Real Madrid defeats PSG, thanks to Karim Benzema’s hat-trick

Image Credit: UCL

Real Madrid fans were ecstatic at the Santiago Bernabeu after Karim Benzema’s stunning hat-trick in the second half guided Real Madrid to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League’s ‘Round of 16’ second leg.

Despite controlling the game for the majority of the time, the Parisians lost their cool and composure in the final thirty minutes. The visitors gave in to the hosts’ pressure, failed to show defiance, made unjustified blunders, and lost a two-goal lead that should have been insurmountable.

In the first half, Courtois had more saves than Gianluigi Donnarumma, although Donnarumma’s was the more important. Karim Benzema’s vicious whipped effort from distance appeared to be heading for the goal, but the Italian steered it wide with the tiniest of touches.

PSG was given the opportunity next. Neymar and Lionel Messi’s brilliant link-up play created space for the latter, who dinked the ball over Courtois but failed to score.

Mbappe had a goal disallowed for offside by Nuno Mendes around the half-hour mark, and Benzema was furious after he failed to take advantage of a great headed chance.

At the one-hour mark, Real re-entered the game. Benzema caused Donnarumma to slice the pass to Vinicius Junior after catching him in possession. It was 1-1 after a cutback to Benzema.

Later on, the score could have been 2-1 when some pinball in the PSG area resulted in the ball falling to Vinicius, who lost his cool and blazed over the bar. Benzema, thankfully for Real, made no mistake 15 minutes from time as he hammered past Donnarumma to equalise the game on aggregate.

Real recovered the ball immediately after kick-off, went down the other end, and were celebrating once more as Benzema completed his hat-trick with a stunning finish from the edge of the box.

All of that changed, though, because to Benzema’s perseverance, which drove Donnarumma into a mistake that set the stage for an amazing Champions League comeback.

His perseverance continued to propel Real forward, as he scored twice in as many minutes, with only 10 seconds of open play between the two goals.

It was a talismanic effort from the Frenchman, who moved ahead of Alfredo Di Stefano to become Real Madrid’s third-highest scorer, behind only Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo.

With 67 goals, he surpasses Raul (66) as Real’s second-highest scorer in the Champions League, with only Ronaldo ahead of him (105).

The setback will put Pochettino under a lot of pressure, but the former Tottenham manager believes the result was influenced by the officials’ decision not to penalise Benzema for a foul on goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma during the build-up to the first goal.

“What a pity, Donnarumma was fouled for the first goal,” he told Canal+. “It is impossible to avoid discussing this egregious error. This will not be possible in the year 2022.

“The first goal by Real Madrid transformed the game. I’m curious as to what the VAR does in the event of a foul. It’s a pity. It’s a foul when you witness the action. “The match altered after that. We controlled the game for 60 minutes, and one goal altered everything

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