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Ronaldo equals record as Real Madrid and PSG win


PARIS: Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) both gained convincing victories on Wednesday in their respective Champions League quarterfinal first leg matches to give themselves the upper hand ahead of next week’s second legs. Real, who have reached the semifinals in the past three seasons, avenged in part last season’s semifinals defeat to Borussia Dortmund by beating the German side 3-0 while PSG - who reached the quarterfinals last term - saw off 2012 winners Chelsea 3-1. It was, however, a tale of contrasting fortunes for Real and PSG’s leading scorers.
Real’s world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo scored their third to equal Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (2011/12) and Brazilian Jose Altafini’s ‘Mazzola’, in 1962/63, record haul of 14 goals in a season in the European Cup/Champions League and on his 100th appearance in the competition proper to boot. For PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though, it was a night to forget on a personal level as he failed to score and then pulled up clutching his right hamstring shortly after the hour mark. Ronaldo too had to go off early, with pain in a knee - unlike last Saturday where he was booed by the home crowd for not passing to a team-mate, this time it was to a standing ovation.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti didn’t think it was too serious but Laurent Blanc, who replaced him at PSG this season, said he feared Ibrahimovic’s injury could take a while to heal. Real got off to a dream start as Gareth Bale scored in the third minute for his fifth in the competition this season. Real added to their lead later in the first-half. Isco, who come in for the sick Angel di Maria, scoring with a neatly taken shot. Ronaldo knocked in the third in the 57th minute taking him to 64 in total for the competition, just seven off record holder and former Real darling Raul - Messi lies second with 67.
Ancelotti, who in the musical chairs that is football management replaced Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at Real this season, said his side must repeat this performance in the second leg. Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp dismissed the absences of so many key players as the reason for the defeat. “In the second-half we had so many chances and we didn’t take one of them, but I know this team can do so much better and that is what we have to think about.”
PSG too got off to a flying start with the outstanding Ezequiel Lavezzi scoring in the fourth minute with a divine half volley. However, Chelsea levelled when Eden Hazard stroked home a penalty on the ground where three years ago he secured the Ligue 1 title with Lille. The hosts, though, restored their one goal lead in the 61st minute as a free-kick by Lavezzi caused havoc in the Chelsea defence and David Luiz put the ball into his own net. Mourinho threw on Frank Lampard for his 100th Champions League appearance but his only real contribution was to be one of the two players fooled by Javier Pastore’s trickery in time added on that saw the Argentinean give the hosts their third goal. Blanc was delighted with the performance and said the third goal could prove the deciding factor. Mourinho, who has also seen his side’s Premier League title challenge falter of late, was seething about the third goal but did not give up hope of turning it around.
Leading scorers
14: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/ESP)
10: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris SG/FRA)
8: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP)
7: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid/ESP)
6: Sergio Aguero (Man City/ENG), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/GER)
5: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid/ESP), Alvaro Negredo (Man City/ENG), Arturo Vidal (Juventus/ITA)
4: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Edinson Cavani (Paris SG/FRA), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/ITA), Hulk (Zenit Saint Petersburg/RUS), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich/GER), Raul Garcia (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Robin Van Persie (Man Utd/ENG). 

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