PSG Beats Bayern Munich on Away Goals, Advances to Champions League SemifinalsApril 13, 2021
Paris Saint-Germain is through the UEFA Champions League semifinals for the second straight season after drawing Bayern Munich 3-3 on aggregate and advancing on away goals.
Having come away with a 3-2 win in the first leg in Munich, the Parisians suffered a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday at Parc des Princes in the French capital.
Rather than sitting back and protecting a one-goal lead, Paris Saint-Germain was proactive to begin the second leg. The reigning Ligue 1 champions were also unfortunate not to draw first blood.
In the 37th minute, Neymar curled a right-footed shot from just inside the 18-yard box off the crossbar. Moments later, the Brazilian had another shot hit off the post.
Then PSG's worst fears came true as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was in the right place at the right time. Keylor Navas saved a low shot from David Alaba, but Choupo-Moting headed home the deflection.
It was a goal largely against the run of play based on how well Paris Saint-Germain was getting forward.
Some began to wonder whether another PSG collapse on the European stage was in store. The club wasn't in serious danger of going out, but it already put in a Jekyll and Hyde showing in the round of 16 against Barcelona.
Still, Bayern needed another goal in order to advance, so Choupo-Moting's tally wasn't the end of the world for manager Mauricio Pochettino and his squad.
That fact probably didn't provide much comfort to supporters, who watched Bayern Munich look like the stronger side for the remainder of the first half and much of the second.
Kylian Mbappe appeared to give PSG the goal it desperately needed for some breathing room when he fired a shot past Manuel Neuer in the 78th minute. However, the French forward was ruled to be offside, so the goal was taken off the board.
Bayern continued to throw men forward to no avail.
The aggregate result was what PSG will have wanted, but the team's combined performance might have left something to be desired for Pochettino.
Bayern Munich was without Robert Lewandowski for both legs and simply isn't the same after having steamrolled over the domestic and continental competition.
The ongoing drama behind the scenes is a prime example of how much things have changed in Bavaria.
Having said all of that, the narrative surrounding PSG would probably be far different if its luck had been slightly better. Had Neymar scored on one of his two chances toward the end of the first half, the floodgates could've opened.
Depending on whom Paris Saint-Germain draws in the next round, it might have to raise its game to another level in order to remain on track to win its first Champions League title.
PSG awaits the winner of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund's quarterfinal clash. City carries a 2-1 advantage into the second leg.