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Initial Reactions: Real Madrid 1 - 0 PSG, Champions League

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Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

You know when you're playing FIFA, and you're just completely dominating, with 68% possession and quadruple the amount of shots than your opponent, and you still lose?

That's what PSG must have felt like tonight - after the first half anyway. Here are some takeaways from Real Madrid's flattering 1-0 win over their Group A rivals.

  1. It seems appropriate to break this match down into two halves, since Real Madrid were a much improved team in the second half. In the first half, PSG were nearly flawless tactically. Laurent Blanc had created a suffocating scheme where the French side had all the space in the World offensively, while staying defensively compact and closing down every channel. It was a huge reason they were able to dominate possession and carve Real Madrid's defense. De facto, the first half of this match in particular, was the first time Real Madrid were dissected at the back this season, with Di Maria and Aurier constantly getting behind the defense. 

  2. In the second half, Real Madrid improved three-fold, and were still way below their own standards. That sentence should be descriptive of Real Madrid's performance overall. What Real essentially did better was they kept a better defensive shape, and knocked the ball around in a more conducive way to create chances. Strangely enough, while PSG could have easily won this game, Real Madrid had enough good chances on their own to win this game by two or three goals.

  3. It's hard to find a player that stood out in the team today. Keylor Navas did his job extremely well, and I thought Varane in particular had a solid game. But for me, the best player in a white shirt was Luka Modric who's intricate passing and ability to hold the ball seemed to instigate most of Real Madrid's flow. 58 of 63 completed passes.

    Luka - 58 of 63 completed passes tonight.


  4. Ronaldo was extremely poor today. I hate to single out anyone in a game where many players made mistakes, but more is needed from him.

  5. Marcelo's injury was disastrous. He would have been so beneficial in a tight-locked game such as this. Animo Marcy.  

  6. An impossible dream, but, I would love to see Danilo and Casemiro take some free-kicks.

  7. All in all, despite the complaints, Real Madrid have another shutout and victory - this one against a world-class opponent. 

    And James, Bale, and Benzema aren't even back yet. So, it can't be that bad.