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PSG keep calm against Bayern Munich to book Champions League semi-final spot

Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino embrace Bayern Munich's Leroy Sane after their Champions League quarter-final. Picture: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino embrace Bayern Munich's Leroy Sane after their Champions League quarter-final. Picture: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Published Apr 13, 2021


PARIS - Paris St Germain reached the Champions League semi-finals despite a 1-0 home defeat by Bayern Munich on Tuesday as the title holders bowed out on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate result.

Eric Choupo-Moting scored the only goal of a mesmeric encounter before the interval but it was not enough to overturn the German side's 3-2 loss in last week's first leg.

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PSG, who had struggled at times in Munich, had the clearest chances but lacked efficiency, with Neymar hitting the woodwork twice and Kylian Mbappe's speed again proving tough to handle.

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Mauricio Pochettino's PSG side, however, kept their composure in a nerve-wrecking finale to book their spot in the last four against Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund as they look to reach the final for the second year in a row.

Their home form has been cause for concern this season, but this time PSG did not freeze as they proved extremely dangerous on the break throughout the match.

In the absence of injured captain Marquinhos, Danilo started alongside Presnel Kimpembe in central defence for the French champions while Bayern were without Leon Goretzka in the midfield.

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Bayern applied the pressure early on but PSG threatened on the counter with Mbappe and Neymar having the early chances in an error-strewn start.

The visitors had their first attempt in the 25th minute when Leroy Sane's curled short from outside the box went just wide.

PSG came close on a quick break as Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer denied Neymar in a one-on-one after the Brazilian had been found unmarked by Mbappe.

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Neymar was at it again three times in a handful of minutes with a powerful shot that Neuer deflected onto his post, a superb curled effort that crashed against the bar and another attempt that hit the post after he was played through by Mbappe.

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However, Bayern then went in front as Choupo-Moting headed home after PSG keeper Keylor Navas deflected David Alaba's shot into the path of the former PSG player, giving the German champions the lead on the night five minutes before the break.

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PSG were close again early in the second half when Angel Di Maria controlled Mbappe's cross splendidly and passed the ball past a flying Neuer across the face of goal, only for Neymar's stretching effort to slide it home being a few inches too short.

Mbappe thought he had equalised in the 78th minute after being played through by Neymar from just inside Bayern's half, but a VAR review confirmed Italian referee Daniele Orsato's decision to rule it out.

Hansi Flick's team created danger in the box repeatedly in the closing stages but the home side's defence held firm as they avenged last year's 1-0 final defeat by Bayern.

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