Neymar hits the bar with brilliant solo effort then the post minutes later
Choupo-Moting profits from slight goalkeeper error to score opener
PSG survive multiple scares to see out the match and knock the champions out
Mauricio Pochettino managed to do what his predecessor Thomas Tuchel failed to do: on a cool spring night in Paris, he conjured a victory for PSG against Bayern Munich. His team may have lost in this leg, but their win away last week was enough to take them through to a semi final against either Manchester City or Dortmund. It is an indication of the club’s fondness for under-achievement that this will only be the third occasion they have advanced to the last four in the Champions League. But this time, after the way in which they saw off the current champions with a combination of brilliance and steel, it would be unwise to bet against them.
It was clear from the outset that neither side had forgotten how to thrill in the days since the first leg. If not quite the reckless slugfest of their astonishing scrap in the Munich snow, this was still a fizzbang of attack and counter attack, breathtaking individual skill confronting magnificently honed team ethic.
And what players were involved. For all Neymar’s laughable histrionics (within moments of kick off he had made a late bid for this year’s best actor Oscar, rolling after a robust challenge), what ball control he possesses. His feet dancing like Nijinsky, he was a constant threat to Munich’s injury-ravaged defence. There was a delightful jig on the edge of the visitors’ area, followed by a shot that hit the bar. Then moments later, Kylien Mbappe set him up after Julian Drazler had broken at pace, his shot slipped beyond Manuel Neuer only to strike the post.
But then Munich demonstrated how precisely to take a chance. With Thomas Muller as ever applying a perfect touch in the build-up, they broke quickly. David Alaba had a shot that Kaylor Navas saved well. But the ball bounced up and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting - as he had been in the first leg the understudy for the headline act Robert Lewandowski - rose above Presnel Kimpembe to force the ball home. A goal built at the Bet 365 Stadium.
And so the action continued to sparkle. Angel Di Maria was magnificent, constantly employing flicks and feints to confound his markers. But whatever PSG’s forward line could do, Muller could match. If only Leroy Sane had been on the same wavelength. A couple of times in the first half, Muller set him up only to see the opportunity squandered.
Even with Munich now just another strike from progressing, what PSG are not programmed to sit on a lead. After all they are managed by Pochettino not Jose Mourinho. In the second half the double act of Neymar and Di Maria went through the repertoire of tricks, as if performing in a testimonial rather than a Champions League quarter final. The ball apparently glued to their feet, they conjured a chance that the Brazilian, scrabbling at the last to make contact, missed making contact by inches. It was Paul Gascoigne Euro 96 revisited.
But Munich were not mesmerised. In search of the critical second goal, they attacked relentlessly; Leandro Parades headed off the line after Kingsley Koman steered a header goalwards. This was a game of constant thrust and counter thrust: if it wasn’t Neymar it was Sane going for goal (and just missing); if it wasn’t Di Maria passing beautifully, it was Muller giving a masterclass of movement.
The trouble was Munich, hamstrung by injury, had nothing on the bench to refresh their already depleted first choice. For the last ten minutes they tried everything - wave after wave of long balls, short balls, booming crosses - in search of the second goal that would take them through. Even at the very last, when Sane put a cross straight into Navas’s arms when gloriously placed, they could not find a way through the blue wall. No wonder, as the final whistle sounded, Pochettino wore a smile the width of the Seine.
PSG's lucky charm
Keylor Navas still never lost a two-legged Champions League tie he played in.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) April 13, 2021
Liverpool and City in action tomorrow
Chelsea also went through to the semi-final by seeing off Porto tonight which means if Liverpool and City win there will be three English sides in the semi.
PSG look quite good...
PSG REACH THE SEMI-FINAL! The champions are out!
90 mins+3 - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Sane! Oh no. He's made the wrong decision and executed it terribly. He's played into space on the right, chops to beat a slide tackle, looks up and then royally screws up his pass inside the six yard box, giving it straight to the goalkeeper. That's the kind of output that prevents him being absolute top level.
90 mins+2 - PSG 0 Bayern 1
I don't get this joke but Sam is usually on point with his punchlines. I was born in the mid-80s, for context.
