Champions League - Round of 16 - 2nd Leg
Real MadridReal Madrid3PSGParis Saint Germain1

Real Madrid 3-1 Paris St-Germain (3-2 agg): Karim Benzema hat-trick inspires superb Real fightback

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema is the first player from France to score three Champions League/European Cup hat-tricks

Karim Benzema scored a superb second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid produced a stirring fightback at a raucous Bernabeu to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Paris St-Germain.

Kylian Mbappe's first-half goal had given PSG a deserved two-goal aggregate lead and looked to have put Mauricio Pochettino's side well on course for the last eight.

However, a mistake by PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the catalyst for a dramatic recovery with Benzema turning home after the Italian dawdled in possession.

Luka Modric's driving run and intricate pass made Benzema's second as he levelled the tie against a clearly panicked PSG, and as the visitors attempted to regroup the 34-year-old drove a low effort into the bottom right corner seconds after the restart to settle the tie.

Until Donnarumma's error PSG had been in complete control.

Marco Verratti was slick and dominant in midfield, while Neymar and Lionel Messi worked themselves into some dangerous positions as the hosts struggled to contain their more fluent opponents.

Mbappe in particular was electric, racing on to a pass from Neymar to open the scoring against the side he has been heavily tipped to join in the summer when his contract at PSG expires.

Either side of that the 23-year-old tormented the Real defence, twice having goals correctly disallowed for offside but showing his predatory instincts nonetheless.

A surge of acceleration also saw him burst past Real's Eder Militao and only a brilliant covering challenge from David Alaba prevented him from adding to his tally.

Mbappe's influence was such that he received warm applause from the home support as he got up after appearing to be hurt in a tackle, but the real damage to his and PSG's long-standing aspirations in the competition were still to come.

PSG suffer another painful exit

Benzema's 17-minute treble ensured PSG suffered another painful elimination from a competition that has become an obsession since they moved into Qatari ownership in 2011.

And after reaching the final and semi-finals in consecutive seasons this feels like a considerable backwards step for a squad that has been expensively assembled but remains prone to monumental collapses in this competition.

This felt every bit as shattering as their 6-1 thrashing by Barcelona in 2017, their last-16 defeat by Manchester United in 2019, and was even more remarkable given they had not lost a Champions League away game after leading at half-time since 2001.

While PSG are runaway leaders in Ligue 1 and have been crowned French champions in seven of the past nine seasons, domestic success is not the barometer Pochettino will be judged by come the end of the season.

And alarmingly the Argentine and his stunned players were unable to provide any adequate response once the tide had turned in this contest.

Julian Draxler and Angel di Maria were only introduced once the Parisiens were chasing the game, and aside from a late Messi free-kick which dipped just over, they were unable to conjure a single clear-cut goalscoring opportunity as they meekly exited the tournament.

Player of the match

BenzemaKarim Benzema

with an average of 8.92

Real Madrid

  1. Squad number9Player nameBenzema
    Average rating

    8.92

  2. Squad number10Player nameModric
    Average rating

    7.74

  3. Squad number20Player nameVinícius Júnior
    Average rating

    7.49

  4. Squad number25Player nameCamavinga
    Average rating

    6.91

  5. Squad number21Player nameRodrygo
    Average rating

    6.75

  6. Squad number8Player nameKroos
    Average rating

    6.74

  7. Squad number17Player nameLucas Vázquez
    Average rating

    6.73

  8. Squad number4Player nameAlaba
    Average rating

    6.53

  9. Squad number15Player nameValverde
    Average rating

    6.33

  10. Squad number11Player nameAsensio
    Average rating

    6.33

  11. Squad number3Player nameEder Militão
    Average rating

    6.19

  12. Squad number2Player nameCarvajal
    Average rating

    6.12

  13. Squad number6Player nameNacho
    Average rating

    6.10

  14. Squad number1Player nameCourtois
    Average rating

    6.08

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number7Player nameMbappé
    Average rating

    7.19

  2. Squad number30Player nameMessi
    Average rating

    5.95

  3. Squad number6Player nameVerratti
    Average rating

    5.69

  4. Squad number10Player nameNeymar
    Average rating

    5.59

  5. Squad number2Player nameHakimi
    Average rating

    5.43

  6. Squad number25Player nameNuno Mendes
    Average rating

    5.30

  7. Squad number15Player nameDanilo Pereira
    Average rating

    5.20

  8. Squad number8Player nameParedes
    Average rating

    5.19

  9. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos
    Average rating

    5.09

  10. Squad number3Player nameKimpembe
    Average rating

    5.03

  11. Squad number50Player nameG Donnarumma
    Average rating

    4.88

  12. Squad number27Player nameGueye
    Average rating

    4.23

  13. Squad number23Player nameDraxler
    Average rating

    3.64

  14. Squad number11Player nameDi María
    Average rating

    3.60

Line-ups

Real Madrid

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Courtois
  • 2CarvajalBooked at 60minsSubstituted forVázquezat 66'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 3Militão
  • 4Alaba
  • 6NachoBooked at 43mins
  • 15Valverde
  • 8KroosSubstituted forCamavingaat 57'minutes
  • 10Modric
  • 11AsensioSubstituted forRodrygoat 57'minutes
  • 9Benzema
  • 20Vinícius JúniorBooked at 43mins

Substitutes

  • 5Vallejo
  • 7E Hazard
  • 12Marcelo
  • 13Lunin
  • 16Jovic
  • 17Vázquez
  • 18Bale
  • 19Ceballos
  • 21Rodrygo
  • 22Isco
  • 24Mariano
  • 25Camavinga

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 50G DonnarummaBooked at 62mins
  • 2HakimiBooked at 81minsSubstituted forDraxlerat 88'minutes
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 3KimpembeBooked at 83mins
  • 25Tavares Mendes
  • 15DaniloSubstituted forDi Maríaat 80'minutes
  • 8ParedesBooked at 7minsSubstituted forGueyeat 71'minutes
  • 6Verratti
  • 30Messi
  • 10Neymar
  • 7Mbappé

Substitutes

  • 1Navas
  • 9Icardi
  • 11Di María
  • 17Dagba
  • 18Wijnaldum
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 24Kehrer
  • 27Gueye
  • 28Ebimbe
  • 34Simons
  • 38Michut
Referee:
Danny Makkelie
Attendance:
59,895

Match Stats

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamPSG
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home21
Away10
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Paris Saint Germain 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Paris Saint Germain 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Marquinhos (Paris Saint Germain).

  4. Post update

    Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Paris Saint Germain) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

  6. Post update

    Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Paris Saint Germain. Julian Draxler replaces Achraf Hakimi.

  10. Booking

    Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid).

  13. Post update

    Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid).

  15. Post update

    Offside, Real Madrid. Eder Militão tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Rodrygo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint Germain).

  19. Post update

    Rodrygo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

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