PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid both gained convincing victories yesterday in their respective Champions League quarter-final first leg matches to give themselves the upper hand ahead of next week's second legs.
Real, who have reached the semi-finals in the past three seasons, avenged in part last season's semi-finals defeat to Borussia Dortmund by beating the German side 3-0 while PSG — who reached the quarter-finals last term — saw off 2012 winners Chelsea 3-1.
It was, however, a tale of contrasting fortunes for Real and PSG's leading scorers.
Real's world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo scored their third to equal Barcelona's Lionel Messi (2011-12) and Brazilian Jose Altafini's "Mazzola", in 1962-63, record haul of 14 goals in a season in the European Cup/Champions League and on his 100th appearance in the competition proper to boot.
For PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though, it was a night to forget on a personal level as he failed to score and then pulled up clutching his right hamstring shortly after the hour mark.
Ronaldo too had to go off early, with pain in a knee — unlike last Saturday where he was booed by the home crowd for not passing to a teammate, this time it was to a standing ovation.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti didn't think it was too serious but Laurent Blanc said he feared Ibrahimovic's injury could take a while to heal.
In a dream start for Real Gareth Bale scored in the third minute for his fifth in the competition this season before the hosts added to their lead later in the first-half.
Isco, who had come in for the sick Angel di Maria, scoring with a neatly taken shot.
Ronaldo knocked in the third in the 57th minute taking him to 64 in total for the competition, just seven off record holder and former Real darling Raul — Messi lies second with 67.
Ancelotti said his side must repeat this performance in the second leg.
"We need to be careful and play our own game. If we play in the same way we did tonight then we will reach the semi-finals," he said.