See you at the Parc!
THE MATCH: PARIS STOOD UP TO BE COUNTED...
The whole world was focussed on the Santiago Bernadeu tonight, and Real Madrid were just as determined as their visitors to put on a show. Cristiano Ronaldo opened hostilities with a shot (3') before Yuri Berchiche fired across the face of the Real goal by means of a reply (7'). As expected, the first 30 minutes were a real tussle before Paris seemed to take a grip on the match. Solid defensively and backstopped impressively by Alphonse Areola, who kept Ronaldo at bay (28'), Paris made chances. Neymar Jr was stopped by Keylor Navas (30') before Kylian Mbappé's ferocious acceleration opened a breach in the Madrid rearguard and Adrien Rabiot exploited it to open the scoring (0-1, 33'). Picked out by Neymar Jr, Edinson Cavani went close to a second, but Casemiro's last-ditch block saved Madrid (38'). The hosts hit back, and Areola had to thwart Benzema (43') before he was beaten from the spot by Ronaldo (1-1, 45') after Giovani Lo Celso was adjudged to have fouled Toni Kroos.
After the break, there was no let-up. Mbappé (49'), Presnel Kimpembe (73') and Dani Alves (77') all had openings, as did Benzema (61') and Ronaldo (78'). After all their hard work, Paris were made to pay for a dip in tempo. Ronaldo took advantage (2-1, 83') before Marcelo added another shortly afterwards (3-1, 86'). It was a cruel blow given how Paris had played.
THE IMAGE: RABIOT, SO SOLID
Solid in midfield and invaluable going forward, Adrien Rabiot stole the show. Two years after hitting the woodwork at the same venue, the homegrown talent scored his first UEFA Champions League goal this season. After the break, his volley deserved better (54'), just like his team.
The capital club more than matched their hosts. Mentally, Paris never gave up, as witnessed by the late runs of Mbappé (88') and Neymar Jr (90+3'). In the three weeks,the second leg will be all about a remontada at the Parc.There is also hope: 33% of teams who have lost a Champions League first leg 3-1 have still progressed.