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UCL :How Karim Benzema’s Second-Half Hat-Trick Sends Real Madrid To Quarter-Finals

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Karim Benzema scored a superb second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid produced a stirring fightback at a raucous Bernabeu to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Paris St-Germain.

Karim Benzema scored a superb second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid produced a stirring fightback at a raucous Bernabeu to reach the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Paris St-Germain.

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However, a mistake by PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the catalyst for a dramatic recovery with Benzema turning home after the Italian dawdled in possession.

Luka Modric’s driving run and intricate pass made Benzema’s second as he levelled the tie against a clearly panicked PSG, and as the visitors attempted to regroup the 34-year-old drove a low effort into the bottom right corner seconds after the restart to settle the tie.

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Until Donnarumma’s error PSG had been in complete control.

Marco Verratti was slick and dominant in midfield, while Neymar and Lionel Messi worked themselves into some dangerous positions as the hosts struggled to contain their more fluent opponents.

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Mbappe in particular was electric, racing on to a pass from Neymar to open the scoring against the side he has been heavily tipped to join in the summer when his contract at PSG expires.

Either side of that the 23-year-old tormented the Real defence, twice having goals correctly disallowed for offside but showing his predatory instincts nonetheless.

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A surge of acceleration also saw him burst past Real’s Eder Militao and only a brilliant covering challenge from David Alaba prevented him from adding to his tally.

Mbappe’s influence was such that he received warm applause from the home support as he got up after appearing to be hurt in a tackle, but the real damage to his and PSG’s long-standing aspirations in the competition were still to come.

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Kylian Mbappe’s first-half goal had given PSG a deserved two-goal aggregate lead and looked to have put Mauricio Pochettino’s side well on course for the last eight.

I couldn’t see any way Real could get back into this. They didn’t look like scoring but then Karim Benzema… What a player!

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This isn’t something that is a surprise because we have seen this time and again in the knockouts of the Champions League as PSG press the self destruct button.

It is mentality, maybe the culture of the club. This isn’t something that is new at the club. They have fantastic talent in the squad but when the mentality isn’t right on the day, you have to stay in the game. They didn’t do that. It is part of the ingrained culture at PSG.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema
: “In the first leg, we have to say we were lucky to leave there only losing 1-0. But we knew it would be different in Madrid.

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“We pushed, we conceded a goal, but we were confident that we would have chances. It’s a big Champions League evening and we showed we’re a big club.

“We knew they’re a team that if you put them under pressure, they don’t panic, but it’s more difficult for them.

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“When you take the ball off them, when you put them under pressure, they can’t connect with the three up front.

“It’s the problem of all the teams that want to play the ball out from the back. When they’re pressed, it causes them problems.”

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We lost in ten minutes.

Paris St-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino: “The first goal completely changed the game. For an hour, we were better than Real Madrid. The atmosphere changed in the stadium.

“We made some mistakes after that, we can’t say we didn’t. The worst feeling is that we were the better side, but we lost the tie in 10 minutes.

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“Paris St-Germain have been chasing the Champions League for a number of years now. I’m really disappointed, upset – but these things can happen. The next few weeks are not going to be easy.”

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