PSG knock holders Bayern out on away goals

Paris Saint-Germain knocked Bayern Munich out of the Champions League after a 1-0 win for the Bundesliga side was not enough, with the French champions progressing to the semi-finals on away goals.

In another elite encounter which followed on from an entertaining first leg which PSG won 3-2 in Germany, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goal (40), which came against the run of play after Neymar had hit the post and bar, put Bayern just one goal away from qualification.

PSG could have crumbled, knowing they have only made one Champions League semi-final since 1995, but Mauricio Pochettino’s team were resolute in defence to see out the result.

The French side will face either Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.

Player Ratings

PSG: Navas (7), Dagba (7), Danilo (8), Kimpembe (8), Diallo (7), Gueye (8), Paredes (8), Di María (8), Neymar (7), Draxler (7), Mbappé (8)

Subs: Kean (6), Bakker (6), Herrera (6)

Bayern Munich: Neuer (7), Pavard (6), Boateng (7), Alaba (6), Hernandez (7), Kimmich (7), Muller (6), Coman (5), Sane (5), Davies (6), Choupo-Moting (7)

Subs: Martinez (6), Musiala (6)

Man of the match: Idrissa Gueye

How Poch led PSG to famous victory…

PSG came into the game having won 16 of their 17 UEFA competition ties when they recorded a first-leg away victory, including in this season’s round of 16 against Barcelona.

Bayern know only one way of playing and that is on the front-foot, yet, it was PSG who carried all the quality in a tense first half. Without the prolific Robert Lewandowski, the six-time champions lacked a cutting edge.

Pochettino’s side played cleverly on the counter-attack with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria causing all sorts of problems out wide.

Team news

  • PSG were without captain Marquinhos after the centre back picked up an adductor muscle injury in the first leg, so Danilo partnered Presnel Kimpembe at the heart of the defence.
  • Leon Goretzka travelled to Paris but was in the squad owing to a muscular injury. Jerome Boateng, Lucas Hernandez and Kinglsey Coman all returned from knocks.

That good approach play meant Neymar had three shots saved by Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and hit the woodwork twice in an eventful period just before the break. Neuer could only watch the ball flick off his crossbar from Neymar on 37 minutes before the Brazilian went even closer 90 seconds later when thumping an effort off the base of the post following a superb pass from Mbappe.

It only looked a matter of time until PSG struck, but the tie tilted Bayern’s way when Choupo-Moting headed home following Bayern’s first dangerous attack of the game on 40 minutes.

Kingsley Coman’s run found David Alaba in the PSG penalty area, and his low shot was saved by Keylor Navas. However, the ball spun back up into the air and Choupo-Moting held off PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe to nod in from close range.

Navas then denied Alaba, whose left-foot drive appeared destined for the top-left corner, before Leroy Sane shot straight at the PSG ‘keeper shortly ahead of half-time.

PSG went on the offensive again at the start of the second half as Di Maria sent a dangerous low cross through the Bayern six-yard box that was somehow missed by Neymar.

Mbappe thought he had put the tie to bed when he broke clear into the Bayern half to fire the ball past Neuer into the top corner, but he was correctly ruled offside.

Bayern threw everything at PSG in the final 10 minutes but time and time again their final ball lacked the usual level of quality up against a well-drilled PSG defence. They could not force any late drama as Sane’s low cross into the six-yard box in stoppage time was smothered by Navas.

Man of the match: Idrissa Gueye

Star man: Idrissa Gueye
Star man: Idrissa Gueye

It was hard to ignore any of the majestic PSG front three as Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria were all full of invention and quality in the final third. However, they did not manage to find the net – somehow.

So, the key area was the space in front of the PSG back four. They were protected expertly by former Everton man Idrissa Gueye. He has taken his game to another level judged on this performance. When he was required to snuff out danger, he was there. When he was required to cover one of his team-mates, he was there. For all their attacking talent, Gueye is perhaps their most important player in this style under Pochettino.

No player made more tackles than him on the night (six) as he was supported in the engine room by the classy Paredes, who sparked plenty of PSG counter-attacks with sublime passing into his front three.

Opta stats

  • PSG have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second season in a row, after managing to reach the last four only once in their previous 11 campaigns in the competition before that (their first in 1994-95).
  • Bayern Munich are the third reigning Champions League winners in a row to fail to reach at least the semi-final stage in the following season in the competition, something that has not happened since four successive teams failed between 2004-05 & 2007-8 (Porto, Liverpool, Barcelona, Milan).
  • PSG failed to score at home in the Champions League for the first time in 24 games, since a 0-0 draw with Real Madrid in October 2015.
  • Bayern Munich mustered 45 shots over their two clashes with PSG, the joint-most any team managed against an opponent in two games in the Champions League this season (level with Sevilla vs FK Krasnodar).

What’s next?

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are away at Wolfsburg on Saturday; kick-off at 2.30pm.

PSG, who are three points behind Lille in the Ligue 1 title race, play St Etienne on Sunday; kick-off at 12pm.


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