Real Madrid will travel to the Parc des Princes for the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with a vital two-goal buffer, thanks to a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday evening.
Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Les Parisiens shortly before the half-hour mark, catalysing a sense of uncertainty which called a temporary cease to the deafening atmosphere. However, as Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot moments before half-time to bring Los Blancos back into the tie, the Madridistas shone again.
But as the second 45 drifted away, fear of heading to the French capital without an advantage seemed very real, only for two goals within three minutes late on from the ever-reliant big game talisman and Marcelo offering Zinedine Zidane's side a very defendable lead in three weeks time.
After weeks of focus, considering their domestic form, the capacity
Cristiano Ronaldo is the ONLY player in history to score in the first seven Champions League games of a season.— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 14, 2018
PSG ✅ pic.twitter.com/ndFQJG11mx
The 24-year-old's crucial stop was then magnified insurmountably as less than five minutes later his side had the lead.
Kylian Mbappe gained success down the right before fizzing in a low cross which was dummied by Cavani before being flicked on by Neymar into the path of the late arriving Rabiot, who, after escaping the lacklustre tracking run of Luka Modric, had the time and awareness to slot his attempt down the centre of the goal; evading Navas' pre-empted dive to his right.
However, after finding themselves a goal behind, Zidane's side certainly showed the composure that has been missing for much of their season so far, and on the stroke of half-time the scores were level after Ronaldo blasted home
Karim Benzema initiated the opportunity, as his first time strike from the edge of the area forced a stunning save from Areola. But Kroos' quick thinking from the resulting short corner left
Real Madrid 1-1 PSG HT:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 14, 2018
Pass accuracy: 91%-86%
Chances created: 7-2
Cristiano Ronaldo's late penalty cancels out Adrien Rabiot's opening goal. pic.twitter.com/kA4uSQ8s7G
Substitute Marco Asensio received play on the left-hand edge of Paris' area before drilling a low cross into the area, which, following a short period of pinball, deflected off the unaware 33-year-old, who looked as shocked as anyone in the
Marco Asensio:— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) February 14, 2018
79’ - subbed on
83’ - forces Ronaldo’s equaliser
86’ - assists Marcelo
Nice cameo pic.twitter.com/6bYtXI05aq
Those scenes lasted until the final whistle, bringing an end to a Champions League classic and allowing Los Blancos to head to Paris in three weeks time very much in the ascendency.