Paris Saint-Germain Crush Leipzig In One-Sided UCL Semi-Final


Paris Saint-Germain are just one step away from their Champions League chimera as they burst into the Final on Tuesday night after ditching RB Leipzig with a sounding 3-0 score. There was little competition in the game at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon as Julian Nagelsmann’s side limits were brutally exposed by Neymar and co.

PSG thus won the first round of the French-German confrontation that’s being featured in this year’s Champions League Semi-Finals – the second will be played tomorrow between Bayern Munich and Lyon to determine who will join Thomas Tuchel’s side for the final showdown.

For their first Semi-Final bout since 1995, Paris Saint-Germain and their coach Tuchel recovered Angel Di Maria – who served a one-match ban against Atalanta – and ditched Mauro Icardi to leave room to Neymar and Kylian Mbappé on the front line. Sergio Rico was the starter between the sticks as Keylor Navas didn’t manage to recover from an injury suffered in the Quarter-Finals. His services were not needed anyway as Leipzig almost never managed to pose any threat.

It was a different Paris Saint-Germain from what seen against Atalanta and the Parisiens made that clear since the very beginning of the game. Neymar and Mbappé quickly showed what they can do together as the Frenchman served his partner a sublime filtering pass and Neymar’s classy finish was only stopped by the post.

Di Maria also reminded his audience how much he had been missed in the Quarter-Final game. In the 13th minute, the Argentine bent a free kick in the middle of Leipzig’s box, where midfielder Marquinhos suddenly turned into a seasoned hit-man to power a winning header for PSG’s 1-0. It was the second goal in a row for the Brazilian who had also found the back of the net against Atalanta.

Marquinhos celebrates with his fellow countryman Neymar after scoring the second goal for Paris Saint-Germain in their 3-0 win over RB Leipzig
Marquinhos celebrates with his fellow countryman Neymar after scoring the second goal for Paris Saint-Germain in their 3-0 win over RB Leipzig

In the 34th minute, a Neymar long-range free-kick caught by surprise Peter Gulacsi and Leipzig’s Hungarian goalkeeper had to thank his left post for denying PSG the second and saving him.

The French side was dominating with a 63% ball possession, showing that the time for fairy tales seemed to be over – as they certified two minutes before the half time break making it two with Di Maria. Leipzig evidenced all their defensive limits in the occasion and Neymar’s back-heel pass for Di Maria showed just how much difference there was on the pitch.

Julian Nagelsmann’s measures after the restart consisted of sending in Emil Forsberg and Serie A outcast Patrick Schick. It took only 10 more minutes, however, for Paris Saint-Germain to score the third in a night where nothing seemed to be going right for the Germans.

Defender Nordi Mukiele slipped while attempting a defensive clearance, leaving Angel Di Maria the possibility to cross the ball and prompt left-back Juan Bernat’s winning header – with the Spanish player’s offside position voided by Mukiele lying on the ground. Leipzig were naive again as Mukiele preferred to stay on the ground protesting at an alleged foul rather than quickly standing up to put Bernat offside…

The score didn’t change anymore despite RB Leipzig pushing to get at least one and Nagelsmann using all his five substitutions available. The Germans were even lucky not to concede any more goals as Peter Gulacsi partially redeemed himself from a bad night as he denied Mbappé, Di Maria, and Leandro Paredes.

The Germans were outclassed but that doesn’t cancel all the good they did in this Champions League edition. Next season, they can try their hand at it again.



August 18, 2020 – Champions League 2019-20 Semi-Finals

SCORERS: 13′ Marquinhos, 43′ Di Maria, 56′ Bernat

RB LEIPZIG (4-1-4-1): Gulácsi; Mukiele, Upamecano, Klostermann (82′ Orban), Tasende; Kampl (64′ Adams); Laimer (62′ Halstenberg), Sabitzer, Dani Olmo (46′ Schick), Nkunku (46′ Forsberg); Poulsen (Mvogo, Tschauner, Haidara, Lookman, Novoa Ramos, Borkowski, Wosz) Coach: Nagelsmann
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (4-3-3): Rico; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat; Herrera (82′ Draxler), Marquinhos, Paredes (82′ Verratti); Di Maria, Neymar, Mbappé (85′ Chopo-Mouting) (Bulka, Icardi, Sarabia, Kurzawa, Diallo, Bakker, Gueye, Dagba, Innocent) Coach: Tuchel

REFEREE: Kuipers (Netherlands)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Laimer, Halstenberg, Poulsen (L), Kimpembe (P); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 2′