Champions League round of 16
Paris Saint-Germain did it. After three consecutive painful failures, the club from the French capital fought off past demons to qualify onto the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Down one goal against Dortmund (2-1 in the first leg), the Parisians needed only one goal to qualify. They scored two and conceded none to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0.
Neymar with great performance.
The Brazilian was at a turning point with the club. He had been injured on the last two tries and wanted to redeem himself in the Champions League. His game was close to perfect and he delivered his team in an empty Parc des Princes stadium (due to coronavirus outbreak) with the first goal at the 28th minute. Bernat would add the second goal right before the break to give PSG a comfortable lead.
Dortmund lacked punch and did not create many chances on goal. Their super talented forward Haaland was invisible in this game. Maybe is it the year for PSG? With Atalanta, Leipzig, Atletico as the first 4 qualified PSG is in strong positions in the Champions League this year (should the tournament continues…).
PSG coach, Tuchel, on the extraordinary atmosphere:
“It was really extraordinary. On the bus, it was strong, it really motivated us, it gave us confidence. The team began to sing together. It was good and exactly the type of atmosphere we needed before a big match with lots of pressure on us. I really hoped that we were going to be able to take this atmosphere, and this spirit onto the pitch and the team did it. I am very happy.
There were periods in the match where we suffered together, including Sarabia, Cavani, Mbappé and Neymar! I felt that we were always in it together and that we were also able to be dangerous. We are very happy.”
Borussia Dortmund delivered a disappointing performance. The Germans were unable to replicated the intensity and determination demonstrated in the first leg.
“We didn’t produce the performance required to reach the next round of the competition. Our game was littered with too many errors. I felt the two goals we conceded were too easy. PSG didn’t have to work too hard to score the two goals. And when it came to going forward we were too harmless. We were lacking penetration.”
“We didn’t show enough courage. It wasn’t enough out there. There’s a lot of disappointment that we haven’t taken this big opportunity. We were not good enough and that’s why PSG went through to the next round.”