Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will have to wait another year for a chance to win the UEFA Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain after Bayern Munich on Wednesday contained the World Cup stars and beat PSG 2-0 to advance to the quarter-finals 3-0 on aggregate.
After former PSG forward Kingsley Coman scored in the round-of-16 first leg, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting — another former PSG player — doubled the advantage before Serge Gnabry finished off the scoring at the Allianz Arena.
PSG had dominated the first half of the game and were only denied the lead by a goal-line clearance from Bayern’s Matthijs de Ligt, but Bayern regained their focus in the second half to secure the win.
Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann had spoken previously of having a plan to shut down Messi and Mbappe, and it seemed to work as Bayern’s defenders gradually squeezed them out of the game.
“In the first game, we didn’t do what we had spoken about before very well,” Nagelsmann told broadcaster DAZN. “There was too much space. We defended better in the second half and were dangerous on the ball. In the end, we deserved to win.”
All PSG can win this season is the Ligue 1 title after being knocked out of the Coupe de France by Olympique de Marseille last month.
Shortly after having a goal ruled out for offside, and also inadvertently blocking a teammate’s shot, Choupo-Moting scored in the 61st minute to put Bayern on course for the quarter-finals and send PSG — who have never won the Champions League — out of the competition in the last 16 for the second year running.
Leon Goretzka and Thomas Muller teamed up to take the ball off Marco Verratti, setting up Goretzka to square the ball for Choupo-Moting to apply a simple finish with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma stranded.
Two substitutes then linked up to make sure of the win on the counter in the 89th minute, with Joao Cancelo surging down the right flank before playing in Gnabry to score.
PSG were without Neymar, who played the first leg before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury, but had Mbappe, a substitute in the first game, back in the starting lineup.
The French champions pressed Bayern high up the field from the start, pressuring Bayern’s defense into some rash decisions.
Bayern were lucky to escape without conceding when De Ligt made a desperate goal-line block in the 36th minute to clear Vitinha’s shot on an otherwise unguarded net. The chance came about when goalkeeper Yann Sommer tried to dribble forward under pressure from Achraf Hakimi, only to give the ball away to Vitinha.
Swiss goalkeeper Sommer — signed to stand in for the injured Manuel Neuer — paid tribute to De Ligt, telling DAZN that he would reward the defender with “a truck load of Swiss chocolate.”
“I think we defended very well and, in the second half, were better at finding the space between the lines,” Sommer said.
PSG manager Christophe Galtier blamed the team’s busy schedule and injuries to key players for the loss.
The injury list lengthened when captain Marquinhos went off in the 36th minute with what appeared to be a repeat of the rib pain that limited him in last week’s Ligue 1 win over Nantes.
His replacement, Nordi Mukiele, was himself taken off at halftime for 17-year-old defender El Chadaille Bitshiabu, who was making his Champions League debut.
“We conceded what was a really stupid first goal at this level,” Galtier said. “Yes, there was pressure from Bayern, but sometimes you mustn’t be ashamed to play it long to get over the pressing. When you’re behind after an hour’s play, it’s difficult.”
In London, AC Milan booked a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012 after a goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur sealed a 1-0 aggregate victory.
Tottenham labored in their bid to overturn a one-goal deficit in the last-16 tie as Milan missed several chances.
Cristian Romero was sent off late on and Milan progressed despite a flurry of goal-mouth activity at both ends.
Additional reporting by AFP
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