Wolfsburg stuns Real Madrid; Man City holds PSG in Champions League

Wolfsburg stuns Real Madrid; Man City holds PSG in Champions League
Updated 07 April 2016

Wolfsburg stuns Real Madrid; Man City holds PSG in Champions League

Wolfsburg stuns Real Madrid; Man City holds PSG in Champions League

PARIS: Wolfsburg stunned an out-of-sorts Real Madrid by comfortably beating the Spaniards in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Real were poor defensively and a rapid attack ended with Bruno Henrique setting up Max Arnold for the second.
Madrid started brightly with Bale and Ronaldo running amok. Ronaldo had the ball in the net but was harshly flagged offside when he looked level with the last defender and Bale cut in from the right and had a penalty claim turned down. He then popped up on the left to cross for Ronaldo at the near post only for Diego Benaglio to smother at the Portuguese forward’s his feet.
The bad news for Madrid was that Benezma had twisted his knee earlier on and needed treatment. He might have scored from Casemiro’s fine through pass but his effort was saved by Benaglio and Jese was sent to warm up as the Frenchman continued to grimace.
Real still had the early control and it was only being broken by Draxler’s running down the Madrid right. It was from another of his breakaways that Wolfsburg’s goal came. He crossed for André Schürrle who appeared to trip himself up under pressure from Casemiro and referee Gianluca Rocchi pointed to the spot.
The penalty was debatable but the execution was not with Ricardo Rodriguez emphatically sending Navas the wrong way.
Meanwhile, in Par des Princes, Fernandinho’s deflected goal earned Manchester City a draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal at Paris St-Germain.
Kevin de Bruyne’s clinical finish gave City the lead after Joe Hart saved Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s penalty for PSG.
Ibrahimovic capitalized on Fernando’s error to equalize and Adrien Rabiot tapped in after the break to put French champions PSG in front.
Fernandinho’s scuffed effort gave City a potentially vital second away goal and atone for his unbelievable error which led his side to concede.
Zinedine Zidane admitted Real Madrid suffered an El Clasico hangover.
Just five days after ending Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 away win, Real were humbled as Wolfsburg ignored their struggling mid-table form in Germany’s top flight.
Real never recovered as first half goals from Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold put the hosts 2-0 up at the Volkswagen Arena with 25 minutes gone.
Wolfsburg now have the upper hand ahead of Tuesday’s return leg at the Bernabeu.
“I’m not happy, above all with the first half. This can happen if you don’t play with intensity from the start,” said coach Zidane, who made just one change from the team which beat Barca.
“We wanted to play here just like we did on Saturday, it was an intensive game for us (in Barcelona) and we were flat in the first-half here.
“Now we have a chance in the return leg and it’s good we’ve got a game in three days (at home to Eibar) to get over this defeat.
“We had our problems, not just in the intensity, but also in our movement.
“We didn’t expect the 2-0 defeat and we need to analyze where we went wrong and make corrections.”
Zidane even said he was proud of his players and took full responsibility for the result.
“I have to find the reasons for the defeat and the solutions,” he added.
Real’s six-game winning streak was ended as Wolfsburg picked up their first win in four games since beating Gent in the last 16 of the tournament.
It was a poor performance from Real’s star forward as Gareth Bale was kept quiet and Cristiano Ronaldo rarely shook of his markers.
France forward Karim Benzema went off on 41 minutes after a knock.
Bale was left frustrated at not being awarded a first half penalty after a heavy challenge in the area from Luiz Gustavo.
“I felt I got to the ball first and he hit me, so it is obviously frustrating, but we have another game,” said the Welshman.
“We just have to make sure now that in the return we win by three goals.”
Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking gambled by starting inexperienced Brazilian Bruno Henrique on the right wing, who set up Arnold’s goal.
Center-back Naldo played his first game since dislocating his shoulder in February and helped subdue the Real attack.
There was little hint of the drama to come when Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo put the ball in the Wolfsburg net after just 74 seconds, but the offside flag went up.
“The tie is not over yet, we have another game at home with the fans on our side.”