It was a magical evening of epic proportions at the Santiago Bernabeu last night as Real Madrid launched a spectacular "remontada" against Paris Saint-Germain. Karim Benzema was the hat-trick hero after it appeared as though it was going to be Kylian Mbappe's night. Real Madrid advanced to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate score.

PSG arrived in Spain carrying a 1-0 advantage from the first leg of their last-16 UEFA Champions League clash against Los Blancos. Mbappe scored a stoppage time goal that gave the French giants the victory at the Parc des Princes, and in the first half in Madrid, it looked like Mbappe would be the star of the show once more.

PSG were strong from kick-off, and it looked like it was going to be a repeat of their stellar performance in the first leg. Mbappe found the back of the net in the 34th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Five minutes later, he scored again and this time it counted, giving PSG a 2-0 lead on aggregate.

Los Blancos looked down and out, especially with Mbappe beating Thibaut Courtois once more in the 54th minute, but was again offside. However, the 13-time champions aren't the "Kings of Europe" for nothing. Eduardo Camavinga, Rodrygo and Lucas Vazquez were brought in by Carlo Ancelotti to shake things up, and the move yielded immediate results.

The fresh legs helped Real Madrid hold possession and control the pace of the match, giving the attackers more opportunities. In the 61st minute, Benzema took advantage of a distracted Donnarumma, who was slow to take a goal kick. The Frenchman wrestled the ball from the Italian and sent it to Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian had the composure to send the ball back to Benzema, who fired the first of his three goals of the night.

The atmosphere immediately changed after the first goal, and Real Madrid started to bombard the PSG half. Benzema scored again after an excellent play from Luka Modric, who manufactured the counter attack before feeding the number 9 for the finish.

With the aggregate score level at 2-2, Real Madrid went for the jugular. PSG on the other hand, looked like deer caught in headlights. Marquinhos made a loose pass and Benzema once again had the presence of mind to latch onto it. The Frenchman struck without hesitation to make it a hat-trick for the night.

PSG tried to fight back in the closing stages but every Real Madrid player on the pitch had an extra spring in their step. The 60,000 capacity crowd was going wild as they pointed at the banner that read "We are the kings of Europe."

The match ended 3-2 in favour of the home side, and PSG will have to return to Paris with their tails between their legs once more as they look towards next season to chase that elusive European crown. Even Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. could not make a difference, despite both looking very dangerous in the first half.

Karim Benzema
Hat-trick star: Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates AFP / JAVIER SORIANO