Bayern to quarter-finals of Champions League

Bayern to quarter-finals of Champions League
Lionel Messi frustrated by the conduct of the Munich match.

NOS Soccer

Bayern Munich has qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fourth time in a row. The German superpower with Matthijs de Ligt as a major force won 2-0 at home against the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern had also won the outward match in Paris 1-0.

For Paris Saint-Germain, it is already the fifth time in the last seven seasons that it remains stuck in the eighth finals.

Only in the corona years 2020 and 2021, when the stands were still empty, did PSG reach further: in 2021 it stranded in the semifinals and in 2020 it even lost the final. The opponent then: Bayern Munich.

Not in shape

Bayern squandered a wide lead in the Bundesliga in recent weeks, but managed to win the outward match in Paris 1-0.

  • AFP

    PSG coach Christophe Galtier has been under pressure in Paris for weeks.
  • AFP

    Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann has also seen better times.

PSG – also not having a good season – thus had to score, but without star player Neymar. The striker was told Monday that his season is over because of ankle surgery.

With Kylian Mbappé (good for 30 goals in 30 games this season, including 7 in 7 appearances in the Champions League) and Lionel Messi (who played his 150th Champions League game against Bayern), PSG obviously still had plenty of punch left.

Ten years and one day ago, Messi scored five goals in Barcelona’s 7-1 win over another German team, Bayer Leverkusen. Tonight, however, the Argentine did not manage to break free from his shadow: De Ligt.

Matthijs de Ligt keeps Lionel Messi off the ball.

The first half at the Allianz Arena was soporific. Paris Saint-Germain pressed, but hardly created any chances. The best was still for Mbappé, but he maneuvered himself into an impossible position and shot the ball into the side netting.

The highlight of the first half was a defensive action by De Ligt in the 38th minute, when Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer made a horrible mistake. The Swiss went on an adventure with the ball at foot, but got stuck on Marco Verratti.

Vitinha then thought to slide the ball into an empty goal, but that was beyond De Ligt’s control. The Oranje international, in his best form in recent weeks since making the move to Bayern, pulled the ball off the line with an ultimate slide to the relief of his startled goalkeeper.

De Ligt gets shot off the line

Shortly before, PSG had also lost its second Brazilian star keeper. Captain Marquinhos had to leave the side after just over half an hour and was replaced by Nordi Mukiele.

Remarkably, Mukiele did not return to the field after halftime either. In his place came the only 17-year-old (but already 1.97 meters tall) El Chadaille Bitshiabu, who only played seven games in the Parisian main squad.

Choupo-Moting in the lead

Five minutes after halftime, the youngster did not make a great impression when a cross from Jamal Musiala was headed into the far corner by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Bitshiabu was wrong, but was lucky that Thomas Müller behind him also attempted the ball and was offside in the process.

After more than an hour, Choupo-Moting did hit the ball and PSG had themselves to blame. Bitshiaby played the ball riskily into the feet of Verrati, who lost the ball to Müller on the edge of his own sixteen. It was then a breeze for Choupo-Moting to slide the ball into his old club’s empty goal: 1-0.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting made it 1-0 against his old club PSG.

Then Sommer revenged for his blunder in the first half with a superb save on a header by Sergio Ramos. Ten minutes before time, the Spanish defender headed the ball just wide of the post.

But the truth was that PSG had already given up after the 1-0. The fact that Alfonso Davies prevented Mbappé’s goal with a tackle á la De Ligt and substitute Serge Gnabry made it 2-0 after a breakaway no longer mattered.

That was really true of substitute Sadio Mané’s 3-0 in injury time, as that goal was disallowed for offside.

Kayleigh Williams