Magical European nights and the Santiago Bernabeu go hand in hand. PSG were the better side for 128 minutes of the 180 minute tie, but that did not stop Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, and the rest of the Real Madrid team from producing the goods in the final stanza and securing passage to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Legends like Benzema and Modric have cemented their names in Real Madrid folklore, while the new generation — Camavinga, Rodrygo, Vinicius JR, Fede Valverde, and Militao— experienced their first big European night at the Santiago Bernabeu. PSG’s meltdown was catastrophic and Madrid smelled blood in the water. The euphoria still lives on nearly 18 hours later.
Full match players ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Produced two big saves early in the first half on Mbappe to deny the Frenchman an early goal. If not for Courtois, PSG may have been 2 or 3 up at half-time.
Dani Carvajal—4: Had the difficult task of pressing high and being an important piece of the attack, but leaving Mbappe free in transition down Madrid’s right flank. His off ball defensive position was suspect at times and he struggled whenever placed in a foot-race with Mbappe. The tandem of Carvajal-Asensio on Madrid’s right flank did not appear to be at the level required for a match of this magnitude.
Eder Militao—8.5: Take a bow Eder Militao. Apart from one mistimed clearance, Militao was near perfect when faced with a trident of Messi-Neymar-Mbappe. It was Militao who had deal with the space that Carvajal left behind and try to mitigate Mbappe’s devastating runs on the counter. Without the Brazilian, Madrid’s night would have been very different.
David Alaba—8: The leader of the backline was constantly seen shouting and barking orders. Had a crucial tackle on Mbappe in the second half to deny a goal-scoring opportunity. Stepped out aggressively to deny Messi space.
Nacho—7: Featured at left back and had a solid performance. Achraf never got the better of Nacho and Messi was rarely isolated 1 v 1 vs the Madrid youth product.
Toni Kroos—6.5: Looked fitter than expected, but only lasted 57 minutes. Played in a deeper role and managed 4 key passes.
Luka Modric—9.5: Simply sensational - words will not do the Croatian’s performance justice. When the team needed him to show up, he did. Produced one of the most iconic moments of the match, a moment that will live on in the memories of Madridista’s for decades to come. Beat no less than five or six PSG players, running from some 50-yards with the ball, before releasing Vinicius with a sumptuous outside the boot through ball. Then went on to finish the play with a Guti-esque pass at the top of the box for Benzema to score the go-ahead goal.
Fede Valverde—8.5: Was one of the better performers in the first half, but really found his confidence and played his best game in the final 30 minutes alongside Camavinga and Modric.
Vinicius Junior—8.5: Had a hand in all three goals and probably should have scored a goal himself after connecting with a PSG deflection at the back post. Despite having a limited impact in the first half, often running into three of four PSG players, Vinicius never stopped working and finished the game with 1 assist alongside 7 completed dribbles.
Marco Asensio—2: Another big game, another night to forget for Marco Asensio. Everything seemed off — his touch, his passing, his finishing, and his defensive work rate.
Karim Benzema—10: One of the best players to ever play for the club and don the white shirt. It has been a privilege to see Karim Benzema grow into the player he has become over the last 13 years and tonight was his night. A hat-trick against a European titan when his team’s back was up against the wall. MOTM.
Rodrygo—8.5: Sensational performance — instant impact off the bench. Was not afraid to take Nuno Mendes on 1 v 1, combined with his striker partners, and was crucial in the third in final goal by winning the ball back off the kick-off and releasing Vinicius Junior down the left.
Eduardo Camavinga—8.5: The 19-year-old was another instrumental piece to the turn around. His work rate when high pressing, his distribution, and his overall energy and dynamism gave Madrid the lift they needed to get back into the tie.
Lucas Vazquez—8: His first touch of the ball was disposing Neymar after defending him 1 v 1 down Madrid’s right flank. Had an important foul on Mbappe to stop a counter and won 4 of his 5 ground duels, including 2 completed tackles.