Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé will have to wait another year for a chance to win the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain. (More Football News)
Bayern Munich contained the World Cup stars and beat PSG 2-0 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 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 Allianz Stadium.
PSG had dominated the first half of the game and was only denied the lead by a goal-line clearance from Bayern’s Matthijs de Ligt, but Bayern regained its focus in the second half to secure the win.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann had spoken previously of having a plan to shut down Messi and Mbappé 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,” Julian 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 French league title after being knocked out of the French Cup by 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 quarterfinals and send PSG — which has never won the Champions League — out of the competition in the last 16 for the second year running.
Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller teamed up to take the ball off Marco Verratti and Goretzka squared 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, with João Cancelo surging down the right flank before playing in Gnabry to score.
Games between PSG and Bayern have helped define the career of Choupo-Moting, a late-developing 33-year-old forward who until this season was best known as a backup striker for Robert Lewandowski at Bayern.
Choupo-Moting played for PSG against Bayern when the German team won the Champions League final in 2020. After signing for Bayern as a free agent the following season, he scored once in each leg in a defeat on away goals to PSG in the Champions League quarterfinals.
PSG was without Neymar, who played the first leg before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury, but had Mbappé, 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 was lucky to escape without conceding when de Ligt made a desperate goal-line block in the 36th 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 coach 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 which limited him in last week’s 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.”