- Mbappé put PSG ahead, but Real Madrid came from behind and will be in the quarterfinals of the Champions League
Karim Benzema scored a sensational hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and secured an almost incredible 3-2 victory in the Champions League round of 16.
Kylian Mbappe, who will go on a free transfer to Real Madrid at the end of the season, gave PSG a two-goal lead in the draw with a break goal late in the first half, a goal that kept Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay. highest scorer of all time in Ligue 1 with 157 goals.
Benzema, however, led an emotional reaction from the Whites in the second half, scoring his first in the 61st minute after a big mistake by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
He then sealed the pass to the quarter-finals with two goals in two minutes, leaving Mauricio Pochettino’s men stunned.
The first clear chance of the game came in the 13th minute when a low shot from very close range from Mbappé was stopped by the legs of Thibaut Courtois.
Only a superb save from Donnarumma prevented Benzema’s shot from reaching the top right corner midway through the first half, before Mbappe’s goal was disallowed after Nuno Mendes was ruled offside.
He was not denied six minutes before half-time, but the World Cup winner grabbed Neymar’s first pass and became entangled in the post closest to Courtois, just inside the repair area.
Mbappe thought he had doubled PSG’s lead shortly after the restart, but was again ruled out by the offside flag after passing Courtois.
Real Madrid closed the gap in the 61st minute, with Benzema heading a pass from Vinicius Júnior after Donnarumma’s unfortunate shot under pressure from the French international.
Benzema put his team on aggregate in the 76th minute with a deflected shot after it was spotted by an agile pass from Luka Modric.
The talisman striker made an impressive comeback when PSG lost possession from kick-off, sending Vinicius’ pass home and causing cheering scenes at the Santiago Bernabeu.
What does this mean? Sublime reaction surprises PSG
PSG looked poised for a round of 16th place after Mbappe scored in the first half, but Real Madrid and Benzema in particular had other ideas.
Ancelotti’s men recorded an xG of 2.18, with 86% of them in an inspired second half.
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino’s despondent side have won just one of their last nine Champions League away games against Spanish opponents.
Benzema doesn’t brake
In his 500th appearance for Madrid in all competitions, Benzema ensured that the headlines would all belong to him with a sensational hat-trick. At 34 years and 80 days, he became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in Champions League history by beating Olivier Giroud against Sevilla in December 2020 (four goals – 34 years and 66 days).
Donnarumma’s inexplicable mistake
Everything the PSG goalkeeper did when he had the ball at his feet for Benzema’s first goal will remain a mystery for some time to come. It’s no exaggeration to say that this burlesque goalkeeper has cost his team a place in the Champions League round of 16 given how well prepared he is.
Both teams are next in domestic action, with Real Madrid visiting Real Mallorca on Monday and PSG receiving Bordeaux the day before.