March 6 (UPI) — Real Madrid swept its round of 16 Champions League series against Paris Saint-Germain Tuesday, winning 2-1 at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
Madrid won 5-2 in aggregate scoring and will find out its opponent next week for the quarterfinal round. Both teams played a scoreless first half before Cristiano Ronaldo drew first blood.
Midfielder Marco Asensio turned around his dribble and led forward Lucas Vazquez into the box in the 51st minute. Vazquez lofted a cross with his left foot, finding the Portuguese striker at the far post. Ronaldo towered over Paris defender Yuri Berchiche for a header past keeper Alphonse Areola for the game’s first score.
Ronaldo’s score gave him nine straight Champions League games with at least one goal, tying a record set by Ruud van Nistelrooy from 2002 to 2003.
The match was effectively over at that point, as Paris needed a flurry of goals and a win to advance in the Champions League.
But PSG did not give up. The Ligue 1 power evened up the match in the 71st minute, when Angel DiMaria crossed a ball from the left side to Thiago Silva on the far post to his right. Silva headed the ball central, finding Javier Pastore for a diving header. The offering richocheted off of a crowd before being deflected into the goal by Edinson Cavani, past Madrid’s Keylor Navas.
The La Liga power would wrap up the match in the 80th minute. Ronaldo sprinted down the right flank with the ball taped to his foot. He laid off to Vazquez, who lost the ball after his pass was intercepted. PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot had a poor clearance inside the box, which deflected off of Ronaldo and landed on the boot of Carlos Casemiro. The Brazilian midfielder finessed a shot, chipping Areola and sending his shot into the right side of the goal.
PSG played the match without forward Neymar Jr. The Brazilian superstar had succesful right ankle surgery on Saturday in Brazil and will miss at least six weeks of action before being evaluated for a return.