BAYERN BEAT PSG TO ADVANCE TO QUARTER-FINALS OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Bayern Munich cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they condemned Paris St-Germain to another last-16 exit.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting swept home just after the hour mark for the hosts against his former club, with substitute Serge Gnabry adding the gloss to a professional display late on.

PSG have now been eliminated from the competition at this stage in five of their previous seven campaigns and this represented another dismal failure for the Ligue 1 leaders and their under-pressure head coach Christophe Galtier.

Despite boasting a collection of stars, the Parisians not only failed to score over two legs but were saved the embarrassment of a four or five-goal aggregate defeat by a VAR decision and offside flag ruling out an earlier Choupo-Moting header and Sadio Mane’s stoppage-time effort.

Six-time European champions Bayern had begun the evening nervously defending a one-goal first-leg lead and guarding against the dual threat posed by Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.

However, while PSG’s star forward line sporadically threatened early on neither was given the time or space to inflict any damage on a disciplined and efficient Bayern side, who ran out comfortable winners.

The only major concern for the German champions arrived in the first period and was entirely self-inflicted.

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer – who was caught in possession by Achraf Hakimi – presented visiting midfielder Vitinha with an open goal but defender Matthijs de Ligt made a superb sliding intervention for the home side.

The draw for the last eight of the competition takes place on 17 March in Nyon, Switzerland.

Efficient Bayern prove too good for PSG

Sommer’s mistake should have been punished and provided PSG with the momentum to go on and win the tie, in the same manner¬†that Real Madrid¬†did against them almost exactly 12 months ago.

However, Vitinha’s weak finish was symptomatic of a side that has promised much but too often failed to deliver on big European nights – and who failed to score in a knockout tie for the first time since the 1994-95 semi-finals against AC Milan.

Sergio Ramos and Mbappe both saw second-half efforts well saved by Swiss international Sommer but by then the damage had been done and Bayern were in the ascendancy.

The German side’s control and strength in reserve was also underlined by their changes with Julian Nagelsmann able to introduce Gnabry, Mane, Joao Cancelo and Leroy Sane while bringing off the likes of Thomas Muller and the impressive Jamal Musiala.

The impact of Portugal international Cancelo – who is on loan at Bayern from Manchester City – was immediate, as he laid on a goal for Gnabry within three minutes of his introduction to put the tie beyond doubt.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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