REVIEW: Five Talking Ponts From Real Madrid 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain

REVIEW: Five Talking Ponts From Real Madrid 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain

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The Portuguese struck twice and Brazilian fullback Marcelo added a third to give Los Blancos a two-goal advantage

Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace put Real Madrid in the driving seat of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.

The Portuguese struck twice and Brazilian fullback Marcelo added a third to give Los Blancos a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg in France.

In the first half, Adrien Rabiot had fired PSG ahead, but Ronaldo levelled from the penalty spot after Giovani Lo Celso felled Toni Kroos.

Ronaldo put Real ahead seven minutes from time, bundling home after Alphone Areola had parried Marco Asensio’s centre.

And Asension then fed Marcelo whose deflected strike had too much fizz for Areola.

Here are five talking points from the Bernabeu…

1. Bale overlooked by Zidane

When Gareth Bale wasn’t selected to start for Real Madrid for their victory over Real Sociedad at the weekend, it was thought he was being rested for this evening.

But the Welshman was once again restricted to a role as a substitute for the stand-out tie of the last 16, being left out in favour of Isco.

He came on in the 68th minute and his best moment was an intelligent run down the right to nod back into the path of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Bale continues to be linked with a return to the Premier League with Manchester United seemingly his most likely destination.

And being snubbed once more by his current boss here will do nothing to make those rumours go away.

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2. Real fans answer Ronaldo’s calls

Real Madrid fans aren’t exactly world renowned for being the most boisterous, particularly in domestic fixtures.

But they turned up int heir droves this evening and answered the calls of their superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

“On Wednesday we have a very important match against a great team,” the Portuguese said pre-match.

“What me and the team are asking for is your unconditional support like always and together we will be much stronger. Hala Madrid!”

The Los Blancos support put on a hell of a show when the team bus arrived at the Bernabeu, lining the streets with flares to show the players that, despite winning it in each of the last two seasons, the European Cup still means as much as ever for the people of Madrid.

And the raucous backing continued inside the ground providing an atmosphere to remember and one worthy of these two fantastic sides.

3. Not Neymar’s best night

This wasn’t a bad display from Neymar, but he has certainly played better on the big stage.

He was booked early for a cynical, needless challenge on Nacho, and on another day could have seen red in the second half for simulation.

The Brazilian slipped when the ball was played into him by Presnel Kimpembe and lost it shortly afterwards when opting to pass in a shooting position.

He did have a couple of moments, playing in Kylian Mbappe for a chance the Frenchman should have buried and producing an outrageous piece of skill to take on Marcelo.

The former Barca man also pinged the referee in the head with the ball, which left the official needing a spot of assistance.

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He probably got stronger as the game went on, but Neymar will undoubtedly want to have a bigger impact on proceedings in the return leg at the Parc des Princes as he bids to inspire a famous comeback.

4. Ronaldo continues to break records

Another game, another record for the remarkable Cristiano Ronaldo.

His first-half penalty was his 100th Champions League goal for Real Madrid and he became the first player in history to reach that landmark for a single club.

And he popped up with the crucial winner seven minutes from time, bundling home a rebound after Alphonse Areola parried Marco Asensio’s centre.

Unbelievably, Ronaldo has scored more goals in Europe’s premier competition than 117 of the 137 teams to have featured in it over the years.

He is a true footballing phenomenon and, much like Clasico rival Lionel Messi, we will only fully appreciate his marvel when he hangs up his boots.

5. Real a different beast in the Champions League

Despite their troubles in La Liga this season, you just knew Real would be a different kettle of fish at Europe’s top table.

Even after going behind, they were calm, composed and always looked like getting back into the game.

Los Blancos are not back-to-back European champions for no reason; they’re a well-assembled group of incredibly talented footballers and are more than capable of making it three in a row in 2017-18.

And they have one foot in the last eight as they bid for yet more European history.

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