Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti expressed his confidence in his team’s ability to win the second-leg match against Paris Saint-Germain, despite their defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Kylian Mbappé scored a brilliant goal in the last minute of stoppage time as PSG beat 13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid. The France striker, linked with a move to Real in the summer, received the ball on the left from a clever backheel by Neymar, and got between two defenders inside the box before slotting through Thibaut Courtois’ legs to send the Parc des Princes wild.
It was a dramatic finish to a game that had looked set to end in frustration for PSG, especially after Lionel Messi saw his penalty saved just after the hour mark.
Following the game, Ancelotti said: “Mbappé is the best player in football now. He is very strong. He won the match for his team… I admit that we did not play well and we must improve in the second leg, and this is what we will do.”
He added: “PSG made things difficult for us and pressed a lot and made it difficult to build attacks. We were good defensively, but this was not enough… It’s a 180-minute game, they played in the first round better than us and we have to play better than them in the second.”
“We have to be more intense and play boldly. A player like Mbappé can always create things and that’s what he did. It is true that PSG have a slight advantage, but I am confident that we will return.”
Brazilian Neymar participated as a substitute for Argentine star Angel Di Maria in the 73rd minute, after an absence of nearly two months due to injury.
Real Madrid’s main players Mendy and Casemiro will miss the second leg on 9 March because they were suspended for one game after reaching the yellow card limit for the competition.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy attended the game upon an invitation from the management of PSG to support the team in the European clash.
The fans of Paris Saint-Germain lit the candles in the stands and cheered the players with great enthusiasm amid a state of confidence in achieving a positive result against Real Madrid.
Notably, the French star of Algerian origin, Karim Benzema, played his 100th Champions League match with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid players made only two touches in the penalty area of Paris Saint-Germain in the first half, marking their lowest record in a Champions League match since the 2014 final against Atletico Madrid.