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Champions League

UCL: Real Madrid Must Be Wary Of Parisian Remontada

Real Madrid PSG
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 14: Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez (R) of Real Madrid compete for the ball with Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Bernabeu on February 14, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid replicated the 3-1 home scoreline exacted by Jupp Heynckes’s Bayern Munich over Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in the fifth and 83rd minutes and Marcelo Vieira added some 86th minute insurance following Adrien Rabiot’s 33rd minute strike.

Here is the problem with that: Real Madrid risk a massive comeback, a remontada, a Reviens Plus Grand, or bigger comeback, in the second leg at Le Parc des Princes in March. In that comeback, PSG were coasting to a 4-0 lead before losing the second leg 6-1. As the masters of European and international club football, Real Madrid have the skills and composure to not let history repeat itself.

But it’s a 3-1 lead for Real, not a 4-0 lead. This time, it’s Paris’s turn to be inspired by Barcelona’s home result last year and it will be up to Neymar to lead the way, like he did with his old club. It’s a manageable deficit that PSG can turn around when they are on song. A 4-0 win or a 6-1 win at home will clinch the tie. Real do not need to win the second leg, but they must manage it, as any draw or one-goal loss will be enough for Real Madrid to moonwalk their way into the quarterfinals. According to Eduoard Chevalier of, 33% of teams who lost a first leg 3-1 have advanced. But that is a significant minority that, without surprise, falls into the hands of Real.

The second leg is scheduled for March 6, 2018 (kickoff time: 11:45 a.m. PT/2:45 p.m. ET) and a trio of home ties prior, including two key games against rivals Olympique de Marseille in Ligue 1 (Feb. 25) and the Coupe de France (Feb. 28) will be massive warmup contests ahead of a showdown that will make or break Unai Emery’s future with PSG, which already is very bleak, the case being made with stories of player discord and a lack of control across the board. This will boil to a head come the ides of March. By the end of that month, which wraps up with the Coupe de La Ligue final against AS Monaco, the whole world will have a clear view of the truth regarding PSG’s ambitious project.

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