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Paris Saint-Germain stormed from two goals down with 10 minutes remaining to earn a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid in their heavyweight Champions League group tussle on Tuesday.
The visitors knew that anything but defeat at the Bernabeu would confirm them as group winners, with both sides having been guaranteed qualification following Club Brugge’s draw at Galatasaray.
However, PSG were second best for much of the match. Karim Benzema kept his cool to give the hosts the lead on 17 minutes as he finished off when presented with the ball inside the six-yard box after Federico Valverde had hit the post.
However, following a consultation with the VAR, Portuguese referee Artur Dias overturned his decision and awarded the hosts a free-kick following a coming together between PSG’s Idrissa Gueye and Marcelo earlier in the move.
Despite losing the reverse fixture 3-0, Madrid appeared in complete control at the Bernabeu when Benzema headed in a second on 79 minutes. But Kylian Mbappe pounced on a defensive error to pull a goal back just two minutes later.
And PSG were level on 83 minutes through a superb Pablo Sarabia strike. Gareth Bale had the chance to make himself a hero with the Madrid fans but hit the post with a free-kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
“We played a great match,” Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We are not happy with the final result, but we are happy with how we played. We are happy with what we did for the first 80 minutes. If we can keep playing like this, I’ll be satisfied.”
Former Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas making a few good saves to keep the hosts from adding to their lead.
“Real Madrid was the better team for many minutes tonight,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. “Real Madrid played quite well, with a lot of confidence.”
“Hazard’s game was spectacular. He got a knock. He twisted his ankle. I hope it’s not much. We’ll see tomorrow… he’s gone to do the tests now and we’ll see,” Zidane said.
“We feel good about the performance but not the result because we still wanted to win, but I think we gave everything on the pitch as Real Madrid always do,” Benzema told reporters.
“Little by little, we are starting to play together as a team.”
PSG midfielder Marco Veratti said his side had been outplayed for sections of the game but praised them for their reaction.
“In the first half, we didn’t play our game and suffered too much but it’s hard to avoid suffering away to Madrid,” he said. “Few teams win here.
“We were a little more courageous in the second half. Even though we gave away a lot of chances, we played like we know how.”
PSG dropped points for the first time in this European campaign, with 13 points ahead of their final match of the group stage at home to Galatasaray. Madrid travel to Brugge on matchday six.
Information from Reuters was used in this report