PSG pick Leipzig apart to reach first Champions League final

Paris Saint-Germain reached their first-ever Champions League final on Tuesday following an impressive 3-0 dismissal of RB Leipzig.

Marquinhos, Angel Di Maria, and Juan Bernat scored on a rather comfortable evening for PSG, ending Leipzig’s maiden jaunt in the competition’s knockout rounds at the semifinal stage.

Thomas Tuchel’s lavish ensemble will take on either Bayern Munich or Lyon in Sunday’s Champions League final.

PSG were on top from the very start, with Neymar clipping the outside of the post and Kylian Mbappe having a goal ruled out for after Neymar handballed in the buildup. Les Parisiens were seeking an early goal.

And, in the 13th minute, it came. Neymar drew a free-kick near the corner of the 18-yard box and Di Maria took full advantage, hitting a left-footed delivery that swerved invitingly in front of RB Leipzig’s mesh. Marquinhos lept high and guided his header inside the far post for his second goal in as many games.

With the exception of a shot smashed wide by Yussuf Poulsen, Leipzig were extremely accommodating to PSG’s gameplan. Their four-man defense was vulnerable and goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi looked nervy with the ball at his feet. At times, it felt like PSG were toying with the German side.

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Gulacsi was at fault for PSG’s second goal. The former Liverpool youngster played a loose pass that evaded all of his teammates and gifted possession to his opponents, and the ball that was pinged back into the area was beautifully flicked onto Di Maria by Neymar. Di Maria easily poked past a scrambling Gulacsi minutes before the interval.

RB Leipzig made a promising start to the second half but it was soon brought to a grinding halt. Nordi Mukiele slipped near the corner flag and had his appeals for a free-kick waved away, allowing Di Maria time and space to cross onto Bernat’s head. Three-nil. Game over.

Leipzig tried to grab a consolation but PSG largely saw out the match with ease, even forcing Gulacsi into five more saves. In the closing stages, Tuchel had the luxury of withdrawing Mbappe and Di Maria, and calling Marco Verratti off the bench after two-and-a-half weeks nursing a calf injury.

Paris Saint-Germain may have delivered their most cohesive display of the season against RB Leipzig. They are now just one game away from capturing that elusive Champions League crown and being the first European champions hailing from France since Marseille’s class of 1992-93.

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