Brilliant Benzema rescues Real Madrid in comeback win over PSG

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their third goal during the Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match against Paris St Germain at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain on Mar. 9, 2022 (Reuters Photo)

A clinical second-half hat-trick from Karim Benzema earned Real Madrid a place in the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday with a 3-1 comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG arrived in Madrid defending a 1-0 first leg lead and Kylian Mbappe’s first half goal doubled their advantage.

But a horrible error from keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma presented Benzema with his first just after the hour and a quick-fire double strike in the 76th and 78th minutes earned a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

PSG’s failure was five years and one day from when Barcelona overturned a huge deficit against them in the Champions League and this loss will hurt just as much.

Madrid target Mbappe had two goals disallowed as he controlled the game early on but faded and self-inflicted wounds cost Mauricio Pochettino’s side dearly. Lionel Messi was hardly a factor in his return to Spain.

Record champions Real will enter the March 18 last eight draw along with Manchester City, who drew 0-0 with Sporting Lisbon after a 5-0 canter in Portugal.

Bayern Munich and Liverpool progressed on Tuesday and the remaining second legs are played next week.

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