By DAN KARELL
Both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain needed less than three minutes to get the party started.
Both clubs exploded out of the game on their way to resounding home victories, putting them one step closer to the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Real Madrid exacted some revenge against a short-handed Borussia Dortmund side in a 3-0 rout while Javier Pastore’s stoppage-time strike gave PSG a 3-1 victory against Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.
It took Real Madrid only 153 seconds before cutting open the Borussia Dortmund defense. A long ball forward by Pepe was taken down on the bounce by Karim Benzema. Benzema found a streaking Dani Carvajal running into the box, and Carvajal centered to Gareth Bale. From there, Bale sidestepped a defender and poked the ball home just in the nick of time to give his club the early lead.
In the 27th minute, Real Madrid doubled their lead through Isco. The young Spaniard, who has had to settle for a place on the bench most of this season, took advantage of a terrible clearance and miscommunication from Dortmund to slot home from the top of the box.
Cristiano Ronaldo, never one to be left out, added his name to the scoresheet in the 57th minute. Luka Modric intercepted a pass and broke forward at the defense, playing a neat through ball in to Ronaldo in the box. The Portuguese international took a bit of a heavy touch but recovered quickly and finished into an empty net to put the emphasis on the emphatic victory.
At the Parc des Princes, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani’s ineffectiveness didn’t hurt PSG in their quest for Champions League glory.
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi popped up on the left in the fourth minute and delivered a cross in the box that was supposed to find the head of either Ibrahimovic or Cavani. Instead, John Terry’s clearing header went straight to Ezequiel Lavezzi, and after chesting the ball to his left, Lavezzi finished into the roof of the net to the delight of the PSG faithful.
Chelsea had a response though as Oscar earned a penalty kick for his side following a poor challenge from Thiago Silva. Eden Hazard stepped up in the 27th minute and forced PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu the wrong way to tie the score at 1-1.
With the game’s balance hanging on it’s edge, PSG took back the lead in the 61st minute as David Luiz deflected a free kick into his own net. In stoppage time, the substitute Pastore dribbled his way through three Chelsea players and fired past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to put the exclamation point on the final score.
What do you think of these results? Impressed with Real Madrid’s offensive output? Do you think that Mourinho’s men have a chance in the return leg?
Share your thoughts below.