There was no miracle comeback for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, a 2-1 second-leg defeat at home to Real Madrid seeing them lose their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie 5-2 on aggregate.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
UEFA Champions League last 16, second leg
Paris Saint-Germain 1 – 2 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid win 5-2 on aggregate
PSG were looking to repeat their own feat of 1993, when they lost 3-1 away to Real in the UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg, before winning 4-1 at home in the return. However, this Madrid side are the two-time defending European champions, and Unai Emery’s men are still coming to terms with the loss of Neymar to a foot injury.
The Brazilian’s place at the Parc des Princes was taken by Ángel di María, but the Argentine toiled throughout and only two excellent Alphonse Aréola saves from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema kept PSG in the tie going into half-time.
Nevertheless, it took Madrid just six minutes of the second half to get the goal that effectively ended any doubt as to who would go through. Scorer of a brace in the first leg, Cristiano Ronaldo did it again, heading in from a Lucas Vazquez cross to silence the Parc des Princes (51′).
Verratti sent off
Emery’s side never looked capable of recovering from that, and they were then reduced to 10 men midway through the second half when Marco Verratti was shown a second yellow card for dissent.
There was a brief glimmer of hope when substitute Javier Pastore’s header deflected into the net off Edinson Cavani (71′), but Real went on to win the game on the night via another deflected effort, this time from Casemiro (80′).
Real march on to the quarter-finals, while Paris are left to try and build again for another crack at the Champions League next year.
THE PLAYER: Cristiano Ronaldo
In the absence of Neymar, Ronaldo showed why he remains the best in the business with his third goal in the tie. His goal doused PSG’s hopes and cleared the path for Real to reach the quarter-finals.
THE STAT: 51
PSG had been unbeaten in 51 home games in all competitions, a run going back two years, before this. It was also just their second home defeat in Europe in 47 games. The other came against Barcelona in 2015.