Not been so impressed by the togetherness of a Paris-based outfit since I first glimpsed the Muskehounds on children’s BBC in the mid-1980s #PSGFCB
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) April 13, 2021
Meanwhile on the pitch, Neymar almost runs in behind the last line with clever dribbling and quick acceleration but fails to slip a pass into Mbappe which would seal the tie. In his defence, I'm not sure the pass was on.
90 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
All Bayern. PSG scrambling around the ball, just trying to force their way into the box and find a shot from somewhere.
AND THEN MBAPPE RACES AWAY! Kimmich keeps up with him, the ball is played inside to an empty half towards Neymar... and Neuer is there to turn it away.
87 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Bayern have PSG on the ropes! The ball is zipping around the box, laid off for shots 10, 12, 18 yards out... and blocked every time by the defence. PSG showing the resolve they need to here. Bayern still not quite there.
The game is also not quite done.
85 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
It's all getting panicked now. PSG attack, Bayern recover, Bayern get into the final third, into the box, it's like the most tense pin ball game you've seen. Martinez comes on for Choupo-Moting, presumably as a makeshift striker. Lovely to see Champions League quarter-final tactics can be "Get it to the big man!"
82 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Navas runs into Paredes, both players fall over and the referee gives a free-kick to PSG. That is an astonishingly bad decision. Abysmal. How has he done that? That's making a decision on what he thinks happened rather than what he actually saw. Does my head in.
81 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Mbappe runs in behind again! This time Hernandez is able to catch up with him and get the ball forward. Bayern get up the pitch and look for a way through but there are two walls of four in front of them and two amazing players waiting to counter higher up. Sane needs to push higher and wider to stretch the PSG defence, he's getting lost in the game a bit.
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA - offside?!
Mbappe runs off the shoulder of the last man as Bayern step up to half way, gets to the box and finishes superbly. He is offside.
78 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Kean pulls out wide into space as PSG counter but he panics a little while shaping up to shoot in a great position on the edge of the box and lifts the ball into the top of the stands.
77 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
PSG blocking the middle of the pitch, they're not shifting over to the ball side, only the wide players do. Everyone else stays in the centre in a flat 4-4-2.
76 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Martin Keown has just suggested Bayern might go to a back three for the final part of the game 'and just go for it', ignoring they've been playing with a back two for most of the game and probably don't need one attacking player off the pitch for another defensive one while chasing the game.
75 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Coman's decision making has been tentative tonight and he's made the wrong choice a few times. Here he's held onto the ball too long while looking for an option, allowing time to run out on his only available pass wide and being tackled.
73 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Musiala is on for Davies. The one that got away for England.
PSG sub Draxler off for Kean and that'll probably be change of shape with Di Maria going into... nope. Kean just goes wide left.
71 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Great floated pass by Sane! He switches play into the area and Coman can shoot at the far post... but he heads it across goal! Choupo-Moting can't turn it in and the chance is gone. There is no way this game finishes 1-0.
68 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Paredes goes down in agony as Muller fouls him but honestly, although it's clearly a foul, there's no way the boy is actually hurt like that. You wouldn't do that at fives, Paredes would you? Would you do that at fives? ARGAGHRHGRGHRHGHGRGHGHHGGH I AM SO HURT. He's fine. Imagine what your friends would do.
66 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Di Maria and Neymar start pulling out the five star skill tricks on the wing to evade defenders and keep the ball. It's great. Mbappe then works hard to track a runner and stop Bayern getting forward too quickly.
65 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
The referee blows for a foul as Choupo-Moting maybe fouls a centre-back while heading back across the box. I'm not sure I see it and that could have turned into a huge goal. Neymar drops deep to try and get involved in build-up, Danilo plays a through-ball that his full-back is never going to change. Starting to get nervy!
63 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
PSG dropping deeper and deeper... Bayern able to creep higher up the pitch. When the ball goes out for a goal kick they try to slow things down... but then end up giving away possession because of Bayern pressure.
60 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Foul throw by Alaba and nobody has noticed. Nobody. Except... US
57 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
PSG's defensive line is pushing right up to the halfway line when Bayern have the ball. They're trying to press high and stay compact to keep them as far from their goal as possible.
Diallo seems to have twanged his hamstring and will have to come off or receive some of that magic spray Di Maria got earlier.
54 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Oh man that is close. Mbappe clips a ball diagonall over to Di Maria, he controls, beats his man and tucks the ball across the six yard box. It just needs a tap in and Neymar is inches away from meeting it! It's Euro 96 all over again but instead of Paul Gascoigne and England it's Neymar and PSG.
