Paris Saint-Germain knocked holders Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on Tuesday despite Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring against his old club as a 1-0 defeat in the second leg at the Parc des Princes could not prevent the French giants from winning a tremendous quarter-final tie on away goals.
Neymar twice hit the woodwork for PSG in the first half and Choupo-Moting then put Bayern in front five minutes before the break.
But the reigning European champions could not get the second goal they needed after losing 3-2 at home in the first leg last week.
PSG have revenge following their 1-0 defeat in last season’s final in Lisbon, and the dream of winning a first European Cup remains alive for the Qatar-owned club.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who had already eliminated Barcelona in the last 16, can now look forward to a semi-final against Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund.
“I am delighted, despite the defeat. We were facing a great team, the European champions, but we are going back to the semi-finals,” Neymar told broadcaster RMC Sport. “We are a real team. The most important thing is that we are through. Now we can aim for something even bigger.”
Bayern will have to console themselves with trying to win a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, and will wonder what might have been had the prolific Robert Lewandowski, or Serge Gnabry, been available for the two legs of this tie.
The future of coach Hansi Flick will come back into focus too, given his frosty relationship with the club’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic.
“It is not because of tonight that we are eliminated,” said captain Manuel Neuer. “We deserved our win here, but the result in Munich was not good enough.
“It is not all negative. We won the Club World Cup, we have a good chance to win the Bundesliga too, so in the end it will be a positive season,” he added.
Elsewhere, Thomas Tuchel urged his young Chelsea team to embrace their Champions League “adventure” after they reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2014 despite a 1-0 defeat against Porto in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg.
Tuchel’s side will play Real Madrid or Liverpool for a place in the final after producing a masterclass in game management to win 2-1 on aggregate in Seville.
Real are traveling to Anfield on Wednesday, looking to protect a 3-1 lead from the first leg.
They could do worse than copy Tuchel’s tactics as Chelsea smothered Porto with an intelligent defensive approach until Mehdi Taremi’s stunning bicycle kick in the last minute of stoppage time.
That sublime strike was out of character with the rest of Porto’s display as they labored to overturn the 2-0 first-leg deficit.
Chelsea have lost only once in 18 matches since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January and this was another feather in the German’s cap.
Making it to the last four is an even more admirable feat given the lack of Champions League experience among the majority of Tuchel’s squad.
Tuchel knows the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Christian Pulisic are all learning on the job, but he hopes their fearlessness will be invaluable.
“Mason scored his first goal in the competition in the first leg. When Mbappe scores or Salah scores or Benzema scores, it is their 100th goal or their 50th goal in the competition,” Tuchel said.
“We arrive with a very young team. They can fight and run and hang in there. We have to take it like an adventure for them. It is a big step. You see when Chelsea were last in the semi-finals. We are not used to being there. It’s a big achievement.”