Paris Saint-Germain were always considered to be the favourites heading into their UEFA Champions League semi-final against RB Leipzig, and last night, they were able to live up to that tag with an impressive 3-0 win that took them through to their very first UCL final.
Marquinhos’ early goal set the tempo for the French champions before Angel Di Maria made it two shortly before half time. While Leipzig were resilient and did all they could to try and get back into the game, Juan Bernat killed things off as a contest just before the hour mark. Brazilian star Neymar played a big role, too, as he attempts to guide his side to the ultimate prize of European glory.
Mbappe’s rise continues
At the age of just 21, Kylian Mbappe is on the verge of adding the UEFA Champions League to his list of achievements – to go alongside his triumphant performances in the 2018 FIFA World Cup as France won the tournament. The youngster is quite clearly capable of doing some utterly remarkable things, and the scary part is that this is only just the beginning. He has a whole career of goals, moments and trophies ahead of him, and this could be one of the best chapters in his story.
German football rejoices?
Nobody can deny how impressive the rise of RB Leipzig has been across the last few years, but when you consider the fact that this club was built to serve as little more than a marketing vehicle for Red Bull, it all feels a little bit cheap. German clubs haven’t exactly been backing them throughout the course of their run to the semi-finals, and in all honesty, they’re probably going to be quite pleased to see that they’ve fallen just before the final hurdle.
In a game of this magnitude it’s important to embrace the nerves associated with the gravity of what you’re trying to accomplish, and that’s why we really enjoyed these quotes from PSG manager 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.”
Underachievers finally get it done
The biggest criticism thrown in the direction of PSG ever since they started getting such a notable financial backing has been their inability to win the big one, but now, they are just 90 minutes of football away from doing just that. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to get over the finish line, but this should give them substantial confidence as we look ahead to the future.
Lyon or Bayern await
At this moment in time, Paris Saint-Germain are 6/4 underdogs with 888sport to win the Champions League – despite being the only team to qualify for the final thus far. Tonight, we’ll find out who will be joining them, as Bayern Munich prepare to lock horns with Olympique Lyonnais. Some will be eager to see an all-French final after years of Ligue 1 suffering ridicule from rival leagues, but others want Bayern to win and progress through to the final. After all, if you want to be the best, then you’ve got to beat the best.
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