Real Madrid and PSG played out a dramatic 2-2 draw on Tuesday during Matchday 5 of the Champions League as both teams earned what they were aiming for to start the day. PSG came back from two goals down late to earn a point and clinch Group A, while Real Madrid locked up a spot in the next round thanks to the draw between Galatasaray and Club Brugge earlier in the day.
Los Blancos had a chance to inch closer to possibly winning the group, but they conceded in the 81st and 83rd minutes before Gareth Bale's last-minute free kick rocked off the right post of former teammate Keylor Navas.
Real put together one of its best performances of the season to take a 2-0 lead 79 minutes in. Karim Benzema scored both goals for Los Blancos. But the defense couldn't handle the added dimension of Neymar, who boosted PSG's attack as Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia scored for the French side. PSG's first-place finish in the group means the team can play backups in the final Champions League group stage game against Galatasaray next month if that's coach Thomas Tuchel's wish, while Real is locked into second place.
Here are two key takeaways from Tuesday's match:
Real's defensive issues returned
Playing PSG is part of it, but let's not act like Tuchel's team was anywhere near its best. Real Madrid had gone five games without conceding before beating Real Sociedad 3-1 on Saturday, but those defensive mistakes returned in this one.
The opening goal for PSG was a gift from the defense and Thibaut Courtois. Real Madrid allowed Mbappe to pounce on the easiest goal he'll score all year. On the second PSG tally, each Real defender anticipated a low ball across the face of goal from the left wing, but the ball went top of the box and eventually found its way Sarabia for a wide-open rebound attempt. He didn't miss.
Had part of the defense been more concerned with those they should be marking, Real could have defused the situation and perhaps escaped with all three points.
The game could've been put away early
It says a lot when arguably the best performance of Real's UCL season so far is a draw. But Los Blancos could've blown it wide open on what was an off night for PSG. Real had 27 shots, 12 of which were on goal and a superb passing accuracy of 91 percent. The home team dictated play, but having to take out Eden Hazard due to injury in the second half changed this game (as did Neymar entering for PSG).
In the end, the result means little when it comes to the standings, but this could have been the statement win Real Madrid was looking for.
Real Madrid 2, PSG 2 (FT)
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