With no fans present at Parc des Princes, Neymar and Juan Bernat sent Paris Saint-Germain into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Paris Saint-Germain did not let a lack of support derail their performance as they defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to seal a 3-2 aggregate win en route to the Champions League quarter-finals.
With Wednesday’s clash at Parc des Princes played behind closed doors amid fears over the spread of coronavirus, PSG overturned a 2-1 opening-leg deficit to progress to the last eight for the first time since 2016.
Neymar got Thomas Tuchel’s side started in the 28th minute, capping an impressive display with a diving header from point-blank range, before Juan Bernat doubled PSG’s tally.
And with Dortmund toiling to claw their way back into proceedings, their frustrations were compounded in the closing stages – Emre Can seeing red for becoming embroiled in an off-field scuffle as Lucien Favre’s side dropped out with a whimper.
With thousands of fans making their voices heard outside Parc des Princes, it was Dortmund who went close to a breakthrough against the run of play – Erling Haaland inches away from connecting with Achraf Hakimi’s cross.
It was PSG’s turn to rue a glorious chance in the 25th minute – Edinson Cavani racing through on goal only for Roman Burki to make a superb save with his right foot.
But Burki was beaten three minutes later, Neymar left unmarked in the six-yard box to head in from Angel Di Maria’s corner.
38 – Neymar has been directly involved in 38 goals in 28 home Champions League appearances (20 for Barcelona, 8 for PSG), scoring 26 goals and assisting 12. Talisman. pic.twitter.com/B0I29wMQNm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 11, 2020
Di Maria’s long-range free-kick had Burki lunging to his right nine minutes after the restart, before Tuchel introduced Kylian Mbappe, who had been a doubt due to a throat infection.
Dortmund substitute Julian Brandt had more of an impact, though his deflected strike onto the roof of the net was the closest the visitors came to keeping themselves in the competition before Can’s red card for violent conduct all but ended their slim hopes.
What does it mean? PSG end last-16 hoodoo
It has been four years since the Ligue 1 giants made it into the quarters of the Champions League, having succumbed to turnaround defeats to Barcelona and Manchester United in two of the last three campaigns.
However, now they have completed a comeback of their own, perhaps they are finally ready to launch a real onslaught on the competition.
Neymar’s time finally set to come?
With Mbappe only passed fit enough to start on the bench, Neymar – who has suffered untimely injuries at this time in each of his previous two seasons at PSG – came to the fore in style on Wednesday, inspiring the French champions with his header and running the play in general for the home side.
Haaland kept under wraps
There was no doubt that, with his two goals, Haaland was the star of the first leg. However, he was nowhere near as effective this time around, with Dortmund unable to provide their front man with any service as his extraordinary run in the Champions League came to an end.
PSG will face Nice in Ligue 1 on Sunday, though of course no fans will be in attendance. Likewise, there will be no crowd at Signal Iduna Park for Saturday’s Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke.
Champions League: UEFA Confirms Quarter Final Dates For Champions league
Bundesliga has announced its league will in action starting from 22 May while Serie A is also tipped to continue either this month or next to one, UEFA has indicated that they are working on its competition resumption in August despite agreeing that they are still in darkness over the situation.
According to RMC Sport, French club Lyon who shocked Juventus 1-0, is expected to play the return League in Turin on 8th August.
In a meeting that took place this morning in Turin between the presidents of the main European clubs, UEFA has confirmed that they are determined to finish 2019/2020 edition at all costs.
With other states working on how to either end or continue with championship which could come to an end of July, European football management body would also have found a date for the quarter-finals.
The quarter’s finals are tipped to take place on 10th,11th, or 12th August.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain, who eliminated Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16, could make their big comeback in action even after their league was canceled.
Portsmouth FC suggests Zorbing to resume EPL !!!
As an exit to the current Corona Virus trap for the EPL season a weird suggestion came up from Hampshire
• The Portsmouth club administration proposes to complete the season by wearing each zorb player to limit the spread of Corona
• Also, they suggested that the fans wear it, too!
Coronavirus: Cannavaro doubts European football will resume before season’s end
Fabio Cannavaro – now in charge of CSL powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande – is not confident that football will resume by May.
Fabio Cannavaro believes it will be difficult for European football to return before the season ends amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sport has been brought to a standstill due to COVID-19, with Serie A, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League all on hiatus.
The Champions League and Europa League finals have also been postponed, with Euro 2020 pushed back to next year following more than 18,800 deaths worldwide – over 9,800 of the casualties from Italy and Spain.
Former Italy, Juventus and Real Madrid defender Cannavaro – now in charge of Chinese Super League powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande – is not confident that football will resume by May.
“In less than a month it is not known what is going to happen in the world,” the 43-year-old told COPE.
“I think it will take a long time for this to end in Italy and Spain.
“It will be difficult for European football to return before the season ends.”
Cannavaro has been based in China since joining Evergrande in 2014 before returning in 2017, while he was briefly in charge of the national team last year.
China has enforced strict measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, which originated in the country and has claimed more than 3,270 lives.
“The virus in Guangzhou is under control and life is beginning to go back to normal,” Cannavaro added. “There are no more restrictions, only 14 days at home.
“In two days, I finish my quarantine. All of us who come back have to do it.
“Staying at home is essential because we do not give the virus the opportunity to infect more people.
“We have to learn from China, they have more experience in this situation.”
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