Ronaldo scores 2 as PSG learns Champions League lesson - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Ronaldo scores 2 as PSG learns Champions League lesson

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during a Champions League Round of 16 first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednes... (AP Photo/Francisco Seco). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during a Champions League Round of 16 first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednes...
(AP Photo/Paul White). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League soccer match, round of 16, 1st leg between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesda... (AP Photo/Paul White). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League soccer match, round of 16, 1st leg between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesda...
(AP Photo/Paul White). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League soccer match, round of 16, 1st leg between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesda... (AP Photo/Paul White). Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League soccer match, round of 16, 1st leg between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesda...

By TALES AZZONI
AP Sports Writer

MADRID (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain showed its strength against the European champions, but it wasn't enough to stop Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo scored a goal in each half as Real Madrid came from behind to defeat PSG 3-1 in their first-leg match in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday, taking a commanding lead into the second leg in Paris on March 6.

Ronaldo increased his Champions League tally with Madrid to 101 goals in 95 matches, a record for a player with the same club. He has 11 goals in seven Champions League matches this season, the most of any player.

"It's always special when you score and the team wins," Ronaldo said. "It was an important victory. It's not over yet but we have a good advantage for the second leg."

Ronaldo has scored in each of the first seven Champions League matches this season, also a record. He has netted at least 10 goals in the tournament for seven straight seasons.

"We always end up saying the same things about him," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said of Ronaldo. "He always makes the difference in important games and that's what he did tonight."

On a mission to become a major force in European soccer, PSG played well from the start in an exciting back-and-forth match against the two-time defending champions, but the late goals significantly hurt their chances of finally succeeding in the Champions League.

This was PSG's first significant test since the Qatari-funded club spent a record 222 million euros to sign Neymar from Barcelona in a bid to break into the continent's elite.

"Our team played a great game, we showed a lot of personality," PSG coach Unai Emery said. "We deserved a better result."

Triumph against PSG could help Madrid turn its fortunes around in what has been an up-and-down season for the Spanish powerhouse. Zidane's job has been in doubt after a series of poor results in the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey.

"This club has 12 Champions League titles and there's a reason for that," Zidane said. "The players know how important this competition is. We showed our worth for the whole 90 minutes."

Liverpool thrashed Porto 5-0 in Portugal in Wednesday's other Champions League match.

PSG struck first with a goal by Adrien Rabiot, but Ronaldo equalized by converting a penalty kick just before halftime and added to the lead in the 83rd. Marcelo sealed the victory three minutes later.

Madrid, which has won the Champions League in three of the last four seasons, had appeared in control but PSG opened the scoring in the 33rd with Rabiot's shot from inside the area on a play that involved all three PSG forwards. Kylian Mbappe started it with a run on the right side, then Edinson Cavani smartly let the ball through after Mbappe's cross into the area and it ended with Rabiot after Neymar's attempt was deflected by a defender.

Not long before the goal, Ronaldo squandered one of the game's best chances in a one-on-one situation with Alphonse Areola, his shot hitting the goalkeeper's face. Ronaldo also missed soon after, sending a close-range shot over the crossbar.

But he was perfect from the penalty spot just before halftime after Toni Kroos was gently pulled inside the area by Giovani Lo Celso, the young midfielder who was a surprise addition to the starting lineup in place of Lassana Diarra.

Areola dived the correct way - to his right - but wasn't able to stop Ronaldo's firm shot. Areola had just made a brilliant save on Karim Benzema's well-placed strike from just outside the area.

It was PSG which was in command in the second half, creating most of the significant chances, but Ronaldo struck again by scoring the go-ahead and slightly chaotic goal with his knee after Areola parried a low cross by substitute Marco Asensio.

It only got better for Madrid when Marcelo scored from inside the area after another cross from Asensio from the left side.

"In the end we always get beaten the same way," Rabiot said. "It's annoying and I'm very disappointed. It's easy to score eight past Dijon and score four or five in the (French) league, but we have to be decisive in games like this."

The match had to be briefly stopped in the second half after a cross by Neymar hit the face of referee Gianluca Rocchi, who continued after receiving medical assistance.

___

More AP Champions League coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/ChampionsLeague

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment newsMore>>

  • French customs officials find stolen Degas in luggage on bus

    French customs officials find stolen Degas in luggage on bus

    Friday, February 23 2018 10:34 AM EST2018-02-23 15:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:38 PM EST2018-02-23 20:38:22 GMT
    French customs officers have found an impressionist painting by Edgar Degas stowed on a bus, more than eight years after it was reported stolen.More >>
    French customs officers have found an impressionist painting by Edgar Degas stowed on a bus, more than eight years after it was reported stolen.More >>
  • Trump says he goes to great lengths to hide his bald spot

    Trump says he goes to great lengths to hide his bald spot

    Friday, February 23 2018 11:46 AM EST2018-02-23 16:46:30 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:28 PM EST2018-02-23 20:28:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump gestures as he makes a joke about his hair during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Oxon Hill, Md.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). President Donald Trump gestures as he makes a joke about his hair during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Oxon Hill, Md.
    Now it can be told: President Donald Trump goes to great lengths to hide the bald spot revealed in a recent photo.More >>
    Now it can be told: President Donald Trump goes to great lengths to hide the bald spot revealed in a recent photo.More >>
  • Finalists announced for Lukas Book Prize

    Finalists announced for Lukas Book Prize

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:35 AM EST2018-02-23 13:35:03 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:17 PM EST2018-02-23 20:17:17 GMT
    Stories of immigrants, transient workers and a Wisconsin auto plant are among the nominees for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.More >>
    Stories of immigrants, transient workers and a Wisconsin auto plant are among the nominees for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize.More >>
Powered by Frankly