Champions League

Twitter reacts as Benzema trumps Mbappe to dump PSG out of Champions League

Krishan Davis
Karim Benzema came up clutch
Karim Benzema came up clutch / JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

And breathe.

WHAT a game of football we were treated to at the Bernabeu, with two heavyweights of European football coming head-to-head in a finely-poised Champions League tie on an iconic ground.

While all eyes were on the heir to the Bernabeu throne before kick-off and during the match, it was the ageing king who came up clutch and stole the show.

Karim Benzema's stunning second-half hat-trick saw Real Madrid come from behind on aggregate and dump Mbappe, Neymar, Messi and co out of the Champions League as PSG came up short AGAIN in Europe's premier club competition.

Some supporters called it when the team news emerged an hour before kick-off, with Mauricio Pochettino once again opting to deploy a very defensive midfield of Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes and Danilo Pereira.

The comeback looked so unlikely for Real when that man Mbappe appeared to have grabbed the headlines once again late in the first half.

Having already had one strike ruled out for offside, the Frenchman latched onto Neymar's pass on halfway before bearing down on goal and firing an intelligent finish inside Thibaut Courtois' near post.

The linesman would be a key figure early in the second half too, denying us what would have been a classic Champions League goal from - you guessed it - Mbappe.

Just look at that body swerve...

Not to be outdone, Benzema grabbed the tie by the scruff of the neck and laid claim to the Bernabeu crown - although he had a little help from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Italy international gifted the ball to Real Madrid in his own penalty area, and seconds later it was in the back of his net. An absolute clanger.

Just over 15 minutes later, Benzema was at it again - scoring twice in the space of about 12 seconds and turning the tie on its head.

First, the France international powered home after being picked out by the brilliant Luka Modric, then he popped up in the right place at the right time to produce an instinctive outside-of-the-boot finish from Marquinhos' loose clearance - completing his hat-trick and sending the Bernabeu into raptures.

The result means PSG have fallen well, well short of their long-standing target of winning the Champions League, exiting the competition far earlier than anyone associated with the club will be willing to accept.

Once again, the mentality of the players has been called into question after a second-half capitulation - and it seems this could be a result that makes Mbappe's mind up about a move to the Spanish capital...