Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 (3-2 on agg.) Borussia Dortmund
Paris Saint-Germain are back in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in four years. The French champions overcame a 2-1 first-leg deficit — and avoided more last-16 disappointment — as they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at the Parc des Princes.
After scoring a crucial away goal in the first leg, Neymar once again starred as he scored the opening goal to put PSG on their way. Juan Bernat then claimed the crucial winning goal in first-half stoppage time.
Highlights of the game
The big Champions League 2020 news was that PSG, who were already without the suspended Marco Verratti and the injured captain Thiago Silva, were also missing superstar Kylian Mbappe.
The French star missed a few days of training after a coronavirus scare. While his test came back negative for the virus, he only started on the bench as Pablo Sarabia partnered Edinson Cavani upfront with Neymar and Angel Di Maria in behind.
But despite those absentees, the Champions League 2020 news still had the Parisians priced as significant favourites to win at home.
The match was a slow burn to start, though. The first notable chance for either side came on 18 minutes. Achraf Hakimi got free on the Dortmund right, but he couldn’t quite find Erling Braut Haaland with his cross into the six-yard box.
Shortly thereafter, Jadon Sancho attempted an ambitious volley from the edge of the penalty area, but he sliced it wide of goal.
PSG had their first real sight on goal on 25 minutes, and they really should have scored from it. Cavani was clear through on goal, but Dortmund keeper Roman Burki made an excellent save with his leg to send the shot agonisingly wide.
However, PSG would eventually take the lead minutes later as Neymar got on the end of a corner and headed home. It was some poor marking from Hakimi, who lost track of the dangerous Brazilian on the far post.
Dortmund attempted to hit back through Sancho, but the English teen was denied twice by PSG keeper Keylor Navas.
The Germans were mere moments from going into the break with a chance to regroup when disaster struck. A brilliant Paris passing move saw a couple of Spaniards combine as full-back Juan Bernat broke into the box and redirected Sarabia’s cross into the net.
PSG nearly added a third goal to their advantage nine minutes after the break. Angel Di Maria’s free-kick looked destined for the top corner, but Burki did well to parry it away for a corner.
Dortmund needed just one goal to send the tie to extra time, but they struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities and were reduced to speculative shots from distance that didn’t trouble Navas.
And any hope Dortmund had of coming up with a late goal went up in smoke a couple of minutes from full-time. Emre Can committed a hard foul on Neymar and had some more words after, which the other PSG players took exception to. PSG captain Marquinhos raced over to confront Can as a melee broke loose between the two sides.
When things calmed down a bit, referee Anthony Taylor booked three PSG players and handed a stunned Can a straight red.
That was all she wrote for Dortmund, who crashed out is somewhat disappointing fashion after showing such promise in the first leg.
Dortmund just about edged out the home side in terms of possession (53 per cent to 47) and total shots (11-8), which is unsurprising considering they had to chase the match for the entire second half. However, they struggled to test Navas in PSG’s goal as they had just two shots on target.
Sancho was Dortmund’s most dangerous player as he had three total shots and both of their shots on goal.
But Haaland was unable to create any Champions League 2020 highlights as he disappointingly had no shots the entire match. The 19-year-old has now failed to score in each of his last three appearances (two starts).
Barring a postponement of the Champions League, PSG will play the first leg of their quarter-final tie on April 7 or 8. They must also wait until next week to find out their opponents for the last eight as the quarter-final draw will be held on March 20.
But before all of that, it’s back to Ligue 1 duty for PSG this weekend as they host Nice at home.
As for Dortmund, they will now put their full attention toward the Bundesliga title race after their European exit. Dortmund will host the Revierderby against rivals Schalke this weekend, which will be massive.
BVB have had a lot of struggles against Schalke in recent years, though, so despite having them as the favourites, it might not be such an easy match.
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