Champions League Round of 16: Real Madrid 3-1 PSG - Player Ratings
Real Madrid hosted Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 stage. As soon as the game began, Real Madrid showed a clear intent with their pressing. It worked perfectly as PSG fell right into it as they were trying to play out of the back.
However, PSG were the first one to strike. A delicate backheel touch by Neymar was laid up perfectly for Adrien Rabiot who struck it with his right foot giving the French side the lead.
Real Madrid didn't take much longer to respond. A silly foul committed by Giovani Lo Celso gave a penalty to the home side, which was converted by Ronaldo. It was a breathless first half and the teams went into the break level.
In the second half, Zidane brought on Marco Asensio which proved to have an instant impact on the game. The Spaniard played the important pass for Ronaldo and Marcelo's goal which gave Real a 3-1 win heading into the second leg.
Here are the player ratings from the game.
Alphonse Areola - 8/10
Despite conceding three, the young Frenchman had a good game. His first major save of the game was off his face of Ronaldo's shot. He was brave and came out of his line to catch the crosses.
Dani Alves - 7/10
The Brazilian made a shift. He started the game in his natural position but as the game progressed into the later stages he made the move forward, becoming a part of the attacking three after Cavani was substituted.
Presnel Kimpembe - 5/10
He was a surprise inclusion ahead of PSG captain, Thiago Silva. He didn't have the best of games as he was pressurized with Real's pressing and he was exposed for his shakiness.
Marquinhos - 5/10
The centre-back had taken over the captain's armband following Thiago Silva's omission. However, he didn't show much leadership skills as his defence was scattered resulting from the pressure caused by the Real Madrid high pressing.
Yuri Berchiche - 5/10
Layvin Kurzawa's absence meant a chance for the 28-year-old. But, he didn't do a good job filling in as he didn't possess much quality especially going forward.
Marco Verratti - 6/10
The Italian midfielder was decent for the Parisiens in midfield. He had a pass completion rate of 87.5% but managed to create only one chance for his team.
Giovani Lo Celso - 4/10
Lo Celso was exposed as the weak link of the PSG team. He gave away a penalty in the first half when he put his hand on Kroos. His inexperience was exposed and was also caught out of position. Surprisingly, he stayed on the pitch until the 84th minute.
Adrien Rabiot - 7/10
Rabiot scored the opening goal of the game, finishing it off with his weaker right foot. Other than his goal he didn't have much impact on the game.
Kylian Mbappe - 7/10
The Frenchman was lightning quick on the right flank. He impressed with his skills and trickery but failed to find any key passes for Cavani or Neymar.
Edinson Cavani - 4/10
Cavani had literally disappeared in the game. He registered only one shot in the entire game and didn't get much involved in the link up or build up play.
Neymar - 8/10
PSG's asset had a fair game. He provided the exquisite backheel assist for Rabiot's goal. He was a constant feature on the left flank against Nacho Fernandez. An early yellow card prevented him from doing any sort of simulation or acts for the rest of the game.
Thomas Meunier - 5/10
The Belgian right-back replaced Cavani in the 66th minute and later received a yellow card late in the game.
Julian Draxler - N/A
The German midfielder was introduced very late in the game and received only six minutes of action.