Cristiano Ronaldo helped to overturn Adrien Rabiot’s opener at the Santiago Bernabeu to give Real Madrid the edge over Paris Saint-Germain.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Adrien Rabiot’s away goal had put the Ligue 1 leaders in front in the Champions League last-16 tie, but Ronaldo’s double and Marcelo’s late strike gave the home side the victory.
The clash has been billed as potentially critical to the futures of head coaches Zinedine Zidane and Unai Emery, with both under pressure to deliver the biggest prize in European football this season, but the Madrid boss will be the happier ahead of the return fixture at Parc des Princes.
Madrid, winners of the tournament in three of the last four years, were the stronger side in the opening half-hour but suffered a blow when Rabiot broke the deadlock 33 minutes in.
The visitors had defended well in the absence of captain Thiago Silva, who was benched in favour of Presnel Kimpembe, but Ronaldo made no mistake from the penalty spot to make it 1-1 with his 100th goal in the competition for Madrid.
Ronaldo added a fortunate second before Marcelo struck a third just three minutes later, as the holders secured a valuable first-leg lead ahead of the visit to the French capital on March 6.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Real Madrid: Navas, Nacho, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro (Vazquez 79′), Kroos, Isco (Asensio 79′), Benzema (Bale 68′), Ronaldo,
Substitutes: Casilla, Hernandez, Hakimi, Asensio, Kovacic
Booked: Nacho, Isco
Goal: Ronaldo 45′, 83′, Marcelo 86′
PSG: Areola, Alves, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Berchiche, Verratti, Lo Celso (Draxler 84′), Rabiot, Mbappe, Cavani (Meunier 66′), Neymar
Substitutes: Trapp, Silva, Di Maria, Diarra, Draxler, Pastore
Booked: Neymar, Le Celso, Rabiot, Meunier
Goal: Rabiot 33′
Madrid made a flying start but the game soon became a little cagier, with neither team eager to over-commit in attack, and a frustrating opening 20 minutes for Neymar was compounded when he was booked for kicking Nacho Fernandez.
Ronaldo was denied by Alphonse Areola with the first clear chance of the match, the PSG goalkeeper racing out to block his effort from Marcelo’s brilliant pass, but Rabiot made the most of the visitors’ best opening of the half.
Nacho cut out Kylian Mbappe’s cross but only turned it into the path of Rabiot, who swept the ball past Keylor Navas from just inside the box.