The first two berths in the 2021 UEFA Champions League semi-finals are clinched as Chelsea took care of business against FC Porto and Paris Saint-Germain knocked off the defending champs in Bayern Munich.
PSG def. Bayern Munich 3-3 (PSG adv. via road goals)
One year removed from losing to Bayern in the Champions League final, PSG got their revenge as they held off Bayern in a 90-minute nailbiter.
It wasn’t easy for the French club as Bayern had a handful of great looks and opportunities to get the two goals they needed to steal the berth away from PSG and break their hearts once again.
In the first half, Brazilian star Neymar had point-blank chances to strike first and give PSG a comfortable lead. However, his first shot went off the top of the crossbar on a chip. His next opportunity, on a breakaway, wound up hitting the post after pressure from the Bayern back line. He missed the net three times in the half, which opened the window for Bayern to get an important first goal.
It happened a minute after Neymar’s shot off the post as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting knocked a header in during the 40th minute after PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas failed to grab the ball.
With one road goal in their pocket, Bayern still needed one more to take the aggregate lead as PSG scored three road goals in leg one to own the tiebreaker. While Bayern had their moments late, it wasn’t enough as PSG’s counter-attack became a problem late in the match.
In the end, PSG held off Bayern to reach their second-straight UCL semifinals after not making the semis since 1995. For Bayern, this is only the third time they’ve missed the semifinals since 2010.
Chelsea def. Porto 2-1
Another brilliant defensive performance from English Premier League club Chelsea sends them to the semifinals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014.
Porto was antsy to get the goals they needed after surrendering two on home turf. It showed all throughout the match with undisciplined play and minimal looks. Porto had five yellow cards and were only able to get two shots on target. However, one of them came too late, but it will be one of the best goals you’ll see in soccer as Mehdi Taremi netted one on a wicked bicycle kick off a brilliant cross from Nanu. Taremi became the first Iranian to score in a UCL quarterfinal.
Even with the one goal, the Chelsea backline of César Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rüdiger was too much for Porto to overcome.
Chelsea and PSG will await the winners of Wednesday’s matches as Liverpool tries to overcome a 3-1 deficit against Real Madrid and Man City looks to overcome their quarterfinal woes as they head into leg two at Dortmund up 2-1.
Both matches can be seen on Paramount+ beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST.