PSG and Chelsea are through to the UEFA Champions League semifinals after advancing on Tuesday despite losing their second legs. PSG fell 1-0 at home to Bayern Munich but advanced on away goals, finishing 3-3 on aggregate. Chelsea lost 1-0 to Porto, but their 2-0 win in the first leg last week saw them go through 2-1 on aggregate.
Following the action, here are our takeaways:
PSG fully deserving, but lack of sharpness kept Bayern in it
After arguably being outplayed in the first leg, PSG were clearly the better team in the second leg, despite the score. Neymar hit the woodwork twice, missed a couple chances from close, and it was just one of those games. The Brazilian was sensational, flashy and got himself into lovely positions — all that was missing was that clean final touch. Because of his lack of finishing, Bayern found themselves just one goal away from advancing and crushing the Parisian dream once again.
Kylian Mbappe didn’t get the chances he wanted, but his passing to Neymar was key, and they should have scored more than once.
If anything, they will feel like they’ve gotten that bad finishing out of their system ahead of the semifinals, where they will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund.
Tough exit for Bayern, but credit is due
Bayern were not deserving of going through, and they rightfully go out in the last eight. But let’s not just paint this as as some sort of failure, crashing out of the tournament. They had no Robert Lewandowski, no Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka missed the second leg and numerous others were out. They still outshot PSG 14-10 and finished with a higher xG, 1.79 to PSG’s 1.74.
With a team struggling for depth and without a really strong option at striker, they pushed PSG to the brink. And for that, Hansi Flick deserves a ton of credit. While the sharpness wasn’t there, the effort and opportunities were.
Bayern had 45 shots across the two legs. You have to figure they are into the semifinals if Lewandowski plays.
Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.
Don’t be shocked if Pulisic gets rested this weekend
American Christian Pulisic got the well-deserved start after his two goals over the weekend, but don’t be shocked if he doesn’t feature much at all against Manchester City this Saturday in the FA Cup semifinals.
According to Paul Carr of TruMedia, his 11 received fouls are the most for any player since Lionel Messi vs. Real Madrid in 2011.
You could even see him walking gingerly after a couple tackles. That physical play he received, though it may sound strange, is quite a compliment. Porto had trouble with his speed and technical ability, and they had to slow him down.
But, boy, is he going to need some ice packs now through the weekend.
Goal of the tournament?
A takeaway for Porto? Well, they can take this goal with them. Though it meant nothing, Mehdi Taremi scored arguably the best goal of the knockout stage with this ridiculous golazo: