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Real Madrid 3-1 PSG: Asensio should always get his chance


3-1: it's a scoreline that might just do Real Madrid. Once again, Los Blancos showed that the European stage brings out a sense of assurance and authority in them that gives the side that bit extra - and, thanks to that, they came out on top in a thrilling, ding-dong affair in which they endured their tricky moments; moments that can now be seen as having been well worth it. They won the match very late on, when Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio were brought on to shore up the flanks at the back and run at their man going forward. They both did well, but particular credit goes to Asensio, who led two attacks in quick succession that brought goals for Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo. He's a player who should always, always get his chance. Yet again, he was terrific on the big occasion.

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) celebrates scoring Real Madrid's second with Marco Asensio, who had a hand in two goals after coming on as a second-half substitute on Wednesday.
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Cristiano Ronaldo (left) celebrates scoring Real Madrid's second with Marco Asensio, who had a hand in two goals after coming on as a second-half substitute on Wednesday.Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

Cristiano reaches century of Champions League goals for Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane's starting line-up saw Real Madrid's head coach curb his almost superstitious devotion to the 'bbC' by picking Isco over Gareth Bale. This gave Real greater midfield presence, and they started excellently, pressing high and offering plenty of cause for encouragement. But bit by bit, PSG began to find an outlet on the wing occupied by Neymar, who kept Nacho's hands full all night long. Given the threat of PSG's front three, every such foray was a frightening prospect, and it was the visitors who scored first, leaving the Bernabéu fearing the worst. On the stroke of half time, however, Real were grateful to be awarded one of those penalties which, perhaps, only the home side gets in the Champions League, and Ronaldo converted for his 100th goal for the club in the competition.

Subs prove key as Real Madrid earn two-goal first-leg lead

After the break, the game grew steadily more disorganised: football built on less solid tactical foundations, and dominated by the abundance of individual talent on the pitch - and the feeling that a goal could come at either end, particularly Real's, where the chief moments of danger seemed to be occurring. Zidane threw on Bale for Karim Benzema (who was whistled by the home fans again), and Unai Emery reacted by taking off Edinson Cavani. PSG's coach appeared to settle for 1-1. And he was on his way to getting it when Zidane made the changes that my fellow pundit on Spanish radio, Álvaro Benito, had been suggesting for the previous half an hour, to help win the wide battle. Real take a cushion to Paris, where Emery can expect to spend the next three weeks on the end of daggers from Cavani.