Easy for Real and Ronaldo
PARIS, France (AP):
Paris Saint-Germain's dream of joining Europe's elite with a Champions League trophy will have to wait another season, as Real Madrid delivered a brutal reality check by cruising through to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win yesterday.
Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful header his 12th goal of the competition and a deflected effort from midfielder Casemiro either side of a close-range finish from PSG's Edinson Cavani sent Madrid through 5-2 on aggregate.
Peaking at the right time, Madrid can be confident of challenging for a third straight title and 13th overall.
PSG still have not reached the semifinals since their lone appearance in 1995. PSG's ambitious club motto of "Dream Bigger" should perhaps now be revised. On this evidence, and last season's humiliation at the hands of Barcelona, PSG remain a club more hopeful than convincing. Despite huge investment from cash-rich Qatari owners QSI since 2011, PSG has not been past the quarterfinals in that time.
"We needed our heads and our hearts today. But we didn't have both, we didn't play as well as Real Madrid," dejected PSG coach Unai Emery said.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, PSG's fragile defence crumbled and their attack offered little threat without the injured Neymar. The biggest bang from this PSG side was from the fireworks constantly let off by a section of fans behind one goal.
To compound a miserable night for PSG fans, who so badly want to believe this side can conquer Europe, Marco Verratti showed terrible composure to in getting sent off midway through the second half.