of the post.

PSG miss out again on prize they want

Paris St-Germain have won the Ligue 1 title in four of the past five years and are on course for another domestic success as they are 14 points clear of Monaco, who won the championship last season.

However, the main trophy the club's owners, Qatar Sports Investments, had set their sights on was European football's biggest club prize - and once again they have fallen well short.

They spent big in the summer to achieve that target, with Brazil forward Neymar moving from Barcelona for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m), before taking Kylian Mbappe on a season-long loan from Monaco, with an option to make the deal permanent for 180m euros (£165.7m).

PSG desperately missed Neymar, who is expected to be out for the rest of the season after having surgery on a broken bone in his foot following an injury sustained during their 3-0 league win over Marseille last week.

With the money they spent in the summer, this will be seen as another failure in European competition for them and Emery.

Emery, who won the Europa League three times with Sevilla, has failed to take PSG beyond the last 16 in two attempts. Last season they lost 6-5 on aggregate against Barcelona, despite winning the first leg 4-0.

PSG reached the Champions League semi-finals in 1994-95, but have not made it past the quarter-finals since then.


The other Champions League last-16 ties

  • Liverpool beat Portuguese side Porto 5-0 on aggregate after drawing 0-0 in the second leg on Tuesday.
  • Manchester City hold a 4-0 advantage over Swiss side Basel with the return at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
  • Tottenham and Juventus play the second leg at Wembley on Wednesday after drawing 2-2 in Italy.
  • Manchester United entertain Sevilla on Tuesday, 13 March after a goalless draw in the first leg in Spain.
  • Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk have never reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but hold a 2-1 advantage over Roma before the second leg in Rome on Tuesday, 13 March.
  • Bayern Munich will expect to complete their passage into the last eight when they play the second leg against Besiktas on Wednesday, 14 March. The German champions won 5-0 at home in the first leg.
  • Barcelona entertain Chelsea in the second leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 14 March after it finished 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.


Another Champions League goal for Ronaldo - the stats

  • Paris St-Germain lost for only the second time in 47 home games in European competition (won 30, drew 15). Their previous defeat was a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in April 2015.
  • Real Madrid have reached the semi-finals in each of the past seven Champions League campaigns, a record run in the history of the competition.
  • Top scorer in the history of the Champions League (117 goals), Cristiano Ronaldo has netted 22 goals in his last 13 games in the competition, including in every single game this season. In the first leg, he became the first player to reach the 100-goal tally for the same club.
  • This was Karim Benzema's 100th game in the competition (he has scored 53 goals). He became the third French player to reach that tally after Thierry Henry (112 games) and Patrice Evra (108 games).
  • PSG boss Unai Emery has never gone further than the last 16 in his five previous participations as manager in the Champions League.
  • Real Madrid have reached the Champions League quarter-final stage for the eighth successive season - only Barcelona (10) have recorded a longer run in the competition's history.
  • Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos received his 33rd yellow card in the Champions League; more than any other player in the competition.
  • Marco Verratti's sending off was Paris St-Germain's third red card in the Champions League knockout stage since 2012-13; only Porto and Bayern Munich (four) have received more.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is the second player in Champions League history to score in nine consecutive games (14 goals), after Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United in 2003 (12).

Credit: BBC