The European football nights returned but with much less pomp than what would ideally have been expected. With a rollicking clash scheduled between PSG and Real Madrid to restart the proceedings, the French stalwarts ran rings around Los Blancos as the attacking trio of Mbappe, Neymar and Messi always left the Real Madrid rearguard on their toes.
There were a couple of excellent saves pulled by Thibaut Courtois to deny the French juggernauts till the hammer fell in the dying embers of the contest. With all said and done, Lionel Messi’s effort from the spot was denied by a diving Courtois, sending the Madrid fans into a delirious bout of frenzy.
Real Madrid’s future beacon of excellence was in prime form
The Madrid loyalists were hopeful of walking out with the draw in the Round of 16 opening leg unless the star of the match, Kylian Mbappe showed his class for the umpteenth time in the game, blasting past a couple of Madrid defenders to hammer home a clinical finish.
The dominion of the Parisians bore fruit after 22 cracks at the Spanish goal. Courtois pulled off remarkable saves for Real Madrid until Mbappe left the Belgian shot-stopper stranded with a fine finish that skid through his legs.
Real Madrid’s fans were happy and sad at the same time for two completely contrasting reasons. Being a fan, accepting defeat can be brutal at times but if that allows you to know the kind of gentry that your future pennant-bearer of excellence will be bringing to Santiago Bernabeu, it is bound to enliven your spirits.
The first and foremost reason for Real Madrid fans to be happy despite an ailing loss at the hands of the Parisians was a superlative display from French striker, Kylian Mbappe. The PSG marksman was the tormentor in chief of Real Madrid as the defensive pair of David Alaba and Eder Militao were hassled and harried on multiple occasions.
Even Messi struggled to break free from the manacles despite his magical twist and turns but Mbappe was absolutely untenable and he ran riots at Parc des Princes last night. Going by the rumours, it is almost assured that the French talisman will be joining Madrid for free as his contract at PSG runs out at the end of the season.
The kind of captivating football played by Mbappe will be a beacon of starlight for the disappointed Madrid fans who stayed witness to the heap of creaking bones and stooped visages in his wake of destruction.
However, if Mbappe’s destructive display brought joy and sadness alike to the Madrid chauvinists, there was one aspect of the game that they simply couldn’t stop gloating at.
The Argentine football icon, the shipwrecking midfielder at the hands of whom Real Madrid has suffered quite a few El Clasico drubbings, Lionel Messi failed to flip the ball home from the spot. Thibaut Courtois put in a staunch dive to stave away a drifting enterprise from the PSG playmaker to the delirious cheers of joy and ecstasy.
Courtois was hugged and transcended to the pantheon of Madrid gods in sheer beauty of the save. Sadly, for the Belgian custodian, Mbappe had other plans as he pranced his way past a couple of bamboozled Real defenders to see the ball rolling through Courtois’ feet to imbricate itself into the back of the net.