Real Madrid – like they always have – produced yet another statement European Performance as they knocked the French giants, PSG out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. PSG moved into the game with a slender 1-0 advantage that was soon made into a 2-0 advantage, thanks to some clinical finishing from Kylian Mbappe. But it couldn’t see the Parisian into the next round.

They were struck by the wrath of Real Madrid, rather the wrath of Karim Benzema whose hat-trick gave Real Madrid the three goals that were required for the 13-time winners to advance. It is yet another knockout stages exit for PSG, a club that cannot seem to win the prestigious trophy no matter how many managers they try or how many transfers they make.

Game of Two Halves But Clinical Real Madrid Too Good for PSG

First Half: Energetic Start and Kylian Mbappe Makes It 2-0

Real Madrid kicked off the first half and their game plan was crystal clear from the get-go. Real players were pressing relentlessly and finding themselves in scoring positions inside the box. The plan was to utilize Vinicius Junior’s pace on the left flank and find balls into the box for the magical feet of Karim Benzema or Marco Asensio.

PSG had to restore to counters but the stubborn Madrid defense held up until 33 minutes when PSG got the ball in the net through another clinical Kylian Mbappe strike. However, Nuno Mendes was offside in the buildup and the young Frenchman had his goal chalked off.

Madrid responded positively to the wake-up call from Paris. Benzema found himself at the end of more crosses as the right flank was brought into the game by the speedy legs of Fede Valverde who delivered inviting balls for Benzema to head home.

The Frenchman got close on certain occasions but it was the younger Frenchman, Kylian Mbappe who broke the deadlock on the other end after being released on the break by Neymar. Mbappe slotted home past Thibaut Courtois’s near post while being marked by David Alaba at 39 minutes. The advantage was of two goals for PSG. The two teams went into halftime with PSG leading 1-0 over the 13-time Champions of Europe.

Second Half: Champions League Magic Kicks In

But, the second half was a different story. Mbappe once again started well when he got the ball past Thibaut Courtois for the third time. But, from an offside position, it was one out of three for the youngster. Madrid was woken up this time as the pressing scheme got more intense higher up the pitch with the introduction of substitutes Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo Goes just before the hour mark.

The hard work of the men in white paid off as Karim Benzema’s relentless pressing forced Gianluigi Donarumma into a mistake. He gave the ball away cheaply and it fell perfectly for Vini Jr. to cut it back to Benzema who scored at the near post at the hour mark. Benzema built on the first goal to find the second quickly enough as Luka Modric’s sprint released Vini Jr. who was becoming untouchable for the Paris defense. Vini recycled the ball to Modric who in turn found himself in the assisting end for Benzema’s second at the 76th-minute mark, helped by a hefty deflection off Marquihnos.

PSG lost the ball again right at kickoff. Rodrygo stole the ball and gave into to Vinicius who clinically held on to the ball surrounded by PSG players. Marquinhos’s feet in clearance ricocheted off to fall perfectly for Benzema to hit it first-time and slot it past Donarumma’s far post. The comeback was complete and Benzema had his hat-trick. The tie of 180 minutes was changed within 18 quality minutes from the home-side.

Luka Modric looked to add another from a similar position and technique with which he scored a wonder left-foot strike against Real Sociedad in the last game. This time it was just wide.

There were four minutes added to the regulation period. Lionel Messi had a great chance of forcing extra-time with a free-kick that he slightly overhit at the 91-minute mark. From there it was more clean defending from the European Giants who signaled their arrival into the quarterfinals of UEFA Champions League 2021/22 with a comeback performance for the ages led by the old and young players of Real Madrid’s new generation.

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