Real Madrid Overcome 2-0 Deficit to PSG in Champions League to Advance to Quarter Finals

© REUTERS / SUSANA VERAPSG, Real Madrid, Champions League
PSG, Real Madrid, Champions League - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2022
Real Madrid overcame a 2-0 aggregate deficit to Paris Saint Germaine to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals by a score of 3-2. Real Madrid's Karim Benzema led the comeback with a second-half hat trick in the second leg of the fixture. PSG had won the first leg 1-0 and held a 2-0 aggregate lead with 30 minutes left to play.
The match completely turned in the 61st minute when PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma misplaced a pass intended for Marquinhos. The errant pass was intercepted by Vinicius Junior in PSG's box and set up an easy goal for Karim Benzema.
Before the miscue, PSG held a 1-0 lead in the game, and a 2-0 lead in the two-legged round of 16 Champions League contest. The first leg PSG dominated in Paris at the Parc des Princes, but only managed a 1-0 victory as poor finishing and a saved penalty prevented them from taking the lead until an incredible Kylian Mbappe strike in the 90th minute.
In the second leg, played at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, PSG picked up where they left off. Through the first 60 minutes, they dominated the ball and the chances. Another Kylian Mbappe goal gave them a 2-0 aggregate lead, but poor finishing kept Real within striking distance.
The error from Donnarumma still left PSG with a 2-1 aggregate lead that only needed to be protected for 30 minutes. With Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Mbappe spearheading PSG's attack, Real's desperate last-ditch attack left them vulnerable to leak a goal on the counter. Instead, PSG capitulated under the weight of the moment, while Karim Benzema rose to the occasion.
Real needed 15 minutes to level the score. A probing through ball from Luka Modric to Vinicius put PSG's defense on their heels. Vinicius held up the attack and found Modric at the top of the box, who played Benzema in on goal. Benzema's strike deflected off of a diving Marquinhos and gave Donnarumma no chance to make a save.
PSG's complete collapse came a few kicks later. Off of the kickoff, PSG were disposed of at mid-field and allowed Vinicius to be played in on goal. Marquinhos was able to gain position on Vinicius, but instead of clearing the ball, he attempted to play a pass. His errant pass went right in the path of a charging Karim Benzema, who slotted the ball past Donnarumma to give Real a 3-2 aggregate lead.
The complete collapse is reminiscent of PSG's debacle in the 2017 Champions League round of 16. PSG beat Barcelona 4-0 at home in the first leg, before losing 6-1 in the second leg. Neymar and Messi, current members of PSG, were on the Barcelona team that led the comeback.
Adding insult to the defeat, Kylian Mbappe is rumored to be intending to sign a contract with Real Madrid when his contract with PSG expires in the summer.
PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Champions League round of 16. - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
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