And Choupo-Moting sprang up. The unlikely savior from Paris-Saint-Germain, the German-Cameroon striker sent his club to the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, August 12 and scored the winning goal, one minute from the end of the match, against Atalanta Bergamo (2-1) . For the first time since QSI, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, took over the capital club (2011), PSG reached the quarter-finals of the flagship competition in Europe. And this at the end of an incredible turnaround, as the Parisians were led until the 90se minute of inspired Bergamasques.
“We will face a special team, which plays a lot one against one, attacks seven in the opponent’s area and it will be complicated, Thomas Tuchel warned at a press conference on Tuesday. But we are also a very strong team. We are confident. We have reason to be. “ A confidence that his men fought to show the whole match. Opposite the binocular team in this edition of the Champions League, which competes for the first time in its history and enchants with its licked game, Paris expected to be hit. But robbed Kylian Mbappé at the start of the match due to his ankle injury, they relied on their individualities to overcome the Lombard hurdle.
In the empty enclosure of Luz Stadium in Lisbon, where the competition’s “Final 8” takes place, demanding Covid-19 pandemic, Bergamasques started the game in the image of his season: the foot on the ‘accelerator. From the third minute, a rather atalante invasion finds the gloves of Keylor Navas. In response, Neymar takes depth from the central circle, wounds the opposite defense, but when he arrives alone against the goalkeeper, he opens his foot too much. The first in a series of failures for the brilliant but lone Brazilian star.
Impressive Lombard laundry room
In Greek mythology, the hero Atalanta is described as a formidable hunter. And as they are named after, the Bergamasques did not hold back their arrows. But on several occasions, it intervenes Costa Rica’s goalkeeper for PSG. The former Real Madrid, recruited to take the club Ile-de-France a step further, calms down, which has far from been the case with the club’s former goalkeepers, the QSI era.
Defensively, the Parisians are feverish and undergo terrain pressure from Gian Piero Gasperini’s men. “We want to show that a team like ours deserves to be at this table, attacked the Italian coach on Tuesday at a press conference. We do not have a great European history but we can get results, with an idea of a game, a desire to do good and passion. “ In the world according to “Gasp”, Atalanta “Do not distort the game or the ideas that [lui] may come “ in the quarterfinals.
Offensively, the team is regularly entirely in the Paris camp, with the exception of Marco Sportiello, their goalkeeper – usually a replacement; and poses major problems for Parisian players. With the exception of soloist Neymar, Atalanta’s licked playing reveals a Parisian collective that really lacks the binder.
Mbappé enters, Gómez leaves
Who pays him a few minutes later. Despite having a great opportunity to score following a counterattack after 80 minutes, Thomas Tuchel’s shot from the left sailed high over the bar. After an attack with six players, Zapata manages to move Mario Pašalić by taking advantage of a lucky block. Mbappé’s former partner in Monaco adjusts Navas and tears down the skylight (1-0, 27e).
Even more than the declines that fell in the French capital early in the evening, the Parisians find themselves exaggerated by the opposite collective. And fail to take advantage of the huge spaces that were opened by pushing the lombards. At the end of a new balancing act, Neymar is missing the mark. Then find Sportiello’s gloves on a free kick.
At the beginning of the second half, Thiago Silva’s partners do not see the trend reversing. And after another great Italian occasion signing Djimsiti, Thomas Tuchel wasted no time in bringing in Kylian Mbappé, half an hour from the end of the game, announced before the match, the French world champion was too fair to play a meeting whole since his injury in Coupe de France final. At the same time, Atalanta’s captain and playing champion, Papu Gómez, leaves the pitch grimacing.
Marquinhos then Choupo-Moting as savior
When the first period was removed, when the twenty-two players struggled to find a second wind after the break. Injured, Keylor Navas was forced to give way after a long moment of uncertainty. And if an explosion of Mbappé, well launched by Paredes, fails in Sportiello’s gloves, the Parisians seem to lose the thread in the game and besiege the Lombard cages without worrying about the Italian defense. While Mauro Icardi crosses the meeting in ghost, the speculation on the previous eliminations of PSG in the Champions League hovers over Lisbon Stadium.
Again, as against Manchester United last year, against Real Madrid two years ago, or FC Barcelona 2017 – during the now famous “remountada” – in the round of 16, the club led by Thomas Kommer Tuchel to give in to the roof in the glass and could not cross an opponent who seemed to have his hand? Sadly, despite Mbappé’s sharp entry, the main club seemed to be taking the road.
Until the 149 seconds that changed his season. And maybe its history. On the verge of extra time, Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting, exchange scorer due to Edinson Cavani’s departure from the Parisian club, turns to Neymar, who checks and sees that his shot is deflected towards Marquinhos who sends the ball. in opposite goals (1-1, 90e).
It was Atalanta’s turn, some of whose players may have already seen themselves in the semi-finals, to be disillusioned. Before they see the sky fall on their heads. Less than three minutes after the equalizer, Choupo-Moting offers the mascot of the supporters but whose place among the Parisian stars can surprise, victory and qualifiers for his club. “When I went in I said to myself no, we can not stay like this … the striker breathed after the meeting at the microphone of RMC Sport. I gave everything, I’m very glad it worked. “
On Wednesday, Paris-Saint-Germain blew out the fifty candles of its existence. Fifty years old, and instead of a luxury watch that allows you to succeed in your life, the club has received a gift that suits it better. His second qualifier for the last four of the Champions League, the first since Qatar took over the club.
If many questions arise, about the lack of binders of the Parisian collective and the multiplication of absences, the essentials are ensured. During this strange year 2020, after more than five months break due to the coronavirus, PSG is in the semi-finals of the cup with the big ears. And can dream, before we meet on Tuesday the winner of the quarterfinals Leipzig – Atletico Madrid (which will be followed on Thursday, August 13, live at Le Monde. Fr), to extend the adventure.