Paris Saint-Germain avenged their 2020 Champions League final defeat by beating Bayern Munich on away goals to progress into the semi-finals, thanks in part to a brilliant Neymar performance.
PSG held a 3-2 lead from the first leg, where Kylian Mbappe put Bayern to the sword with a brace to give the French giants three away goals. Those proved crucial as despite a 1-0 defeat on the night, the Parisians progressed 3-3 on aggregate thanks to those away goals.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s header in the first half sent shivers up French fans backs, but they were dangerous throughout and in the end were able to hold out for a big win.
The game started as a more cagey affair than the first leg, but PSG continued to be a threat on the counter in a similar manner against the Bundesliga side’s high line.
Mbappe threatened in behind on occasion but was called offside, but everything that Mauricio Pochettino’s side did went through the enigmatic Brazilian. It was his passing that opened up the Bayern defence and the only thing that let him down on the night was his finishing.
He hit the crossbar with a beautiful curling effort from the edge of the box after losing Kingsley Coman with a chop, and then hit the post when put through one on one after a brilliant move. He also saw a previous effort saved by Manuel Neuer after being rolled a square pass by Mbappe, he was instrumental.
In the second half he used his experience and know how to slow the game right down. He was being fouled regularly and just took the bumps, constantly asking for the ball with his back to goal knowing he’d get a kick from behind.
A few dazzling runs resulted in chances and one ended in a pass to Mbappe, who crossed for Angel Di Maria. The Argentine brought the ball down and beat the defender with skill before rolling the ball across the goal, but Neymar slid in and just couldn’t reach meaning Bayern survived again.
But aside from anything inside the 18-yard box, Neymar showed that right now he is the best player on the planet bar none.
PSG seemed to have a chip on their shoulder in this game after the final last year and the team now look like they’re ready to go one step further this year and actually win the tournament.
They’ve shown an ability to dig deep when they need to to grind out a result defensively, but they also have the exceptional quality in attack to trouble any defence in world football.
A semi-final now awaits against the winner of the Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund tie, but whoever gets through will know that they have a true European heavyweight in their way that go by the name of Paris Saint-Germain.