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Real Madrid 3-1 PSG: Match Review



The second leg of the Round of 16 clash between Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain was set at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night. Los Blancos lost by a slim one-goal margin in the first leg and needed at least two goals against the French side to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Carlo Ancelotti took some bold decisions with the lineup on the night. Toni Kroos started in midfield alongside Luka Modric and Federico Valverde despite not being fully fit. Nacho started at left-back while Marco Asensio started ahead of Rodrygo in attack.

The hosts began on the front foot, pressing high and unsettling Pochettino’s side early on. Yet, the intensity died down less than 15 minutes into the game. Karim Benzema had Real Madrid’s first big chance in the 25th minute when he lashed the ball past the left post.

From there on, the French outfit took over and began dominating the possession. Messi took a close shot in the 31st minute but his effort went wide. PSG seemed to have got the lead four minutes later through a Kylian Mbappe finish. The goal was immediately ruled out, however, because of an offside position in the buildup.

In the 39th minute, Real Madrid went a goal down after Mbappe neatly worked the ball past Courtois. It was Neymar who set the Frenchman free, but one felt the goalkeeper could have done better. The first half ended with Real Madrid chasing two goals on aggregate with a big second half ahead of them.

The first big chance of the second half fell to Mbappe once again. The PSG winger yet again converted his chance and scored, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

A big moment in the game arrived at the hour mark when Donnarumma lost the ball to Benzema in the box. The rebound fell to Vinicius who linked up with Benzema for the equaliser on the night.

After Benzema’s goal, Los Blancos looked rejuvenated. The attacks intensified with Benzema receiving a few direct chances to score. With thirty minutes on the clock, Real Madrid needed one goal to force extra time.

Karim Benzema was the man to step up to the occasion once again in the 75th minute. When his team needed him the most, the striker picked up the ball in the box and fired it past a helpless Donnarumma.

Just a minute later, he completed his hat-trick and gave Real Madrid the lead on aggregate when he capitalized on a Marquinhos error.

Despite their best effort, PSG could not find a way back into the tie. Real Madrid pulled off a stunning comeback to oust the Ligue 1 leaders. They now move into the last eight of the UCL, high on confidence.

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Three talking points from Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid kicked off their UEFA Champions League campaign on Wednesday night with a narrow 1-0 win over Union Berlin.

The victory was deserved from the point of view of domination of play. Real Madrid were the only team attacking for large parts of the night and created chances to no end.

Yet, one must tip the hat to the visitors’ resilient defence. Playing the first UEFA Champions League clash in the club’s history is difficult enough, let alone at the Santiago Bernabeu. Union Berlin did so and with some style.

Until the 93rd minute, a draw appeared to be the most probable result. The visitors refused to cave into Real Madrid’s relentless attacks and poured their hearts out on the field.

In the end, however, Carlo Ancelotti’s men did what they do best. A last-minute winner from Jude Bellingham gave the hosts all three points.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin.

The power of Real Madrid

Real Madrid are one of the few teams in the world that can never be written off. Such is the ability of the team, more so under Carlo Ancelotti, that they can pull off a win even after a howler.

Their unfair advantage, in part, owes itself to the ridiculous individual quality they possess on the field. Any player is capable of turning the game around with a moment of magic.

Yet, the most important factor that works in their favour is the mental resilience in the squad. Real Madrid never believe it is over until it really is, and Wednesday night’s game provided further reassurance as to why they are the mentality monsters.

For 90 minutes, the visitors frustrated Real Madrid to the limit. They stuck to their defensive lines with discipline and did not give Los Blancos much to work with.

Yet, Real Madrid’s perseverance was visible through the ordeal. The intensity of their attacks amplified with every passing minute and showed no signs of tapering down.

Poetically, they found the winning goal in the final minute of added time when all doors seemed closed, with Jude Bellingham being the hero yet again.

Forwards need to step up

Rodrygo, Joselu need to step up. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

The men in white had 75% of the possession on Wednesday night at Santiago Bernabeu and kept making the required penetrative attacks. 

In 90 minutes, the hosts racked up an xG tally of 3.80. Yet, shockingly, they were goalless even in the penultimate minute of the game.

Real Madrid took 32 shots against Union Berlin as opposed to the opposition’s four. Seven shots were on target while 10 were blocked. 

In terms of big chances, the me in white churned up five in the 90 minutes of which they missed four. They also struck the woodwork twice last night.

The team’s struggles in the final third place the spotlight on Rodrygo Goes and Joselu, who were the team’s two forwards at Santiago Bernabeu. Both players suffered disappointing nights in front of goal and just could not catch a break from their poor luck.

The Spaniard had three shots on target, five off it, and three attempts blocked against Union Berlin. All of it, however, was in vain. 

The Brazilian was not much better with three shots and one blocked chance. Nevertheless, their poor results were not for a lack of trying if that is any silver lining.

Far from convincing 

Real Madrid’s mentality and fortitude to push for a win is indeed a reason to be optimistic. However, that does not hide the fact that the men in white struggled and toiled on to no end.

The Champions League has no minnows, but one would expect Real Madrid to show their dominance at some point in the game and close the deal. However, that spell of play never arrived.

Los Blancos may be on a six-game winning streak so far this season, but there is reason to believe that a factor of luck has been essential for most of their scalps.

All eyes will thus be on Ancelotti now. The manager has a world-class roster at his disposal, and it will now be up to him to enhance Real Madrid’s performance in the final third. After all, putting away chances is as important as creating them.

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