Real Madrid booked their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League as the Spanish side defeated Paris Saint-Germain at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
After a goalless draw in Paris two weeks ago, the sides were aiming to get past their opponents to secure a top position in the Group A. Paris Saint-Germain was on top of their game as they dominated the first half. Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas was in good touch and did his best to stop the traveling side from getting a lead.
The French club suffered an early setback when Rabiot replaced injured Marco Verratti in the 17th minute. On the other end, the hosts also lost Marcelo due to injury after 30 minutes mark. Thus, both the teams had to modify their game plan and strategy due to early substitutions.
Nacho Fernandez, who replaced injured Marcelo, opened the scoring with his first touch to give Real Madrid a three-point advantage over the French champions. The hosts nearly found an equalizer two minutes after Nacho’s goal but Rabiot’s effort from 20 yards came off the woodwork.
At the interval, Real Madrid was lucky to be ahead after PSG’s barrage of attacks and best shots. The home side raised their game in the later part of the contest to claim a vital three points.
Minutes before the final whistle, Angel Di Maria had an opportunity to score an equalizer but he struck against the crossbar. The Argentine forward Di Maria returned to Bernabeu for the first time since his move to Manchester United in summer 2014.
Laurent Blanc’s men were unable to find way past Keylor Navas, who is yet to concede a goal in the Champions League. The Costa Rican, who almost left Madrid in the summer, is the competition’s only unbeaten goalkeeper. IMAGE/Getty Images