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Saturday, July 31, 2021

PSG knock out champions Bayern on away goals

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Paris St-Germain were beaten 0-1 on the night but held on to claim an away-goals 3-3 victory over holders Bayern Munich that takes them through to the last four of the Champions League.

In a fascinating second leg between the sides that contested last year’s final, PSG were threatening on the break, testing visiting goalkeeper Manuel Neuer a number of times and twice hitting the woodwork through Neymar.

It was Bayern, though, who broke the deadlock, giving themselves hope of a comeback win as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rose highest to follow-up David Alaba’s saved shot with a close-range header.

Soaking up pressure and using the pace and trickery of Neymar and Mbappe on the break, they were the more threatening side for much of the contest.

In the first half, Neuer and the goal frame repeatedly stood between them and an opening goal that would have swung the tie heavily in their favour.

But Choupo-Moting’s goal, coming moments after Neymar had struck both the bar and post with shots in the space of three minutes, ushered back memories of Manchester United’s comeback-win in Paris in the last 16 in 2019.

Missing the injured Robert Lewandowski, the German side lacked their usual ruthlessness up front and were unable to find the second goal that would have continued their trophy defence.

Kylian Mbappe thought he had sealed the tie with just over 10 minutes to go, but after breaking clear and firing in the assistant’s flag ruled his effort out.

PSG will face either Borussia Dortmund or Manchester City in the semi-finals, with the latter holding a 2-1 advantage going into Wednesday’s second leg in Germany.

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 and 2007-8 (Porto, Liverpool, Barcelona, AC Milan).

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).

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