PSG reach first ever Champions League final

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PSG reach first ever Champions League final

Paris St-Germain (PSG) are through to their first Champions League final courtesy of a deserved victory over RB Leipzig in an entertaining semi-final in Lisbon.

One of Europe’s biggest spenders, but also one of the continent’s most high-profile underachievers on the grandest stage, PSG finally seized their opportunity courtesy of goals from Marquinhos, Angel di Maria and Juan Bernat.

The former, who scored the first of two late goals in a comeback win over Atalanta in the last eight, rose to head home a superbly delivered free-kick from Di Maria.

The Argentine forward then finished well from close range following an audacious flick from Neymar after Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi had relinquished possession with a dire kick.

With the fit-again Kylian Mbappe and Neymar terrorising the Leipzig backline, the French side should have been out of sight before the break, but the latter twice hit the post – from a clipped finish then an opportunist free-kick from range – before side-footing another chance wide at the near post.

Prior to PSG’s second, Yussuf Poulsen had Leipzig’s best chance but fired wide after he was found by a Dani Olmo pull-back.

Bernat sealed the win in the second half with a header that Leipzig felt was offside but was legitimate as the prone Nordi Mukiele, who had slipped in the build-up, was playing the scorer onside.

PSG will find out who they face in Sunday’s final when five-time winners Bayern Munich play Lyon in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

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PSG coach Thomas Tuchel: “I was never relaxed, but how we defended was also the most important thing for me. We had a good mix between determination, spirit and quality.

“We stayed faithful to our style of play. When possible, we looked to control the half-spaces and control their counterattacks. And we used the acceleration of Angel, Kylian and Neymar with the ball between the lines.

“We didn’t make big tactical changes. Yes, we adapt to all our opponents, but not too much. We have to show our strength, and the players again showed their hunger to win, work together and suffer.”

Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig coach, speaking to BT Sport: “The ticket for the final for Paris is well deserved. In the first ten to 12 minutes we did well and had good situations. It was hard to come back into the game after the second goal because Paris have a lot of quality. It’s hard to accept but football is like this.

“It’s not that easy to think about the good season we’ve had in the Champions League but in one week it will be ok. We know that it was a good season for a young team and we will try to do it again next season and work hard.”

 

 

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