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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Bayern edge PSG to progress into Champions League quarters


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Berlin: Bayern Munich advanced into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after seeing off Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 (3-0 on aggregate) thanks to second-half goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Serge Gnabry in the second leg of the last 16 on Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain made a bright start as Kylian Mbappe raced down the left wing before testing Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer with an attempt from a tight angle following a fast break with only two minutes played.

Both teams looked afraid to concede and focused on defence, with goalscoring opportunities remaining at premium.

Bayern created their first clear-cut chance with 15 minutes gone when Leon Goretzka’s low shot from distance called PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma into action.

The visitors had their biggest opportunity to restore parity in the 38th minute but Matthijs de Ligt blocked Vitinha’s shot after Sommer was dispossessed in his own box.

The Bavarians came out with their guns blazing after the restart and thought they had broken the deadlock, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s 54th-minute strike was flagged offside.

The Bayern striker remained in the thick of things and got his name on the scoreboard moments later after Marco Verratti lost the ball to Goretzka, whose square pass allowed Choupo-Moting to break the deadlock.

The visitors responded well and had a promising chance three minutes later, as Sommer’s diving save neutralized Sergio Ramos’ dangerous header.

PSG needed two goals to progress and increased the pressure, whereas Bayern had plenty of room to counterattack. Leroy Sane wasted a golden chance to put the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute as his final pass wasn’t strong enough to give Kingsley Coman a free shot on target.

The visitors remained dangerous from dead-ball situations, as Ramos tested Sommer again following a corner from Lionel Messi in the 82nd minute.

Bayern eventually killed the game moments later as Serge Gnabry finished off a counterattack via Joao Cancelo to make it 2-0.

The record German champions kept going and even had another effort from Sadio Mane chalked off in the closing stages.

“We made some mistakes in the first half but after the restart, we defended well and were patient. I think we were the better team in the second half and clinched a deserved victory,” said Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann.


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