An incredible second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema has guided Real Madrid to the last eight of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabeu, with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline for the round-of-16 tie.
PSG was in control of the game after Kylian Mbappe fired them ahead on the night, taking a 2-0 lead in the tie.
However, a horrendous mistake from Gianluigi Donnarumma handed Madrid a lifeline as Benzema pressured the keeper and then scored from a Vinicius Junior cutback.
The Frenchman then produced two brilliant finishes in two minutes to notch his hat-trick and fire his team into the quarter-finals, stunning Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois;
Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, David Alaba;
Luka Modric, Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos;
Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
PSG (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma;
Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes;
Leandro Paredes, Danilo Pereira, Marco Verratti;
Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar.
1-0 PSG. Mbappe is released by Neymar and surges upfield before placing a strike past Courtois. Neymar pounces on a loose ball and turns it around the corner first-time for the run of the Frenchman into acres of space. Mbappe drives into the box and squares up Militao before blasting his effort past into the bottom-left corner. Clinical from Mbappe.
1-1 MADRID. The Italian keeper makes a terrible mistake at the back and presents Benzema with an easy chance to convert from close range. Donnarumma takes a backpass from Verratti and hangs on it for far too long. Benzema closes him down, and the loose ball travels to Vinicius. The Brazilian squares to Benzema, who places his effort into the bottom-left corner away from Donnarumma’s desperate lunge.
2-1 MADRID. 2-2 ON AGGREGATE!!! A brilliant Modric run and pass allow Benzema to hammer an effort past Donnarumma. Modric surges through the PSG midfield before he offloads Vinicius on the charge. The Brazilian takes too long to strike and is forced backwards to Modric. However, the veteran midfielder threads the needle to release Benzema in the box, and the Frenchman beats Donnarumma with his strike. A super finish.
3-1 MADRID. 3-2 ON AGGREGATE, Benzema flicks an effort at goal from a cutback from Vinicius, and he finds the bottom-right corner. PSG are cut open straight after Madrid’s second as Vinicius finds space in the final third. He looks for Benzema and finds his teammate with an offload. Benzema takes on the strike first-time and finds the net with the ultimate precision. A remarkable hat-trick from the Frenchman.
So, what’s next for Real Madrid and PSG?
Madrid is next in action against Mallorca on the road following Monday in LaLiga.
PSG have to pick themselves up to focus on their Ligue 1 campaign again when they face Bordeaux on Sunday at the Parc des Princes.
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