Champions League: Choupo-Moting elevates Bayern and eliminates PSG | Sports| The USA Print


Maxim Choupo-Moting disguised himself as Lewandowski to get into Bayern’s gear and score the goal that blew up the most momentous tie in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Hard-working Bayern qualified 3-0 on aggregate. Dejected —once again, and with more noise— was the project of the emir of Qatar, Paris Saint-Germain, who will go down in posterity for having made the two most expensive signings in an industry that no one inflated with more zeal, until gathering to the three most brilliant soccer players of the second decade of the century. Not a single goal managed to score Messi, Mbappé and Neymar in the course of the more than 180 minutes played.


Sommer, Dayotchanculle Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt, Alphonso Davies, Josip Stanisic, Kingsley Coman (Gnabry, min. 86), Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala (Mane, min. 81), Müller (Cancelo, min. 86), Leon Goretzka and Choupo-Moting (Sane, min. 68)



Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Danilo Pereira, Marquinhos (Nordi Mukiele, min. 36), Vitor Ferreira (Hugo Ekitike, min. 81), Nuno Mendes (Bernat, min. 81), Verratti, Fabián (Warren Zaire-Emery, min. 75), Achraf Hakimi, Messi and Kylian Mbappé

goals 1-0 min. 61: Choupo-Moting. 2-0 min. 89: Gnabry.

Referee daniele orsato

yellow cards Achraf Hakimi (min. 94)

The shock wave of the staging usually marks the future of the big parties. Bayern announced a stormy exit. A red wave of pressure, of conviction, of security. The usual in this sentimental team that needs an adrenaline injection in the first minutes to get the games back on track. It didn’t happen like that. Perhaps inhibited by the fear of losing the advantage achieved in the first leg, perhaps under the gigantic mental burden of such a big tie in the first week of March, in the round of 16, with so little to win, the German team It was halfway in all advances. I did not finish stretching the pressure and cautiously added attackers. In the first maneuvers of the game, their three center-backs crowded together with Kimmich and Goretzka as a safety net, more aware of what would happen if they lost the ball than of great help in the search for the goal. The restless presence of Mbappé and Messi, very active in all chapters, should alarm them. I spend time. And the goalless time hurt the morale of the Germans.

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Bayern’s false start oxygenated the PSG players, who found themselves in time to start the plays thanks to the contribution of the excellent Verratti, a superb midfielder who naturally does everything that scares Kimmich and Goretzka, fierce to run behind of the ball but shy to ask for it when it is their team that needs to start the movement in trouble. Without Davies’ forays down the left lane and Mussiala’s support, Bayern’s attacks were hampered between the opposing lines, as if their players were walking over a wooden bridge with missing crossbars. An unusual landscape that gave PSG hope. Leaning on Verratti’s lever, the expedition members did not need great combinations to bring fear to the opposite camp. First, with a drop shot from Fabián to Mbappé, then with a long delivery from Marquinhos, and later with a play by Fabián with Mendes, he left Mbappé and Messi alone three times one-on-one with Sommer. The goalkeeper won. The double stop that he made to Messi silenced the stadium. Oliver Kahn should have congratulated himself on signing him when Neuer was injured this winter.

Between the fact that Bayern survived more than played and PSG managed well on the counter, the game was channeled towards midfield. During the first half, prudence prevailed. Marquinhos’ injury, replaced by Mukiele after half an hour, reduced the poise of PSG’s defense and this did not have immediate consequences, but in the end it was decisive. On the few occasions that the French team launched to pressure the opposite field due to havoc. Like when before the break Hakimi pounced on Sommer and the goalkeeper, desperate because Goretzka didn’t move to get unmarked, ended up giving the ball to Vitinha. The Portuguese finished off an empty goal. The rostrum screamed in shock. When the ball crossed the goal line, De Ligt appeared to deflect it. The Dutch central defender rounded off his superb marking of Messi with a paranormal intervention.

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Verratti’s fall

The game had gone decidedly in PSG’s favor when the second half began. Far from their cruising speed, the buoyant Bayern had gotten into a goat track. Everyone doubted except Mussiala, the tireless young prodigy. A persistent drizzle was falling and the wet fans watched the spectacle with apprehension. Only the chants of the French could be heard at the top of the third ring when the crisis broke out. It happened that Mukiele, stunned in his area by a general advance by the Bayern attackers, looked up and saw the usual man, running like a madman to be given the ball. It was Verratti, the pillar of the team, offering help to the needy, as is his custom. What Mukiele did not show, nor did the intrepid Verratti want to see, was that Müller and Mussiala were stalking him like wolves. That Mukiele decided to give the ball to his teammate instead of getting rid of danger with a kick was an imprudence that dynamited the tie. Müller missed the foul, but the referee let it continue. Verratti went down without the ball, Mussiala assisted Maxim Choupo-Moting, and the Hamburg-born Cameroonian shot Donnarumma.

It was not strange that a free duel basically without the ball ended up being resolved after a caused error. The strange thing was the identity of the executor. That Choupo-Mouting sentenced the most opulent team in existence had an ironic and esoteric sense. At 33 years old he nine he has earned the label of day laborer. He went through Hamburg, Stoke and Mainz, before acceding to instances that did not seem made to measure for him. Nobody missed his technical limitations. He was mocked, especially in Paris, where he played between 2018 and 2020. “Whoever makes fun of Maxim doesn’t understand football at all,” Müller said on Tuesday, when someone asked him about the modest teammate who occupied the position of the nine. Nothing less than the position that Lewandowski, the top scorer of the last decade at Bayern, bequeathed to him.

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When Gnabry made it 2-0, regulation time expired, the stadium was singing its happiest songs. The Bavarian followers had been reborn after a night of fright. Just in time to secure a place in the quarterfinals over Messi, Mbappé and Neymar.

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