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Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo scores again as Real Madrid beat PSG to book quarter-final spot; Liverpool also qualify

Paris: Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro got the goals for Real Madrid as the holders won 2-1 away to a Paris Saint-Germain side missing Neymar to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against PSG. AFP

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against PSG. AFP

Ronaldo had scored twice – including his 100th goal for Real in the competition – as they won 3-1 in the first leg in Spain last month, and his header early in the second half at the Parc des Princes effectively ended the French club's hopes of progressing.

Edinson Cavani equalised on the night for PSG, but only after they had Marco Verratti sent off, and Casemiro's late goal secured an ultimately comprehensive 5-2 aggregate victory for Zinedine Zidane's side.

PSG never looked like turning the tie around in the absence of the injured Neymar, and it was a horribly flat way for them to exit the competition.

As they limp out, Real's dream of becoming the first team in more than 40 years to win three successive European Cups remains alive.

A year after their spectacular collapse against Barcelona in the last 16, when they were humiliated 6-1 away in the return after a stunning 4-0 win at home, PSG had hoped to produce a memorable comeback themselves this time.

Yet, shorn of the world's most expensive player, who is back in Brazil recuperating from a foot operation, they struggled to create chances, and the night will be remembered just as much for the stupidity of a section of their supporters.

Flares were lit en masse on several occasions at one end of the ground, once even leading to a brief stoppage in play, and PSG will face punishment from UEFA as a result.

Without Neymar, this was Angel Di Maria's big chance to shine after he was left on the bench for the entirety of the first leg, but nothing came off for the Argentine against his former side, his performance symbolic of a wider malaise in the home ranks.

They had only made Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas work once in the first half, from Kylian Mbappe's shot in the 43rd minute.

In contrast, Alphonse Areola had kept the home side in the game with two fine saves to deny Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema before the interval.

That just delayed the inevitable. Having come close with a header moments earlier, Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, heading in a Lucas Vazquez cross for his third goal in the tie.

The goal had come from an error by Dani Alves initially, and it completely punctured PSG and the atmosphere.

The tie had escaped them before Verratti was sent off midway through the second half, picking up a second yellow card for dissent.

Substitute Javier Pastore's header deflected into the net off Cavani in the 71st minute to level the scores on the night, but more poor defending allowed Real to make it 2-1 with 10 minutes left.

Unable to clear their lines in their own area, PSG saw Casemiro's shot go in via a Marquinhos deflection.

With Marco Asensio and Isco both hitting the post in the second half for Real, the visitors more than deserved their win on the night, as well as in the tie.

That rubbed more salt into the wounds for PSG, who had not lost any of their previous 51 home games in all competitions, a run going back two years to before the start of Unai Emery's reign as coach.

This defeat is likely to hasten the end of his time in charge.

Porto draw eases Liverpool into Champions League quarters

Liverpool cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in nine years 5-0 on aggregate over Porto, despite settling for a goalless draw in an uninspiring last 16, second leg at Anfield.

Sadio Mane inflicted most of the first-leg damage on the Portuguese league leaders with a hat-trick and came closest to breaking the deadlock with a first-half effort that came back off the post.

With the job done three weeks ago, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could even afford the luxury of starting top-scorer Mohamed Salah and club-record signing Virgil van Dijk on the bench with one eye on Saturday's vital visit to Manchester United in the Premier League.

Klopp's men have made a habit of fast starts in Europe this season, but took time to warm to their task with the German having made five changes in all from the side that beat Newcastle at the weekend.

It took 17 minutes for the hosts to threaten when Joe Gomez's cross was acrobatically flicked towards goal by Mane, but looped just over the bar.

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao made 10 changes from the first leg, but top-scorer Vincent Aboubakar was one of those to come back into the side having missed the first leg through injury.

And the Cameroonian showed what Porto missed in their heaviest-ever European home defeat as he got in behind the Liverpool defence only to be denied by Loris Karius rushing off his line to mop up the danger.

Mane was inches away from his fourth goal of the tie on the half-hour mark when he controlled James Milner's lofted pass on his chest before smashing the inside of Iker Casillas's far post.

Dejan Lovren then headed narrowly over as Liverpool threatened to raise the pulse of an understandably more subdued Anfield than is customary on a European night.

Casillas was given a standing ovation by the Liverpool fans in the Kop end as he took to the field after the break on his record 167th and possible farewell appearance in the Champions League.

However, that was one of few moments that got the home fans off their feet as Liverpool settled on their substantial lead.

Milner sliced a good opening wide just two minutes into the second half, whilst at the other end Karius was stretched to turn Majeed Waris's shot behind.

Roberto Firmino had one clear chance to add to his seven Champions League goals this season when his shot was blocked by Porto captain Felipe before the Brazilian was protected by Klopp for the weekend as Danny Ings was introduced for the final half hour.

Salah was given 15 minutes to find the winner when he replaced Mane.

The Egyptian had one opportunity to extend his scoring streak to eight straight games, but Casillas smothered his low effort.

And the Spanish veteran made his best stop of the night two minutes from time to deny Ings and hold onto his clean sheet.


Updated Date: Mar 07, 2018 03:58 AM

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