Zidane says Real Madrid back on track

But in the meantime, another period of soul-searching will begin for PSG and their Qatari owners.

The last 20 years have seen Real Madrid lift the Champions League six times (1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017) and most of those victories have coincided with disappointment on the domestic front. But instead, manager Zidane opted for both Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez, in what was a tactical choice to help Real Madrid go on to beat the Ligue 1 leaders 2-1 in an exciting clash.

Having broken a toe in a league match against Marseille, the 222-million euro (US$275.61 million) signing watched the game in Brazil where he is recovering from surgery.

With this result, they move on to the Round of Eight and PSG is eliminated, even after their spending spree that brought Neymar and Mbappe to Paris. The biggest bang from this PSG side was from the fireworks constantly let off by a section of fans behind one goal.

Things got worse for PSG 14 minutes later when Verratti was dismissed for a second yellow card for dissent. Areola couldn't stop Casemiro's chip, and Real took the 2-1 lead that they finished the match with. PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot had a poor clearance inside the box, which deflected off of Ronaldo and landed on the boot of Carlos Casemiro.

The tie was probably getting away from PSG anyway, but Marco Verratti's disastrous sending-off in the 66th minute sealed their fate. "We'll continue with patience, and build a team that can win".

Ronaldo had already done his usual damage.

Ronaldo made no mistake one minute later, however, with the attacker hanging in the air at the far post to head a Vazquez cross into the back of the home side's net.

The loss was the first for PSG at Parc des Princes in two years, a run encompassing 51 matches (42 wins, 9 draws).

The header to open the scores in Paris was his 117th Champions League goal, extending a remarkable record.

The Reds won the first leg 5-0 in Portugal and eased into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in nine years.

"We played well right from the beginning, pressing high up the pitch".

"We controlled the game well in the first half but couldn't get the goal to make them doubt themselves, and once we were down to 10 men it became impossible".

  • Julie Sanders