Sunday. 19.05.2024

A clinical second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema earned Real Madrid a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday with a 3-1 comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG arrived in Madrid defending a 1-0 first leg lead and Kylian Mbappe's first half goal doubled their advantage.

But a horrible error from keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma presented Benzema with his first just after the hour and a quick-fire double strike in the 76th and 78th minutes earned a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

"In the first leg, we have to say we were lucky to leave there only losing 1-0," said Benzema. "But we knew it would be different in Madrid.

"We pushed, we conceded a goal, but we were confident that we would have chances. It's a big Champions League evening and we showed we're a big club."

PSG's failure was five years and one day from when Barcelona overturned a huge deficit against them in the Champions League and this loss will hurt just as much.

"It's a big blow," said PSG sporting director Leonardo Araujo. "The first goal changed things.

"We lost ourselves a bit and it changed Real Madrid. It was the decisive moment. We have to accept our mistakes and our inability to handle difficult situations.

"At half-time, we were convinced we were the better side and that we were going to go through with a squad that could win the competition. When things happen, we have to think about it and ponder why it happened, but we need time for that."

Two goals disallowed

Madrid target Mbappe had two goals disallowed as he controlled the game early on but faded and self-inflicted wounds cost Mauricio Pochettino's side dearly. Lionel Messi was hardly a factor in his return to Spain.

Record champions Real will enter the March 18 last eight draw along with Manchester City, who drew 0-0 with Sporting Lisbon after a 5-0 canter in Portugal.

Bayern Munich and Liverpool progressed on Tuesday and the remaining second legs are played next week.

Mbappe has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real and his performance, including the 39th minute opener from Neymar's through ball, did not hurt his reputation.

That is in contrast to the PSG defence which collapsed spectacularly when under little pressure.

Donnarumma dallied on a back pass when approached by Benzema, sliced the ball across goal and Benzema finished when Vinicius Junior squared back to him.

The France forward headed just wide, and Vinicius missed a great chance as PSG wobbled before falling apart.

Goalless draw in Manchester

Luka Modric's wonderful pass released Vinicius who raced up the park and the Croatian midfielder fed Benzema to level with a deflection from the return.

A video check delayed matters but just 10 seconds after kick-off PSG were heading out the competition when Marquinhos' weak clearance was poked in by Benzema for his hat-trick from the edge of the box.

Despite the wealth of attacking talent at their disposal PSG were beaten and Real could have made it four in the final stages.

In Manchester, Sporting restored some order with a defensive display earning a goalless draw after their debacle in Lisbon. Gabriel Jesus had a potential winner disallowed for offside but Premier League leaders City are unlikely to be too concerned.

"We played the same way we always play," Manchester City captain Fernandinho told BT Sport. "The second half we scored but it was offside and they had more chances. But that's football, sometimes you don't get lucky."

Brilliant Benzema rescues Real Madrid in comeback win over PSG