Otago Daily Times
Paris SaintGermain through on aggregate
LONDON: Paris SaintGermain coach Mauricio Pochettino hailed an ‘‘amazing moment’’ after his side knocked holder Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on away goals to take its place in the semifinals.
The Ligue 1 club had edged a thrilling firstleg clash 32 in Munich, which proved decisive after Bayern could only secure a 10 win at Parc des Princes yesterday.
PSG was beaten 10 by the 30time German champion in the final of last season’s rescheduled tournament under former boss Thomas Tuchel.
Pochettino feels the squad has come a long way in the short time he has been at the helm, after the former Tottenham manager was appointed at the start of January.
‘‘It was a really tough match and I am really happy because the players deserve the credit. We are so happy for them, the club, the president,’’ Argentine Pochettino said on BT Sport.
‘‘After three months working here we are enjoying the moment and if you qualify for the semifinals then this is an amazing moment for us.
‘‘When you are on the touchline, close to the pitch, it is not easy to enjoy it, but I try to enjoy it every time.’’
Bayern was again without injured star striker Robert Lewandowski, coronavirusinfected Serge Gnabry, and midfielder Leon Goretzka for its 100th Champions League knockout match.
Brazilian Neymar was denied by the woodwork twice before Eric Maxim ChoupoMoting bundled the Germans in front on the night with a closerange header just before halftime.
The visitors though, could not find another away goal as the French side, which had Kylian Mbappe’s late effort ruled out for offside, progressed to the semifinals where it will meet either Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund.
‘‘Normally my team has so much quality in the final third, but today they were lacking that final punch,’’ Bayern coach Hansi Flick told Sky Germany.
‘‘You saw how dangerous they are in attack. As a fair loser, I would like to congratulate them.’’
In yesterday’s other quarterfinal, Chelsea lost 10 against Porto in neutral Spain after Mehdi Taremi’s late bicycle kick, but it too progressed to the semis, going through 21 overall.
Chelsea will feature in the last four for the first time since 2014 and play Real Madrid or Liverpool, which meet at Anfield today with the Spanish giants 31 up.
Both matches between Porto and Chelsea were played in Seville owing to Portugal’s coronavirus travel restrictions, and Taremi’s spectacular goal in added time came too late to deny the Blues.
‘‘Maybe on the television it was not so nice to watch but on the sidelines it was a very intense game, a very fast game,’’ Tuchel told BT Sport.
‘‘Overall we deserved to beat Porto. It was a tough 180 minutes.’’ — AAP