• Match

Unlikely match winners star as PSG progress

Neymar
Getty Images
Advertisement

Atalanta were left questioning what happened to them as a later PSG blitz canceled their lead and dumped them out of the Champions League. 

It was going to be tough for Atalanta to knockout Paris Saint Germain. And they came mighty close to achieving it. However, they were undone by the French side who claimed a 1-2 come from behind victory.

La Dea scored in the 27th minute through Mario Pasalic. Atalanta attacked in drives and the ball fell to Pasalic. The former Chelsea player did not hesitate and sent the ball into the top right corner to give the Italian side a deserved lead. 

Neymar could have restored parity but PSG’s exciting buildups led to nothing. The Brazilian should have gotten on the scoreboard twice but was lacking poise in front of goal. 

The Parisians went into the second half with a goal down and unable to find any kind of rhythm. Neymar was doing everything on his own and had no support from his teammates. 

The midfield sent out by Thomas Tuchel was out there to stop Atalanta and not create anything. It was understandable that they looked a different side when Kylian Mbappe came on at the stroke of the hour.

Mbappe reinvigorated the French champions and they looked more dangerous. But even with his presence, PSG were a goal behind going into the final five minutes of regulation time. 

They waited until the final minute to level the proceedings. Atalanta had the win in the bag but succumbed under constant pressure. 

Marquinhos was their unlikeliest of heroes. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting took the ball from the right-wing and probed towards the center. He found Neymar, who in turn sent the ball towards Marquinhos. The Brazilian tapped in from six yards out to equalize.

Choupo-Moting had replaced the ineffective Mauro Icardi and proved why Tuchel had put his confidence in him. Neymar sent Mbappe on goal and the Frenchman latched on to it. Mbappe sent a square ball into the area which hit into the back of the net by Choupo-Moting with the clock showing 93 minutes.

Luis Muriel could have restored parity late in stoppage time. The super-sub with 19 goals to his name could not control the ball as the ball went out of play. The resulting kick was followed by the referee’s whistle and it was all over.