Just minutes earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo rose amidst the haze from the Paris Saint-Germain flares, and headed a gilt-edged header wide.
The Real Madrid star had excitedly spent the first-half surging down the flanks in glimpses of days gone by before taking a more central role as a focal point in the second period, then missed that second-half chance – but, this is his stage. He wouldn’t miss again.
And with a UEFA Champions League final eight spot ready to seal, it should come as no surprise that he made amends for his miss with a prodigious leap and finish to kill off Paris Saint-Germain.
Gareth Bale was not picked, and this was a clear demonstration why: the work down the left flank by Marco Asensio flustered Dani Alves, and then the ball from Lucas Vazquez was simply irresistible. It was begging for Ronaldo to thump it home.
That means the Portuguese becomes just the second player after Ruud van Nistelrooy to score in nine consecutive UCL outings, bringing his tally in the competition to a dizzying 117 from 148 appearances. He has left Lionel Messi in his wake, as he waits to notch his century.
That makes it 31 goals in 33 games for Real this season, including 12 in eight in Europe. His streak of nine games in the UCL has included goals against Juventus (in the final), Borussia Dortmund, APOEL, Tottenham and now, PSG.
Think about this for a second: his 58 goals in this competition’s knockout phase alone would put him fourth in the all-time list of goal scorers during the entire competition, behind Raul’s 71, Messi’s 98 and the 59 he has scored in the group phase. Van Nistelrooy is fourth on the all-time list with 56 goals.
Only 19 TEAMS have scored more than his individual scoring tally.
His roll of honour defies belief:
Champions League top scorer – 117 goals
Most goals in Champions League finals – 4 goals
Most home goals in Champions League – 60 goals
Most Away goals in Champions League – 53 goals
Most free kick goals in Champions League – 12 goals
Most headed goals in Champions League – 19 goals
Most penalty goals in Champions League – 14 goals
Most goals in a Champions League season – 17 goals (2013/14)
Most goals in a single Champions League group stage – 11 (2015/16)