Lisbon- Paris Saint Germaine F.C has reached the Champions League final for the first time in their 50-year history after comprehensively defeating RB Leipzig 3-0 in a COVID-era closed stadium.
Both sides were meeting for the first time, and both were eyeing their first CL final spot. PSG took control and won, courtesy of three goals from Marquinhos, Di María, and Bernat.
PSG was pressing the ball high from the start and created some chances within 3 minutes. In the 6th minute, Mbappé netted the ball, but the goal was ruled out because of handball from Neymar.
Between the 9th and 11th minute, PSG won three corners but couldn’t convert them into goals. However, they got the prize of constant attack in the 13th minute, when Marquinhos headed the Di María’s free-kick beyond the goal-line to put PSG ahead in the game. It was Marquinhos’s second goal in as many matches, and with his goal, PSG equaled the Real Madrid’s record of scoring in 34 consecutive champions league games.
Despite all the hard work from the RBL, PSG possessed and controlled the ball for most of the half time after the first goal. In the 34th minute, Neymar’s brilliant long-distance free-kick caught the Leipzig goalkeeper off guard, but the ball missed the target by a slim margin.
In 41st minute, Leipzig goalkeeper Gulácsi mistakenly passed the ball to PSG player Neymar, who punished him by crossing over the ball to Di María, who scored the second goal.
RBL started the second half by continually testing the PSG defense, which is normally criticized for being fragile. PSG quickly responded by the counterattacks and free kicks, and they sealed the game by the goal from Bernat, who headed the beautifully curled in ball by Di Maria.
However, the goal was controversial since Nordi Mukiela, an RBL player, had fallen on the ground after coming in physical contact with a PSG player.
With the final whistle, PSG entered the CL final for the first time after 110 games in the competition-the most played by the side before reaching the final, surpassing Arsenal’s 90.
Man of the Match- Ángel Di María
PSG Player Ángel Di María was awarded the Man of the Match gong for his decisive contribution to the match. 1 goal, 1 assist.
Words from Coaches
“I was never relaxed, but how we defended was the most important thing for me, said PSG manager Thomas Tuchel. “We had a good mix of determination, spirit, and quality.”
“The ticket for the final for Paris is well deserved,” said Julian Nagelsmann, Leipzig coach. “In the first ten to 12 minutes, we did well and had good situations. It was hard to come back into the game after the second goal because Paris has a lot of quality. It’s hard to accept, but football is like this.”
Up next: PSG vs. either Bayern Munich or Lyon on Monday, August 24. The prize? The Champions League trophy and the crown. The biggest European football one there is.
Aashish Sunar is a Sub Editor and Writer for the Kathmandu Pati English covering issues on politics, marginalized community, international relations, economics, and sports. He is pursuing undergraduate degree in International Studies and Economics at Soka University of America. He tweets @imAashishSunar.
Sameer SJB Rana is the News Coordinator for Kathmandu Pati English covering politics, peace, conflict, security, defense, and diplomacy issues. He’s also Founder & CEO of SportIFY Nepal, Research Assistant for Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project and Microsoft Research, and an MPA grad student at Columbia University. He tweets @sameersjbrana.