Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid was billed as the highlight fixture of the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 and the second leg at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night didn’t disappoint, with Los Blancos edging the man-down hosts 2-1 to qualify 5-2 on aggregate.
At half-time, the teams were deadlocked with Real going through if the scores remained like that as they held a 3-1 advantage from the first leg.
The 12-time champions, however, put daylight between themselves as star man Cristiano Ronaldo soared highest to head home the opener early in the second-half before Marco Verratti lost his head and got himself sent off for a second bookable offence.
PSG already had an onerous task and now it was literally mission impossible but Edinson Cavani would briefly give the home fans a glimmer of hope with a lucky leveller but Casemiro’s defected effort ensured the French giants would exit the competition at the same stage for the second year in a row.
The Statesman’s player ratings from the entertaining tie in the French capital:
Dealt with crosses fairly well and was quick to launch a break for his side. Distribution was average, however and the young Frenchman has plenty to learn. Perhaps could have collected the cross or punched it away, but the smoke made it difficult to judge. Wasn’t at fault for the second goal as it took a massive deflection of his defender.
Stuck to his task of defending well and wasn’t hesitant to join in the attack. However, the final product was lacking almost every time he got in on the attack.
For the most part, was immense in defence and tried his best to lead the team to an improbable victory. Organisational skills on set-pieces were good, but could he and Marquinhos have done more for Ronaldo’s opener?
Had a similar outing to his compatriot, doing well to shackle Ronaldo for the most part, except for once and the Portuguese made them pay.
Along with Di Maria, the worst PSG player on the pitch by a country mile. Passes were misplaced too often, tracking back was non-existent and his delivery in the final third was woeful. Where is the Dani Alves that made a mockery of his age?
Not a regular starter, the Italian veteran did his job fairly well despite clearly not having the legs anymore. Hooked for Pastore in second-half as PSG went all-in after Ronaldo’s opener.
Was outstanding right until he lost his head. Getting cautions or even getting sent-off for fouls is understandable, but for dissent? After some stupendous goal-saving tackles, let his team down and the game was really done after he went in for an early bath.
Couldn’t replicate his goalscoring exploits from the first leg, but was decent overall without truly excelling in any department. Always positive, looking to find his forwards at every opportunity.
Angel Di Maria
In the squad after Neymar’s injury and up against his former side, Di Maria had plenty to prove but sadly, couldn’t put a foot right on the night. Struggled to beat his man, crosses were off and he failed to put away the few chances that came his way.
He may have had goal chalked up to his name, but those watching the tie know he didn’t do much for it. Booked for a studs-up challenge in the second-half. Can’t question his desire but clearly he’s not the right man to lead PSG on the continental stage on his won.
At 19, Mbappe still has the world at his feet but the on-loan Monaco man showed his naivety one too many times against Real. Had he been more clinical or even made better decisions, the tie could well have been turned on its head.
Why Emery sent Pastore on before Draxler is a mystery for the Argentine put in an abject performance. Passes went astray too many times to count and he didn’t have the will to win the ball back either.
Replaced the disappointing Di Maria with 15 minutes left but couldn’t do much of note.
Brought on in the closing stages as Emery sought to do damage control.
Was called into action on a few chances, but did fine on most. Not at fault for Cavani’s fortuitous strike. Another sold display from an underrated custodian.
Looked a bit rusty after missing the last few games with an injury, but covered his flank adequately.
A wilful runner on the right side all game long, Carvajal linked up with Lucas Vazquez linked up quite well throughout.
Superb game from the Frenchman, who’s showing his class as the business end of the season nears.
Another top showing from the Real skipper, even if he did end up going into the book.
Had been tasked with disrupting the opposition side’s rhythm and did it perfectly. Got booked for his efforts and was taken off by Zidane before he got himself sent off.
Much had been made of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos’ absence but the Brazilian hard-man showed he’s worth his weight in gold as he shielded his defence with ease and got himself on the score-sheet too.
After his first-leg heroics, got the nod ahead of Bale and did enough. Heavily involved in the first goal and was a constant menace on the left wing. Some of his crosses weren’t the best, however, and he can still improve on his delivery in the final third.
While Asensio usually grabs the plaudits, Vazquez gets bypassed often and the Spaniard put in a tidy shift on the flank once again. Got himself an assist for the opener and was key in the build-up to the winner as well.
Not an ideal performance by any stretch of the imagination but will likely get overlooked as Real booked their berth. Might lose his place ahead of the quarters if he keeps playing like this.
Not a vintage Ronaldo performance but Real’s talisman popped at the right time to effectively end the tie. He’s in great form of late and his gargantuan leap for the opener was something else. Could have been sent off had his swipe on Dani Alves connected early on and will have to keep his petulance in check.
Replaced Kovacic in the second-half as Real sought to see the game out. Did his job of controlling the midfield fairly well.
Came on in the final 15 minutes of the tie but couldn’t do much, even though he tried. Clearly not high on confidence at the moment.
Replaced Asensio in the final stages and did sting Areola’s palms with a fierce effort but simply didn’t have enough time to make an impact.