Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League aspirations went up in smoke for another season as Cristiano Ronaldo sent Real Madrid into the quarter-finals at their expense.
There had been firecrackers outside Madrid’s hotel the night before the game and there were flares behind the goal during the match. The only place PSG lacked fireworks was on the pitch.
And rising out of a smoke-filled goalmouth five minutes into the second half was Ronaldo to head in Lucas Vazquez’ cross.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored as Real Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on Tuesday to complete a 5-2 aggregate victory
The Real Madrid No 9 rose highest to meet Lucas Vazquez’s excellent cross and head the visitors into a second-half lead
Ronaldo is congratulated by team-mates Casemiro and Sergio Ramos as Zinedine Zidane’s side reached the last-eight
PSG’s chances were dealt another blow when central midfielder Marco Verratti was shown a second yellow card for dissent
The Italy international trudges from the Parc des Princes pitch as PSG’s Champions League dream went up in smoke
The home side gave themselves a glimmer of hope with 20 minutes to play when the ball hit Edinson Cavani and went in
But the holders booked their place the last-eight for the eighth year running thanks to Casemiro’s winner in the French capital
Cavani looks to the sky in anguish as Paris Saint-Germain’s hopes of winning the Champions League were extinguished
He had flirted with a move to the Parc des Princes in the summer and here he was dominating in Paris, but still wearing the white shirt of Madrid.
Edinson Cavani knocked in an equalizer on the night with his knee but Marco Verratti had already been sent off and the game was long gone before Casemiro got a second and made it 5-2 on aggregate – old money seeing off the Nouveau riche without a problem.
Chasing Real Madrid’s 3-1 lead from the first leg PSG predictably carried the initiative but they were a blancmange at the back right from the start and Sergio Ramos nearly put Real Madrid ahead on the night on 17 minutes only for Alphonso Areola to smother his shot from just six yards out.
Without the injured Neymar the weight of PSG’s attacks was on Kylian Mbappé’s 19-year-old shoulders. He curled one right-footed shot just wide of Keylor Navas’ far post. And his direct running forced a foul ten yards outside the area which Angel Di Maria sent into the wall.
The home team’s attacks were anarchic and the final ball was often misplaced. Di Maria’s energy was at least keeping Madrid on the back foot and when Mateo Kovacic scythed him down out on the right he went into referee Felix Brych’s book.
Di Maria then got the better of Marcelo but when he crossed there was no PSG player in the six-yard box to finish.
Karim Benzema had a great chance to give Real Madrid the lead but the France striker was well denied by Alphonse Areola
Angel Di Maria fires a left-foot free-kick at Keylor Navas’ goal but neither side could find a way through during the first half
Madrid captain Ramos tries to halt the progress of France and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe during the first half
Cavani, who took greater goal-scoring responsibility in the absence of Neymar, tries to battle past right back Dani Carvajal
Ramos squares up to PSG full back Turi Berchiche as tempers flared during the opening 45 minutes of Tuesday’s clash
Verratti makes a desperate diving block at the feet of Raphael Varane to deny the France defender an early, crucial away goal
The Italy international midfielder makes a sliding tackle to try and dispossess Casemiro during the goalless first-half
When Madrid counter-attacked PSG still looked nervous and Thiago Silva was left screaming back up the pitch at his team-mates who had not tracked back to defend Lucas Vazquez’ run down the right.
Eight minutes before half time Areola had to save PSG again. Marcelo’s ball down the left sent Karim Benzema clear of a badly positioned Marquinhos.
He only had the PSG keeper to beat but Areloa blocked his shot sending it out for a corner.
Zinedine Zidane’s decision to leave Gareth Bale on the bench again, as he did in the first leg, will have pushed the Welshman a little closer to the exit. The two clearly no longer see eye-to-eye with Bale no longer an automatic pick for the big European games he used to come alive in.
His absence left Madrid without the same burst of pace on the break. The decision was rooted in Zidane’s belief that the 22-year-old Marco Asensio offers more protection to Marcelo, but the left back was left completely exposed three minutes before half time and PSG should have taken the lead.
Mbappé went past Marcelo and should have squared for Edinson Cavani who was waiting in the six-yard box to be served the ball for a tap-in.
Mateo Kovacic, deployed in midfield by Zidane, attempts to chase down former Manchester United forward Di Maria
Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva berates compatriot and team-mate Dani Alves during the first half on Tuesday night
A home supporter holds up a banner declaring ‘this is war’ during the second leg at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night
Mbappe looks to find a team-mate as he is put under pressure by the Real Madrid and Brazil midfielder at the Parc des Princes
But PSG showed that even without Neymar they are capable of each man playing for himself and Mbappé ignored Cavani and shot from the tightest of angles giving Navas a straightforward save to make at his near post.
Ronaldo headed wide from Marcelo’s cross at the restart and it was a warning of what was to come for PSG. When the goal came it was also down the left but it was Vazquez and Asensio who created it.
Asensio made the incisive run but had to double back when he saw no way through. He kept his head and played in Vazquez who crossed to the back post. As soon as Ronaldo rose to meet the ball it was only going to end in one place.
He headed it down and past Areola who was not helped by the fog of flares in his own area.
Uefa will be asking PSG why so many flares made their way into the ground. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi will already be asking a different question: who will replace Unai Emery at the end of the season?
They would love to have Zinedine Zidane but they might have to settle with trying to outbid Chelsea for Luis Enrique’s services.
Silva, the Paris Saint-Germain captain, climbs to reach a header as Benzema looks to latch on to a through ball over the top
Ronaldo picks himself up from the floor during a goalless first half that left his side 45 minutes from the quarter-finals
Former Manchester United and England pair David Beckham and Gary Neville watch on from the stands in the French capital
Carvajal looks to protect the ball under pressure from Di Maria, who replaced Neymar in the Paris Saint-Germain front line
The home crowd turned the Paris sky red early in the second half but they were unable to inspire their team to victory
Emery will not continue and he looked more lost than ever on 65 minutes when Marco Verratti was sent off for shouting into referee Brych’s face and picking up a second booking.
It was going to be more difficult than ever now and Asensio hit the outside of the post from Marcelo’s cross.
Cavani kept going and he deserved his goal. It was a strike as disjointed as most of PSG’s pursuit of an unlikely comeback. Ramos’ clearance hit the Uruguayan’s knee and trickled past Casemiro.
Madrid responded with Casemiro shooting through a crowded box after Rabiot’s clearance went straight to him. The ball clipped Marquinhos and beat Areola to make it 2-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.
What will Neymar made of this watching this? The club’s other big summer acquisition Mbappé was taking off before full time. Once again PSG are left watching teams who have spent a lot less money competing in the latter stages of the Champions League.