Real Sociedad 1-2 PSG (1-4 agg): Kylian Mbappe sees French giants cruise into Champions League quarter-finals

At the double: Mbappe scored both of PSG’s goals (AFP via Getty Images)
At the double: Mbappe scored both of PSG’s goals (AFP via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe scored a brace as Paris Saint-Germain cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Real Sociedad.

PSG advanced 4-1 on aggregate, with Mbappe’s also scoring one of the goals in the 2-0 win in the first leg in Paris three weeks ago. The forward has already told PSG he will not stay with the club after this season.

Despite huge spending to try to win the Champions League for the first time, PSG had been eliminated from the last 16 five times in the last seven seasons, including the last two. It had made it to the semifinals in 2021 and was runner-up in 2020.

"We knew right away that we couldn't go to sleep," Mbappe’s said. "If they had opened the scoring, they would have pushed on with their fans' backing. We had to dampen their hopes early on. That's what we did, and we're very happy to be back in the quarterfinals."

Mbappe’s was the difference-maker again on Tuesday, opening the scoring with a beautiful goal in the 15th minute after a couple of nifty moves inside the area to cut back from near the touchline and fire a firm right-footed shot into the far corner. The shot broke the netting by the far post, prompting a short stoppage in play so it could be fixed.

Mbappe’s second goal came in the 56th with a run that started from near the midfield line. He sped to the open space to collect a long pass by Lee Kang-in and calmly found the net from inside the area.

At 25 years and 76 days, Mbapp� became the second-youngest player to reach 45 Champions League goals, from group stage to final. Lionel Messi reached that mark at 24 years and 257 days. Mbappe’s stands at 46 goals.

Mbappe’s hadn't scored in his last two appearances with PSG but had eight goals in his last eight matches with the club. He had been replaced in the last two matches but played through the final whistle on Tuesday.

PSG had won 10 of its last 13 matches in all competitions but was coming off consecutive draws against Rennes and Monaco in the French league.

Mikel Merino scored Sociedad's lone goal in the 89th to give the home crowd some reason to celebrate.

"We wanted to qualify, but we also wanted to win," Mbappe said. "We had a game plan that was clear, and we managed to score early. We didn't come under too much pressure, just a little at the end."

In the other last 16 game Wednesday, Bayern Munich advanced 3-1 on aggregate after defeating Lazio 3-0 at home.

Sociedad was trying to advance past the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time. The Basque Country club hadn't played in Europe's top club tournament since 2013-14. Its best European campaign was in 1982-83, when it reached the semifinals of the European Cup.

Sociedad started the season strong and won its Champions League group for the first time, but it has been going through a slump recently. It has lost six times in its last seven matches in all competitions, and has only one win in its last nine games.

"All opponents are difficult in the Champions League, but unfortunately we were drawn with probably the toughest one that we could face," Merino said. "We needed a perfect match to advance, but they are too good and have a player like Mbapp�, who is almost sure to score with his transitions. They were better than us."

The Spanish club had outplayed PSG during most of the first leg before conceding twice in the second half.

Sociedad had a goal by Ander Barrenetxea disallowed for offside in the 63rd.

Additional reporting from AP