Champions League: not realistic enough, PSG beaten in Dortmund for its semi-final first leg

Champions League: not realistic enough, PSG beaten in Dortmund for its semi-final first leg

Mbappé did not find the fault. EPA – CHRISTOPHER NEUNDORF

Frustrated but still alive: Paris SG lost on Wednesday in Dortmund (1-0) after having come close to equalizing several times during the first leg of its Champions League semi-final, and will have to be more killer in the second leg in order to qualify for the final at Wembley.

Indeed, PSG still holds its destiny in its hands since it will host its evening opponent next Tuesday at the Parc des Princes. With a ticket to a highly coveted final, against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

The future will tell if PSG must have regrets about the two posts, almost inside, that they hit in the 51st minute of a boiling match. The Parisians were then trailing 1-0 after a goal from Niklas Füllkrug in the first half (36th), and had decided to put pressure on their opponents as soon as they returned from the locker room.

Kylian Mbappé tried his "special", bending his body to whip the ball either to the first or far post, but found the post. The next moment, a strike from his friend Achraf Hakimi met the same fate, in the same place: the base of Gregor Kobel's left post. The melting crowd at Signal Iduna Park let out a roar of delight, no doubt aware that this kind of twist of fate decides the closest confrontations in the queen of club competitions.

PSG had a less good shot but managed to move forward by creating several other chances, notably by Fabian Ruiz who missed the target with his head – not necessarily his specialty – twice. And Dembélé regained his proverbial ineffectiveness, after two goals and a penalty against Barcelona in the previous round. The French international in particular missed his shot too high at the penalty point on an offering from Hakimi (80th).

Marquinhos' tackle

It was in this second half that the open match predicted by Parisian coach Luis Enrique took shape. Because Dortmund also came close to ecstasy, when Füllkrug had two opportunities to make the break. He misplaced his large size to do anything other than send his recovery from a cross from Jadon Sancho (60th) into the stands, then six minutes later missed a header, alone, on a shot indirect franc. Captain Marquinhos, back in great form after an average first half of the season, saved his team with one of his famous angry tackles in front of Julian Brandt (83rd).

"We conceded a goal that we shouldn't take on a through ball, reacted the Brazilian defender on Canal+. We had clear chances that we must not miss. At home we will really have to make this kind of opportunity a reality. The first half gave the bonus to the defenses, well in place. The arrows of the Parisian attack Kylian Mbappé, Bradley Barcola and Ousmane Dembélé had the greatest difficulty in expressing themselves against a BvB defense forming a second "Yellow Wall".

Behind Matts Hummels and his teammates, the real "Yellow Wall", in the largest standing stand in Europe (25,000 people), seemed to cement cohesion like never before of a team determined to play spoilsport in the desires of an unprecedented title for Paris. PSG, who would have signed for the same result as in the group stage in December in the same stadium (1-1), will have to hope that their goalkeeper will be less involved at the Park next week. And that his attackers finally hit the mark.

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