53 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Bayern playing through the lines, moving from a 4-4-1-1 to a 2-3-5 with the full-backs becoming central midfielders and the wingers staying wide.
50 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Scrappy short passes from PSG in midfield and they've handed possession to Bayern high up the pitch. Alaba waits for the ball to drop before aiming a shot inside the post from 20 yards but pulls it wide. It just feels like Bayern are going to score again. As good as PSG are you think they're beatable, even with this lead.
Neymar is trying to take charge though. He faces up to two Bayern players, waits for them to approach on the edge of the box and tries a lovely bit of skill to go past, winning a corner. He ends up volleying over from the second phase of that corner.
47 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Boateng has taken a real whack while trying to tackle Neymar. He's hurt but he had to make it because Mbappe was flying beyond them had he been able to play a pass.
It feels a little bit like one of those games PSG could very easily end up losing. They're not doing anything wrong and are offering a lot of threat on the break but Bayern will have the belief and the momentum in this half and PSG need to kill that as soon as possible. Wasting time too often could lead to complacency - they need to shut it down with the ball.
Sane has just wasted a huge chance to put Bayern ahead as Paredes completely misreads a bouncing a ball and puts Bayern three v three. Sane uses the defender to disguise his shot but tucks it too close to the goalie.
And that's the end of the half. Great game so far.
45 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
What a save by Navas! He dives to turn a dipping, swerving shot from Alaba past the post. The commentator says he "rolled back the years" with that shot. Alaba is 28.
43 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 1
Mbappe!!!! This boy is unreal. He goes round the outside of Neymar, who blocks a defender, then lollipops before drilling a low shot. Wide of the post. The referee blows for obstruction too, which seems fair.
PSG 0 Bayern 1
Ohhhhh here it comes. Bayern attack on the left, Navas doesn't save well from a shot or cross at his near post, the ball bounces into the area and Choupo-Moting is ready to head it into an empty net.
39 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
NEYMAR HITS THE POST! Great play by PSG who break quickly through the middle, Mbappe draws defenders away and then sets up Neymar. He controls superbly, dribbles into the area and slides the shot off the woodwork. So close.
38 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Oh wow. Neymar almost scores one of the best goals of the season. He tries to slow things down at the corner, picks up the deflected cross, fakes to cross and completely bins a defender before shaping up on his right foot and bending a shot towards the top corner. It hits the bar!
36 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
PSG not committing too many players forward when they do attack, playing with a fonrt line of four rather than the five that many teams do. Neymar nearly catches Neuer out with a superb early shot at the near post but the goalie reacts quickly.
33 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Bayern push and push and push and all of a sudden Mbappe sprints in behind. The linesman says he's offside as Bayern hold a line at halfway but I think Pavard's playing him on. That could have been massive.
30 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Mbappe runs behind the high line, Davies sprints across to push him wide, Mbappe cuts it back into an empty box... but Neymar is just slightly behind play and can't get the connection he wants. Corner.
Then Neymar is amazing. He holds up Hernandez, puts his hand on Hernandez's face or neck to keep him pushed away and the defender snaps, grabbing his shirt as they wrestle towards the line. Bayern really lucky the referee wasn't buying that as a penalty.
27 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Or are they!? Good hit by Kimmich who strikes one from 25 yards but pulls it wide of the near post. Navas is furious the space opened up to allow that.
25 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Muller wants a simple pass rolled back to him as another Bayern attack on the wings comes to nothing. PSG doing well to keep this game quiet.
22 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Bayern looking to their speedy wingers to create space and chances. Sane and Coman heavily involved so far.
20 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
A big of magic spray and incredibly, Di Maria is not seriously injured and can play on. The wonders of modern medical science.
17 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Both teams a little wary of each other. Bayern need to score twice to go through remember. PSG players keep rolling around the floor when they get fouled, or at least Di Maria and Neymar do. Are they doing it wind up Bayern players on purpose? Or is Di Maria actually injured here? He's receiving treatment on his knee and looks to be in a bit of pain... but he always looks in pain when fouled. The Footballer Who Cried Wolf. Hopefully he's OK.
14 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Lewandowski is watching along on his TV.
