Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund.

UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round.

Paris Saint-Germain 2

  • Neymar (28th minute)
  • J Bernat (46th minute)

Borussia Dortmund 0

  • E Can (sent off 89th minute)


PSG 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (agg: 3-2): Neymar on target as hosts overcome first-leg deficit

Match report as PSG boss Thomas Tuchel defeats former club to book Champions League quarter-final berth in match played behind closed doors

Thursday 12 March 2020 06:04, UK

Neymar pulled PSG level in the tie
Image: Neymar starred as Paris Saint-Germain reached the Champions League last eight

Paris Saint-Germain overcame a one-goal deficit to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2016, beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

Coronavirus fears ensured the contest was played out in a surreal setting behind closed doors, but Neymar headed the Parisians in front on away goals when he rose unmarked (28) for his 17th strike of the season, cancelling out Dortmund's 2-1 lead from the first leg three weeks ago.

The hosts, spurred on by the sound of thousands of supporters outside the Parc des Princes, doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Pablo Sarabia's low cross was tucked home by Juan Bernat, but Dortmund knew one goal would send the tie into extra time.

Lucien Favre's side were lacklustre throughout, however, with Erling Haaland failing to add to his 10 goals in the competition this season, and they ended the night with 10 men after Emre Can was sent off following an altercation with Neymar (89). PSG will learn their quarter-final opponents at the draw in Nyon on March 20.

Player ratings

PSG: Navas (7), Kehrer (7), Marquinhos (7), Kimpembe (7), Bernat (7), Gueye (8), Paredes (7), Sarabia (6), Di Maria (7), Neymar (8), Cavani (7).

Subs: Kurzawa (6), Kouassi (n/a), Mbappe (6).

Borussia Dortmund: Burki (7), Zagadou (6), Hummels (7), Piszczek (6), Hakimi (5), Guerreiro (6), Witsel (5), Can (5), Sancho (6), Hazard (6), Haaland (5).

Subs: Reyna (6), Brandt (6), Gotze (n/a).

Man of the match: Neymar.

How PSG lifted Champions League 'curse'

Thousands of PSG fans congregated outside the Parc des Princes on Wednesday
Image: Thousands of PSG fans congregated outside the Parc des Princes on Wednesday

Tuchel's preparations for the second leg were affected by the postponement of last Saturday's Ligue 1 trip to Strasbourg, which was called off due to the threat of coronavirus.

Winning the competition has become an obsession but their wretched record in knockout games and absence of key personnel made reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in four seasons a tall order against a Dortmund side who had scored in each of their previous 18 games.

Team news

PSG started Edinson Cavani up front with Kylian Mbappe only fit enough to make the bench after his recent chest pains. With Marco Verratti absent, Leandro Paredes started in midfield while Thilo Kehrer was picked at full-back in place of Thomas Meunier.

Lucien Favre went with the same 11 that started in the 2-1 win over PSG in the first leg three weeks ago. Giovanni Reyna, who made an impact off the bench, remained a substitute. Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and Thorgan Hazard formed the German side's three-pronged attack.

The Ligue 1 champions had lost five of their previous six such matches, losing each of their last two at the Parc des Princes against Real Madrid in March 2018 and Manchester United in March 2019.

More on this story

French publication Le Parisien led on Wednesday morning with the headline 'The Curse' - but in the absence of Kylian Mbappe from the start, PSG turned the tie on its head during an impressive opening 45 minutes.

Angel Di Maria had already been denied a penalty after falling theatrically under a challenge by Dan-Axel Zagadou when moments later the Argentine released Edinson Cavani through the middle but Roman Burki produced a superb save.

PSG vs Dortmund
Image: Edinson Cavani started up front for PSG with Kylian Mbappe on the bench

The visitors, who had progressed on each of the four previous occasions in which they had won the first leg of a knockout Champions League match, were in need of greater attacking impetus, but it was PSG who duly earned their advantage in the tie.

Achraf Hakimi switched off at the set-piece as Di Maria's delivery was gleefully headed home by the unmarked Neymar as the home side's dugout erupted.

The goal initially sparked Dortmund into life as Jadon Sancho tested Keylor Navas with a free-kick before the England winger elected to shoot from a tight angle, once more denied by the Costa Rican stopper.

