Ronaldo leads Madrid past Paris again
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Holders Real Madrid reached their eighth consecutive UEFA Champions League quarter-final thanks to second-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro.
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Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his record of scoring in every UEFA Champions League game this season as Real Madrid eased into the last eight with a 5-2 aggregate win against Paris Saint-Germain.
Leading 3-1 from the first leg, Madrid produced a resolute first-half display to nullify the hosts with Keylor Navas only seriously called into action once, denying Kylian Mbappé. Madrid then struck in the 51st minute as Lucas Vázquez crossed for Ronaldo to head in for the ninth consecutive UEFA Champions League match, equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy's competition record.
Marco Verratti's dismissal for two bookings hampered Paris further, though they did level on the night through Edinson Cavani. Madrid's progress was confirmed ten minutes from time when Casemiro pounced on Adrien Rabiot's headed clearance to drive in via a deflection.
Key player: Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid)
Zidane raised a few eyebrows by including Vázquez in place of Bale but was rewarded with a top-class display. He might not be the most fashionable player, but there's a reason he's featured in more games for Madrid than anyone else under the Frenchman.
Reporter talking points
Chris Burke, Paris: A campaign that began with so much promise, and goals galore, ends with the familiar sight of Paris being outclassed by one of Europe's genuine powers. Yes they were unlucky to be drawn against Madrid after topping their group, and also to lose Neymar to injury, but once again they fell short when it mattered. It's back to the drawing board with this defeat sure to prove costly for coach Unai Emery.
Joseph Walker, Real Madrid: Zidane sent out his side to do a job and they accomplished just that. They frustrated Paris, much as in the first leg, and took their chances when they were presented to them. The French coach is showing he is able to get the big decisions right at the important moments and tonight was another example. Nobody will want to draw Madrid in the next round.
- Ronaldo has scored in all eight #UCL games this season
- Ronaldo equals Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in nine straight #UCL games
- All four of Casemiro's #UCL goals have come in the knockout stages
- This was only Paris's second defeat in their last 47 European home games
- Benzema becomes 11th Madrid player to reach 100 #UCL appearances