PARIS, frança - march 11: (FREE FOR editor USE) In this handout image provided by UEFA, Neymar of ... <+> paris Saint-Germain celebrates win after a UEFA Champions liga round of 16 second leg jogos between paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund in ~ Parc des Princes on in march 11, 2020 in Paris, France. The jogos is played behind closed doors as a precaution against ns spread the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). (Photo by uefa - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)

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It was almost alarming to see paris Saint-Germain’s ease, control and authority in a Champions liga knock-out match. At this stage of the competition, the French team has der pathology to black out e collapse, regularly struggling come even executar some of a very basics of the game. In Europe, the sociedade has never ever failed come stretch ns definition of parody, always finding novel means of exiting the premier competition.

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And yet, ~ 45 minutes, the French champions had naquela commanding 2-0 lead versus Borussia Dortmund following two well-worked goals. In the 28th minute, Neymar exploited tudo the room he was given inside ns box to connect with der marvelous delivery a partir de Angel Di Maria. Just prior to half-time, Łukasz Piczszek’s touch carried the bola beyond his very own goalkeeper Burki into ns net.

PSG played a faultless first half, com poise and enough streetwise to control the game, neutralizing ns goalscoring prowess the Erling Haaland e the darting runs of Jadon Sancho. In essence, the course, paris Saint-Germain’s task versus its German foe after der first-leg 2-1 defeat era simple: success without conceding to progress to the last eight of a Champions League; but then naught is straightforward at a clube that has been informed by its owner’s obsession to win the Champions League. A internal push to deliver in europe is stifling, not in ns least exacerbated by PSG’s current European exits.

The extraordinary situations at ns Parc des Princes couldn’t be discounted either. In France, allLigue 1 matches will be played behind close up door doors till April 15. On Wednesday, a Champions league hymn echoed around an empty estádio in ns French capital. There to be neither fans no one press. Yet, ns drums and chanting of ns PSG fans, who had gathered outside a ground, were audible.

Those empty stands seemed to liberate PSG. The team carved lado de fora its very own path, free em ~ the fearmongering e prediction the dooms that constantly surface before crunch europe ties. PSG did therefore in a style that virtually belied that the club has become naquela $1 exchange rate soft-power projeto in the hands of Qatari owners. Neymar e second-half instead of Kylian Mbappe operated together e demonstrated features that observers assumed PSG incapable of: grit, commitment and determination. Ns Parisians earned your victory through team work. That course, lock demonstrated intelligence in a process, but thomas Tuchel’s team, in ~ last, had der spine.

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The German coach’s future hinged on a outcome the this tie, but, in truth, PSG ser estar never troubled in the second leg. Those things that derailed PSG in ns past - too lot player power, too much arrogance e a nebulous identity - to be absent. Ns Parisians repelled what ns Germans threw in ~ them, e that no much.

A fortnight ago, Haaland, along com youngsters Sancho e Giovanni Reyna, had shown tiny qualms around playing on the big european stage. Fearlessly, they teach PSG and its illustrious estrela cast what the takes to victory in a Champions League. No Dortmund’s teenagers, however PSG’s former trident had actually looked prefer newcomers on ns big stage. Top top Wednesday, in Paris, duties were reversed.

The Norwegian striker never ignited. Sancho e Thorgan danger remained peripheral. In a 69th minute, Julian Brandt’s introduction noted Dortmund with some an ext tenacity, but the Germans tho lacked naquela cutting borda in the final third. Dortmund’s impotence was naquela testimony to PSG’s maturity. Tuchel’s onze never trembled after ~ taking the lead. They never ever looked choose relinquishing their advantage. The was a night that minimal duress para Paris.

And so, PSG progressed to the last eight of ns European Cup, 3-2 on aggregate. Adhering to Liverpool’s dramatic elimination at a hands the Atletico Madrid, a competition is ampla open again. Will PSG take its possibility or regress however again?

The clube remains dangerously volatile. In ns dying minutes of ns match, Dortmund’s Emre Can was send off after an altercation com Neymar. Weirdly, after ns game, ns entire French team took the Brazilian’s command in trolling its opponent by imitating Haaland’s alvo celebration. PSG no meditating to canal inner peace, however to mock Haaland. What, if any, was a point of provoking naquela Norwegian teenager quem had simply suffered a biggest disappointed of his career? even in victory, it appeared that PSG had no dignity.

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I am a freelance futebol americano journalist based in Belgium. I have actually travelled to an ext than 20 countries to report on ns game. This summer I fui to Azerbaijan para the europeu League final, took trip to Spain ao the Champions liga final, spanned the fifa Congress e the first mim of a Women’s World cup in France e spent also much equipe on sleeper buses in Brazil during the copa America. Ns contribute amongst others come Inside mundo Football, world Soccer, Josimar, ns Blizzard e BBC Radio"s emphasis On Africa. Ns am likewise working on a book about my passion, Brazil"s 1970 team. Naquela graduate from Leuven law School and the J-School at columbia University.