Analysis of Cristiano Ronaldo's two-goal display as Real Madrid come back to beat PSG 3-1

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to help Real Madrid recover from an early goal to win 3-1 in their Champions League round of 16 first leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabeu.

Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for the visitors before Ronaldo equalised from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

The Portuguese then scored his second in the 83rd minute before Marcelo added another three minutes later.

Here, we anaylse Ronaldo’s performance.

STATISTICS 

Goals – 2

Assists – 0

Shots – 10

Shots on target – 4

Touches – 40

Passes – 20

Aerials won – 1

Key passes – 0

Dribbles – 0

Dispossessed – 1

30-SECOND REPORT

Starting alongside Karim Benzema in a front two, Ronaldo had the freedom to attack across the PSG back-line and took full advantage of that licence to roam. He consistently caught defenders on their heels with his darting runs and was involved in a couple of early chances for his side.

He did duck out of the game momentarily when PSG were on top but was up for the challenge and was part of Madrid’s revival. He chased down every ball and even closed down the Parisian’s where possible. The Portuguese star converted his penalty expertly to draw his side level and was relentless in the second half as well.

While the ball fell to him rather fortuitously for his second, once it did, he did well to divert it into the back of the net. After Areola parried Asensio’s cross into his path, he made the slightest adjustment with virtually no time to react to knee it into the goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo (2R)

Cristiano Ronaldo (2R)

GOT RIGHT

Movement – He poked and prodded at every spot in PSG’s defence and was often able to find space. He stretched the away side’s back-line not just with his runs in behind but with the way he would peel off into wide areas as well. His predatory instincts came to the fore for his second.

Work-rate – What? It’s not a facet of Ronaldo’s game that’s usually highlighted but he was definitely up for this encounter. He was persistent with his runs, toiling to unlock the back four regularly. He went some way towards defending from the front. An honest day’s work.

GOT WRONG

Finishing – He scored two vital goals on the night but by his own lofty standards, he should’ve at least had a hat-trick. He fizzed an early attempt wide, blazed one over the bar from inside the area with time and space and failed to beat Areola in a one-one-one. Only four of his 10 attempts found the target.

Free-kicks – In a game of this magnitude, a free-kick can make all the difference but Ronaldo squandered a couple of well positioned ones against PSG, an all too familiar sight for the Bernabeu crowd.

KEY MOMENTS

3rd min SHOT: Isco plays a ball over the top of the defence to find Ronaldo who made a good run. He fires a shot across goal but it fizzes wide.

28th min ONE-ON-ONE: Madrid break quickly on the counter and Marcelo whips a sublime ball around PSG’s back-line for Ronaldo on the far side whose attempted finish strikes Areola in the face.

37th min SHOT: Ronaldo wins the ball on the edge of the box, turns and blazes his effort over the target when he had time to compose himself.

45th min GOAL: Lo Celso concedes a penalty for a tug on Kroos. Areola guesses the right way but can’t get to Ronaldo’s powerful strike from the spot.

83rd minute GOAL: Ronaldo gives the hosts the lead. Asensio sends a low cross across the face of goal which is parried into the Portuguese’s path who knees it into the back of the net.

Cristiano Ronaldo score his second

Cristiano Ronaldo score his second

VERDICT

One of his better performances this season. He didn’t dominate proceedings, leave defenders for dead or score a spectacular goal but he was a constant threat to PSG. Every time Madrid went forward, Ronaldo was there making a clever run, dragging defenders out of position.

He wasn’t at his clinical best either but persevered and was rewarded with two goals which could make all the difference as Madrid now take a 3-1 lead to Paris. Ronaldo worked hard for his team, raising his output in the face of Neymar, and contributed towards what was a well earned win for Los Blancos.

RATING: 8/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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Player ratings as Neymar is sole shining light for PSG after defeat to Real Madrid

Alex Rea 15/02/2018
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A dejected Neymar

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid beat Paris St Germain 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.

The French side took the lead through Adrien Rabiot but Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot just before half-time.

The Portugal forward then put the hosts ahead with seven minutes left before left-back Marcelo’s close-range finish gave the holders a two-goal cushion to take to Paris.

Here, we rate the PSG players after the 3-1 defeat at the Bernabeu.

STARTING XI

Alphonse Areola 7 – Had the geography of his face displaced to deny Ronaldo and produced a stunning stop against Benzema. Could do nothing about any goal.

Dani Alves 6 – Fascinating duel with Marcelo, trading twists and turns. A more restrained performance from the Alves of old, though.

Marquinhos 7 – Was a candidate for PSG’s man of the match until the late collapse. Let down by the imperfections of those around him.

Presnel Kimpembe 5 – Glanced over his shoulder like a pensioner on a desolate street looking for Ronaldo and lost his man for the late goals.

Yuri Berchiche 5 – An assured display up against Ronaldo but then struggled when Real made their subs and looked for more width.

Marco Verratti 6 – Thrived in the intensity of the game, tremendous tackling, angled passing and great vision. Wasn’t scared to get stuck in.

Giovani Lo Celso 4 – A performance hallmarked by naivety. Soft challenge for the penalty, dreadful decision making and was was fortunate not to be sent off.

Adrien Rabiot 5 – Easy to forget he’s still only 22 because he’s been talented for so long but he lost complete control towards the end.

Kylian Mbappe 6 – Virtually unstoppable in space but opportunities were few. A devilish ball which led to PSG’s opener, however.

Edinson Cavani 6 – Quiet game by his standards – he touched the ball only 10 times – although Neymar’s greed starved his cause.

Neymar 7 – He can do so many things exquisitely – as evidenced by his wonderful assist – but he used the ball terribly at times.

SUBSTITUTES 

Thomas Meunier 5 – Was absolutely ruined by Asensio when he was brought on to shift Alves into midfield.

Julian Draxler N/A – Replaced Lo Celso with five minutes to go.

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Don’t miss a single minute of action in the Champions League as Neymar leads Paris Saint-Germain into Real Madrid territory.

Meanwhile in Portugal, Liverpool will battle Porto in their round of 16 tie.

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