Real Madrid 3-1 PSG: Don’t write Zidane off just yet

Real Madrid scored twice in the final 10 minutes to give themselves a handsome 3-1 cushion in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie versus Paris Saint-Germain this evening.

The runaway Ligue 1 leaders headed to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as many people’s favourites with Zinedine Zidane’s side being written off due to their poor start to the 2017-18 La Liga season.

Both sides had opportunities to open the scoring, notably with Neymar failing to pick out an unmarked Kylian Mbappé before Cristiano Ronaldo fired a one-on-one in the face of Alphonse Areola on the counter-attacks seconds later.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead on 33 minutes when the ball broke kindly to Adrien Rabiot inside the penalty area with the Frenchman finishing down the middle as Keylor Navas dived to his right in expectation.

Real Madrid were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Toni Kroos went down inside the area under minimal contact from Giovani Lo Celso.  Ronaldo subsequently blasted the ball past Areola from 12 yards into the bottom left corner.

The second half was also end-to-end with Paris Saint-Germain wasting possession in excellent positions.  Real Madrid’s defence was open at times but neither Neymar, Mbappé and Edinson Cavani could link up very well.

PSG manager Unai Emery made an interesting change midway through the second half with Thomas Meunier coming on for Cavani, whilst Zidane proved to be the winning tactician with Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio all introduced at 1-1.

Bale proved an attacking threat but it was Ronaldo who bundled Real Madrid into an 83rd minute lead.  Three minutes later Zidane’s side had a two-goal advantage thanks to a headed goal from left-back Marcelo.

The second leg takes place at the Parc des Princes in three weeks’ time.