Champions League: Real Madrid stun PSG to reach quarters
Karim Benzema netted a second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid came from behind to stun Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16 second leg. Real lost the first leg 1-0 and were down once again after Kylian Mbappe handed PSG the lead. However, Benzema struck thrice in quick succession to dash PSG's hopes. Here are the key details.
How did the match pan out?
Mbappe's first-half goal had given PSG a deserved two-goal aggregate lead. They looked comfortable before Real changed the scenario after half-time. Real pressed more and a mistake from PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saw Benzema score from Vinicius Junior's assist. Luka Modric's superb pass saw Benzema level the show. The 34-year-old's low effort into the bottom right corner moments later settled the tie.
Benzema races to 30 goals this season
Benzema now has 30 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions this season. He has raced to 309 career goals for Real in all competitions. The Frenchman has eight Champions League goals this season. Benzema (G30 A12) is now the second player in top-flight European football this season to have been directly involved in 40+ goals after Robert Lewandowski (G42 A4).
Mbappe scripts this record
Mbappe, who helped PSG win the first leg, scored once again. As per Opta, he is the ninth player to score in three consecutiveUCL games against Real (three goals), and the youngest to do so in the history of the competition (23 years, 79 days).
Benzema surpasses Raul's tally for Real
Benzema now has 79 Champions League goals under his belt, including 67 for Los Blancos. Notably, Benzema has surpassed Raul (66) to become the second-highest scorer for Real in the Champions League. Earlier, Benzema had netted 12 UCL goals for Lyon.
Records smashed by Benzema
Benzema netted in the 61st, 76th, and 78th minute respectively to help Real make a sound comeback. This was his third hat-trick in the Champions League. Interestingly, Benzema is the first player to score in 18 successive calendar years in the Champions League. He has become the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League era as well (34 years, 80 days).