Champions League takeaways: There’s still life in Real Madrid
Here’s what happened in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, in case you missed it…
READ ALL ABOUT IT
• Real Madrid 3, Paris Saint-Germain 1: Match report || Scoresheet
• FC Porto 0, Liverpool 5: Match report || Scoresheet
WHAT STOOD OUT
Real will not go gentle into that good night
Reports of Real Madrid’s demise have proven to be premature. It’s not often that they enter a European game on their hallowed turf at the Santiago Bernabeu as the underdogs. That’s the situation Cristiano Ronaldo and his cohorts found themselves in on Wednesday night, though, as they welcomed Paris Saint-Germain to the Spanish capital for the opening leg of this Round of 16 series.
Real finished second in their opening-round group, and sit fourth in the La Liga table, 17 points adrift of leaders Barcelona. They’ve already been eliminated from the Copa del Rey, and there is a legitimate chance that the only way they will clinch a return to the Champions League next season is if they win at all. PSG, on the other hand, has been flying in Ligue 1, thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of Edinson Cavani and Neymar. They won their first-round group (ahead of Bayern Munich, no less) and were being touted in some quarters as the heir apparent to Real Madrid on the European stage ahead of this contest.
However, Real routinely finds a way to win on nights like this. The Champions League is their tournament, their birthright. They have been the spiritual caretakers of the competition ever since its inception, and nobody is going to push them off their thrown without a fight – not even the aspiring upstarts from France.
This was not, it has to be said, a classic Real Madrid performance in the sense that …read more