Football: Bayern cruise past PSG to reach Champions League last eight
MUNICH - Bayern Munich forward Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting scored against his former club and Serge Gnabry added a late second as the Germans beat Paris St Germain 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
The 33-year-old Choupo-Moting, who played for PSG from 2018-20, tapped in from Leon Goretzka’s assist in the 61st minute and substitute Gnabry struck in the 89th minute to seal the hosts’ 3-0 aggregate win after a 1-0 victory in Paris.
The Germans made sure of their last-eight spot after shutting out PSG superstars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe and are one of the title favourites going into the last eight.
“In the first half, we didn’t do what we had talked about t before very well,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said. “There was too much space.
“But we defended better in the second half and were dangerous on the ball. In the end, we deserved to win.”
“If we show maximum hunger with emotion and we couple that with our quality then we can achieve anything.”
PSG’s long wait to win Europe’s premier club trophy for the first time goes on.
Without injured forward Neymar, the French team were sharper in the early stages and went close through Mbappe and a double effort from Messi in the 25th minute.
Bayern gradually took control, however, and had a chance when Jamal Musiala’s 32nd-minute shot was blocked by keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Despite PSG captain Marquinhos being taken off with a rib injury in the 36th minute, the visitors almost went ahead when under-pressure Bayern keeper Yann Sommer lost possession in the box.
Vitinha’s shot with the goal at his mercy was cleared on the line by Matthijs de Ligt in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the game.
The Dutch defender had made an almost identical stop against VfB Stuttgart in the league last week.
With Mbappe largely quiet, it was in-form Choupo-Moting who struck just past the hour for his 17th goal in all competitions this season.
PSG attempted to bounce back instantly and Sergio Ramos’ header was saved by Sommer before the Spaniard headed wide but their hopes were shattered when Gnabry rounded off a quick break with the second Bayern goal.
“We did not manage to score when we were on top of things,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said.
“Then we concede a ridiculous goal. What made the difference is the fact we missed some key players in both legs. It’s a big disappointment but we have to swallow it.”
The quarter-final draw will take place on March 17.
C. (2023e, March 8). Football: Bayern cruise past PSG to reach Champions League last eight. The Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/football/football-bayern-cruise-past-psg-to-reach-champions-league-last-eight