[waves in liveblog]
11 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Bayern looking for the diagonal long pass towards Sane, who takes it down and then manages to beat a couple of players before slipping Coman in. Coman makes an early pass which is blocked and PSG move up the other end. Mbappe destroys the back line, skipping past challenges at the byline to pull a pass back. Both sides keen to hit the other in transition as quickly as possible.
8 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Coman is played into space on the left, cuts a pass back to Choupo-Moting but with a little but too much speed and that means his first touch is slow, which gives PSG defenders the chance to clear.
7 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Kimmich is brilliant to watch. Almost moving, always in space, switches play with long passes, doesn't panic under pressure. He's one of the best holding midfielders in the entire world but doesn't seem to be spoken about that much, something I suspect is due to his being entirely unavailable for transfer gossip columns as a player synonymous with Bayern.
4 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Mbappe is played in behind the defence inside the first few minutes! Neymar, he and Draxler have the Bayern defence three v three but the shot is dragged wide of Neuer's far post. I think he may have been offside anyway.
3 mins - PSG 0 Bayern 0
Bayern pushing high from the start, pressing aggressively and trying to make PSG retreat closer to their own goal.
Here we go! This might be brilliant. Nay - it will. After what feels like a 10 minute monologue from the commentator, Bayern get the game started.
And now, time for (what should be) the official Champions League theme tune:
CROSS THE LINE AND WIIIIN, TOLD YOU SOOOOO
There will be question marks about him
Says Steve McManaman of Mauricio Pochettino, who he somewhat predictably is a big fan of. If PSG lose then - and only then - will it be right to start questioning Pochettino.
Meanwhile, BT Sport have just rolled out a stat showing Hansi Flick has the best win percentage of any Bayern manager in history. At 82 per cent he's above everyone but even he is under pressure. And if he doesn't win tonight there will be question marks about him.
It's all a nonsense really.
Mauricio Pochettino on how to win with PSG
"The team was close but when you look back the team (who loses) always misses something to win," says Pochettino in a pre-recorded BT Sport interview. One way they can definitely get better is by winning more games in Ligue 1 - Pochettino's side are second at the moment, three points behind league leaders Lille.
Yes, you are correct
That is Eric Choupo-Moting up front for Bayern Munich. Robert Lewandowski is injured but even if he weren't, who would dare to drop the ex-Stoke striker? He's a little unfortunate to be stuck with that reputation since even thought he wasn't particularly great in the Premier League the one season he played there, Choupo-Moting's career is actually quite high level. Mainz, Schalke, then Stoke, then PSG. It is weird, sure, but he's not a bad player. Also, his agent must be amazing.
This is what the teams look like this evening:
Mauricio Pochettino says Bayern are the best team in the world
Hello there and welcome to our liveblog for PSG vs Bayern Munich. I watched Real Madrid vs Liverpool when the first leg of this was on and missed out on what, apparently, was one of the best Champions League games in years so I'm extremely hopeful we get something similar tonight.
Mauricio Pochettino hasn't quite woven the magic that is said to be in his managerial hands by his many fans but PSG have an incredibly talented squad and an important 3-2 away leg lead over Bayern.
“I agree that we’ve been better away from home,” Pochettino said in his press conference on Monday. “It is something we will have to look into at the end of the season but let’s hope things start turning around tomorrow.”
He also went on to describe Bayern as the “best team in Europe, best team in the world.
“It was already hard to keep the ball against Barcelona already, it doesn’t matter who is playing. It’s a question of collective attitude.
“It’s a challenge for tomorrow, being able to keep the ball and hurt the opposition. The Barça game is behind us and the Bayern game is another story. There will be moments when we will struggle and it’s in these moments that we will need to show solidarity and solidity.”
Hansi Flick will be asking for a lot from his CL winning side and if not, the noises surrounding a potential approach for Jurgen Klopp to replace him will get ever louder, particularly after Liverpool's disappointing season. Klopp hasn't ever intimated that he'd want to take over at Bayern and has actually said words to the effect that he'll probably only have one more job once he's finished at Anfield before retiring but there are few from Germany able to turn down the lure of the biggest club in the country.
Flick is still in charge for now of course so let's stop just typing manager transfer rumours and get on with what could be a thoroughly exciting game. Kick off is 8pm on BT Sport 3 and we have live updates throughout.