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A historic Benzema gives the pass to the quarterfinals to Real Madrid

Lenin Boscaney
7 min read
A historic Benzema gives the pass to the quarterfinals to Real Madrid
Real Madrid's historic comeback at the Bernabéu.

This Wednesday was the perfect night for the madridistas. The Santiago Bernabéu dressed up, as usual in these European 'finals', to be player number '12', as Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain met in the second leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

On Tuesday , Liverpool and Bayern Munich completed their classification, but this time those led by Carlo Ancelotti surprised by overcoming a tie that seemed impossible, since they had lost in the first leg held on February 15 at the Parque de Los Princes after falling 1-0 with a goal from Mbappé.

As for the strategies used, both technicians displayed their usual lineups. On the part of the locals, the novelty was Nacho for Mendy and Valverde for Casemiro, as well as Kross in midfield, since due to an injury it was thought that he would not arrive on time, however, Ancelotti had the German from the start.

On this occasion, Pochettino placed Neymar as the starter to form the powerful offensive trident completed by Messi and Mbappé, who had given the scare due to a possible injury due to a strong blow to the foot caused by a teammate in training, however, managed to arrive on time to continue being the nightmare of the 'merengues'.

The game started with high pressure from the 'whites' who tried to cause the error to seek a tie on aggregate as soon as possible. Madrid went on the attack and the two central defenders were in the middle of the field, a risky strategy because the Parisians could be lethal against them.

Proof of this was at minute 8 when a great PSG attack through Mbappé ended up being a scare for the 'White House' and Courtois stopped without problems. At 12', the 23-year-old French striker was left alone with the goalkeeper again due to an error by Militao and the left-footed shot was stopped by the Belgian with his feet.

At minute 19, the visitors again with a great combination between Neymar and Mbappé from the front of the area, the Brazilian ends up hitting him with his left foot and down, but the white goalkeeper stops without problems. The pressure from Real Madrid had dropped and the French had ample control of the ball and with the clearest chances.

The first clear for Madrid was through Benzema, who took advantage of a served ball after a clear foul from the front of the area to Modric who entered dangerously, the referee applied the 'law of advantage' and Madrid's '9' He fires a powerful shot that Donnarumma deflects with his fingers to the corner. Notice of premises.

Then at 31', Messi and Neymar met. The Brazilian serves it to the Argentine, who enters from the left near Courtois, who tried to cover the spaces, but Lío 'stuck' it, but the action went wide and Nacho cleared.

At 33' they canceled a goal against Mbappé due to a previous offside by Nuno Mendez. At minute 34 and 36 Benzema had two headed chances, the first was saved by the Italian goalkeeper and the second went wide.

But at 39', a failed attempt by Carvajal triggered a counter that started with a long pass from Neymar, appealing to the speed of Mbappé, who stayed with Alaba, but the shot with power adjusted to the left post, caused the first goal of the match and the silence of the Bernabéu fans. Thus they would go into the break with an overall advantage of 0-2.

A second historic time

A historic Benzema gives the pass to the quarterfinals to Real Madrid
Benzema was the man of the match when he achieved the comeback with a hat-trick.

Everything seemed settled for the 'merengues' who did not seem convinced of achieving the feat and less when at 53' Mbappé scores a goal after receiving a filtered pass, the Frenchman mocks the goalkeeper and defines an empty goal, but the referee annuls the goal for offside.

For his part, Ancelotti moved the bench to 57' and brought out Asensio and Kross to bring in Rodrygo and Camavinga. The duo of the young Frenchman and Valverde would change the face of a Madrid with little vision of the game and, in the same way, would cause Modric's freedom to generate dangerous chances.

The strategy would not take long to take effect, at minute 61 PSG abused the control of the ball and in a back pass to Donnarumma, pressure from Benzema reached him, causing a failed pass from the goalkeeper that fell to Vinicius, who saw the French striker unmarked, he gave it to him and the '9' sent it to the bottom of the net. 1-1, but a goal was missing for the global tie.

However, the goal error would dislodge PSG's defense. At 63' a deflected header from Benzema came close to converting the tie. The same would happen at 72', when Benzema leads an attack and passes it to Modric, but the clearance falls to Vinicius who, in a one-on-one with Donnarumma, the Brazilian decides to hit him with the inside of his left foot and sends it very high.

But at 75 'the tie would come. One against that starts from the same Madrid court through Modric and he sends a pass that appealed to Vinicius' speed, he stops and dribbles past the PSG center-backs and passes it back to Modric, the Croatian passes it between the legs of the defender and it falls to Benzema who does not forgive and scores the tie.

Madrid's third and last goal, which was also a hat-trick by Benzema, would come in the following action. At 78, when PSG takes it out, they lose it and the pass to the area was looking for Vinicius, but Marquiños takes it away and sends a pass to the center that Benzema anticipates, hitting it first and sending it to the back of the net. Final 3-1.

Few occasions came later and PSG had no ability to react. One from Modric that passed near the left squad and another from Messi from a free kick, which grazed the roof of the goal defended by Courtois. Real Madrid achieves the feat and qualifies for the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League.

With this performance, Benzema reaches 309 goals, surpassing Alfredo Di Stefano's 308 and thus becoming Real Madrid's third all-time top scorer and also surpassed Raúl González's 66 goals in the Champions League.

Manchester City complies with the procedure and is in the quarterfinals

A historic Benzema gives the pass to the quarterfinals to Real Madrid
Quiet game at the Etihad.

For its part, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City also completed their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, although they only achieved a goalless draw at the Etihad against Sporting Lisbon.

The first leg was held in Portugal, where the English crushed the home team with a score of 0-5 that placed them with a foot and a half in the next round. For this reason, Guardiola decided to place only six starting starters to give some substitutes the opportunity.

However, the 'citizens' displayed their usual offensive football and possession of the ball, so much so that the visitors failed to reach the home goal in the first 20 minutes. The English lowered the intensity and the Lusitanians began to have chances, but without disturbing the goal defended by Ederson.

The home side continued to dominate the match and Gabriel Jesús scored a goal that the referee would cancel for being offside. City kept trying though not with as much depth and deserved a win, but settled for a goalless draw.

Pep's men also qualified for the quarterfinals, waiting for the other matches to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.