Real Madrid cruised to a comfortable 2-1 victory at the Parc de Princes to seal their spot in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
The reigning champions played like they were a level above their hosts on the night. Even without Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale on the pitch for most of the game, they had no trouble giving the PSG defence and midfield a difficult time.
While both sides enjoyed 50% of the possession, Real made far better use of it. Ronaldo headed home the opener in the 51st minute to make the score 1-4. The battles in midfield were hard fought but Marco Verratti’s 66th send off with the score at 0-1 effectively sealed Real Madrid’s victory.
Cavani pulled one back with a stroke of luck in the 71st minute to give the Parisians some hope, but Casemiro 80th minute strike was deflected into the net and with the aggregate score at 2-5, there was no coming back from that with 10 minutes to go. The side that took their chances and kept their discipline won and it was a well deserved victory for Los Blancos.
Keylor Navas: 7
Had two saves to make, did both very well. One of which was a one on one scenario with Edison Cavani. Could do nothing for the goal.
Dani Carvajal: 7
Had a relatively easy night as compared to Marcelo, but that doesn’t mean it was without its fair share of threats. Hardly went upfront, left that to Marcelo and stayed back to defend, which he did very well.
Sergio Ramos: 8
Cut a calm, composed and resolute figure in the heart of defence. Didn’t let the PSG attack get the better of him on any occasion and together with Varane, nullified Cavani’s impact almost completely. Could do nothing for the goal that was conceded and even managed to force a save from Areola.
Raphael Varane: 8
Had a good game throughout. The speed of PSG’s attack never troubled him and he dealt with whatever came his way comfortably. Could have perhaps done better to close down Thiago Silva’s pass which eventually led to the goal that his side conceded.
Did well to keep Di Maria at bay for the entire night. Had an awkward start but soon found his groove and there was no stopping him then. Had the busier flank when compared to that of Dani Carvajal, but still managed to get forward often.
Lucas Vazquez: 8.5
It was a superb game from the young Spaniard. Extremely hardworking, he contributed in both attack and defence. Created 5 good chances for his teammates, one of which was converted by Cristiano Ronaldo. After this game, Gareth Bale has reason to fear for his place in the starting XI.
2 blocks, 11 recoveries, 4 completed tackles and he had a 92% percent pass accuracy in the final third. However, he did play an unfortunate role in the goal that his side conceded, but more than made up for it after getting a goal himself (with a considerable amount of help from Marquinhos). It was a good game for the Brazilian and after Veratti’s departure, it became a more enjoyable one.
Mateo Kovacic: 7.5
Kovacic had a good game in the center of midfield. His only fault was that he was a bit too rash with his challenges and seemed a bit too eager to impress. Passed well, helped break up PSG’s attacks and ensured that his defenders had a relatively comfortable evening.
Marco Asensio: 8
Unlucky to not get a goal himself when he rattled the post with a shot. Kept Dani Alves at bay the entire night and didn’t let the Brazilian get the better of him. Helped set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal by playing a key pass to Lucas Vazquez and linked well with Marcelo.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 9
Does what he does best, score. After a difficult start to the season for the Portuguese international, we are at that point again where a game without a Cristiano Ronaldo goal feels almost incomplete. Leapt high over Marquinhos to get on the end of Lucas Vazquez’s cross and headed the ball in with pinpoint accuracy. Had his frustrating moments, but got the job done like only he can.
Karim Benzema: 6
The Frenchman missed two great chances. The first, a one-on-one with Areola and the second when he had the chance to set up Ronaldo while the scores were at 1-1, instead he chose to have a go himself and missed. A frustrating night for Karim. Does everything well enough in the build up, but isn’t able to apply the finish touch.
Toni Kroos: 7
Came on for Mateo Kovacic in the 71st minute and kept things ticking in midfield. PSG were reduced to 10 men a few minutes before and as a result, the German had a comfortable game in midfield alongside Casemiro. Exuded a level of calm and composure that was lacking in Kovacic’s game.