PSG Holds Off Bayern Munich to Reach Champions League Semifinals

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Paris Saint-Germain enacted its revenge on Bayern Munich, eliminating the 2020 UEFA Champions League winners in a rematch of last season’s final.

PSG carried a 3-2 edge into the second leg and it was those three away goals that saw the French champions advance to its second straight UCL semifinals, negating Bayern’s 1-0 win on Tuesday in Paris on a 3-3 aggregate. 

In the first 10 minutes, PSG showed that it would not just sit back and defend its one-goal lead. As fireworks went off outside the Parc des Princes, Kylian Mbappé showed plenty of spark against Bayern, nearly scoring in the third minute before setting up Neymar's close, albeit offside, chance in front of goal. 

With the French champions already missing key players in Mauro Icardi and first-leg goalscorer Marquinhos, Ángel Di María continued to limp after receiving treatment on his leg in the 19th minute. However, the Argentine stayed on and immediately played a beautifully chipped pass into the box for Neymar that went amiss.

In the 26th minute, PSG keeper Keylor Navas nearly gifted Bayern a lifeline when his errant throw eventually created an excellent chance for Leroy Sané, whose curling effort from outside the box sailed just wide of the post. 

It wasn't long before PSG had its best chance of the first half when Mbappé led a counter attack down the left, drawing defenders before laying off a slow pass to a wide-open Neymar. But Manuel Neuer sensed the danger and came up with a big save to keep the game scoreless at the half-hour mark.

Neuer denied Neymar once again after the Brazilian mesmerized Bayern's defenders in the 34th with a series of stepovers, but his shot couldn't squeeze past Neuer at the near post. 

Then in the 36th, Neymar lashed a shot that beat Neuer but hit the crossbar. The former Barcelona star continued to terrorize Bayern but was unlucky once again when he hit post in the 39th.

Filling in for the injured Robert Lewandowski, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored again against his former team to give Bayern the lead in the 40th minute. On a loose ball in front of goal, Choupo-Moting outmuscled Presnel Kimpembe to get to Navas's rebounded save and headed home to make it 3-3 on aggregate. 

Still needing another goal to advance thanks to PSG's three away goals, Bayern flew out of the halftime gates. David Alaba's wide-open volley from 20 yards in the 47th minute made PSG fans hold their breath as it zipped wide. 

PSG needed to sub off Abdou Diallo due to injury in the 59th minute. In came Champions League rookie Mitchel Bakker as the 20-year-old former Ajax left-back was tasked with limiting Thomas Müller and Sané. 

Moise Kean entered in the 72nd minute for Julian Draxler and had a great chance to put PSG even on a counter attack five minutes later, but he skied the effort. Mbappé followed up that chance with one of his own in the 79th, blasting the ball into the back of the net before a very delayed offside call—surely a result of the sideline ref's hasty offside call in the first half that denied the French star a wide-open run toward goal. 

Müller had the best chance of the second half for Bayern in the 86th minute during a scramble in the PSG box, but the German playmaker's shot was deftly blocked by Kimpembe as Bayern continued to come up empty.

Navas pounced on Bayern's last chance in the final minute of stoppage time, cutting off a Sané pass that was fizzing across the box before winding down the clock.  


Here were the lineups for both teams:

PSG will go on to play either Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals. Man City holds a 2-1 aggregate lead heading into Wednesday's second leg in Germany.

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