UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid Edge Past PSG, Liverpool Smash FC Porto, Juventus-Spurs Draw

| February 15 , 2018 , 13:31 IST

With the first four matches of the first leg of Champions League in the books, the competition gets edgier with some intriguing results. Some showing bolstering firepower, and others the lack of it.

Perennial heavyweight contenders Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) faced off at Santiago Bernabeu. The matchup was a showcase one, with widespread interest given the magnitude of ethos these two teams carry. Fans expected this mouth-watering clash to be in the latter stages of the tournament, but thoroughly approved its possibility of happening when the draw was made.

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Neymar's PSG came into this match with a record of winning 5 of the last 6 matches in French Ligue 1. The team, basked with talent and riches making them a threat to defending champions Real Madrid. They delivered on this reputation by attacking the Spanish side from the get-go, barraging them with wave after wave of counter-attacks with Neymar leading the ranks again on a familiar enemy territory. The pressure paid off eventually, as Neymar played a slick knock-down from across to Adrien Rabiot who smashed it home in the 33rd minute, making the French side get a crucial away goal for their side.

Real Madrid was shook and replied aptly by showing their own attacking abilities, which resulted in them winning a penalty. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and levelled the scoreline before half-time, setting up the second half poised for a climax.

The second half started similar to the first, with PSG having the upper-hand with constant attacking, causing defenders to provide constant interceptions and blocks. The attacking trident of Neymar-Cavani-Mbappe tried their hardest to get ahead once more, but near misses were the only result until a masterstroke substitution took place.

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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane brought on Marco Asensio for Isco, giving them an extra edge down the left flank with his crossing ability. He immediately made an impact by running down the line to left and pulling it towards the goal, which rebounded off Ronaldo to go in the back of the net. With this goal advantage, the home side took over the match. Asensio assisted another goal for Marcelo to score, and the game was done and dusted there and then.

Even though Paris Saint-Germain showed they have notched up levels in their game and can stand with the Real Madrid, still it was the defending champions who had the last laugh on Wednesday. They take this valuable 3-1 goal aggregate advantage into the next leg in Paris on March 7.

In other fixtures, Liverpool bulldozed their will on FC Porto by putting 5 past them with a Sadio Mane hattrick. Manchester City also won 4-0 at Basel exhibiting another dominant display. Juventus and Tottenham Hotspurs drew 2-2 at Turin which saw a gritty comeback by the English side. The reverse fixtures of these ties are on March 7-6.