Jadon Sancho reacts to Juan Bernat's strike on the stroke of half-time
Image: Jadon Sancho reacts to Juan Bernat's strike on the stroke of half-time

But in the first minute of first-half stoppage time, the hosts doubled their lead on the night. Neymar turned provider as he started the move on the left with a neat turn and run, finding Sarabia on the overlap on the right and his low ball was diverted into the bottom corner by left-back Bernat for his first goal since April 2019.

Dortmund were below par, with the same fire witnessed every other week generated by 80,000 at Signal Iduna Park curiously replaced by a nervousness in front of empty stands.

Mbappe entered the field after 63 minutes as Tuchel sought to provide the visitors with another problem. Favre responded with the introduction of Julian Brandt and it was his speculative shot moments after coming on which served as a reminder to the hosts that the tie was finely balanced.

But for only the fifth time this season, Dortmund failed to trouble the scoring - and their night was compounded when Can was shown two yellow cards in quick succession after reacting to a foul on Neymar by pushing him to the ground as PSG finally overcame their last-16 curse.

What the managers said

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel: "We had a nice trip in the bus, driving through the ultras. It was a crazy atmosphere and it changed the mood on the bus. It was full of joy and loud music. We told them to keep this energy, joy, togetherness and spirit out on the pitch.

"There were moments of big pressure but this was the moment to show up. The result was impressive. There is always a slightly negative vibe around here with criticism no matter how many times we win and there is pressure on the team but the luck was well deserved today and I'm super happy."

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe celebrate on a balcony with the fans outside the ground
Image: Neymar and Kylian Mbappe celebrate on a balcony with fans outside the ground

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre: "We might be disappointed that's clear. The possibility was there to make the next round. The first match, the second match today, we have had chances. We haven't played badly today.

"At the beginning it was a difficult, 15- 20 minutes, then we pressed better, had ball possession. We played very high to win the ball. Altogether it was not bad. We have missed the last pass, some faster passing in the right moment and runs in the right moment. Our playing was not bad but I regret the two goals. They are totally unnecessary."

Man of the match - Neymar

Neymar tracks back in a bid to regain possession for his side
Image: Neymar has had a direct hand in 14 goals in just eight home Champions League appearances or PSG, scoring 10 times and assisting a further four

With the PSG fans cheering from outside an empty stadium, Paris Saint-Germain finally reached the Champions League quarter-finals again - and Neymar rose to the occasion.

Scoring, creating and being a general nuisance, provoking the late show of dissent by Can, this was the Brazilian at his slippery best. Neymar has now scored six Champions League goals versus German sides, only netting more versus Scottish and French opposition (seven each).

Dortmund hardly resembled the side that dominated the first leg, but Neymar - who overcame an early shoulder injury after falling awkwardly - dusted himself down to provide for his side, both in and out of possession.

Is Holy Grail finally within reach?

PSG forward Neymar celebrates his opening goal with Marquinhos
Image: PSG forward Neymar celebrates his opening goal with Marquinhos

Analysis from Sky Sports' Ben Grounds:

The Parc des Princes staged stoppage-time drama last season as a late Manchester United penalty knocked the hosts out, and there were nerves late on as Dortmund poured forward, but this time PSG held firm.

Since Qatar Sports Investments took over in 2011, the French club have won 22 domestic trophies but it is the Champions League they crave more than anything else. With Liverpool's reign as European champions over, the trophy is certainly up for grabs.

Tuchel was appointed to finally end the wait for European honours, and having progressed to the next stage of the Champions League after losing the first leg of a knockout match for the very first time, this could finally prove PSG's year.

Opta stats

  • PSG remain unbeaten in each of their eight home matches with German sides in all European competition (W7 D1), progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2015-16.

  • Borussia Dortmund have been eliminated from a major European two-legged tie when winning the first leg for only the second time in the club's history, also falling out at the last-16 stage during the 1987-88 UEFA Cup to Club Brugge.

  • Paris Saint Germain have reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth different season, hitting this stage on more occasions than any other French side.

  • With Erling Haaland (19y 234d) and Jadon Sancho (19y 352d) both starting tonight vs PSG, Borussia Dortmund have now been responsible for each of the last four occasions in the competition more than one teenager has started a knockout match for single side.

What's next?

The draw for the Champions League quarter-finals will be held on March 20 in Nyon, Switzerland at 11am.

Paris Saint-Germain return to domestic action against Nice on Sunday; kick off is at 8pm. Dortmund continue their Bundesliga campaign a day earlier at home to Schalke at 2.30pm.

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