Champions League: PSG ruin Atalanta fairytale with stoppage-time comeback
Atalanta were within five minutes of knocking off PSG and reaching the Champions League semifinals, but those final five minutes were to be played after the proverbial midnight, and their carriage turned to a rotten pumpkin so very close to the final whistle.
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Paris Saint-Germain’s stoppage-time comeback brought about the harsh end to a fairytale run which had captured the hearts and minds of neutral fans the world over.
The three-time reigning Ligue 1 champions were quickest out of the starting blocks and jumped all over Atalanta with a flurry of early chances. They were, however, wasteful to an alarming degree — none more egregious and disappointing than Neymar’s one-on-one chance in the third minute.
Atalanta treaded water in those opening 25 minutes before hitting PSG with a blindside haymaker in the 26th. With three defenders surrounding — and winning — the ball atop their own penalty area, PSG were a bit unlucky to see it pinball into a patch of open space where Mario Pasalic was lurking completely unmarked. He still had plenty to do, though, and he left no doubt whatsoever with the left-footed finish.
Unfortunately for Neymar and PSG, his earlier blunder wasn’t his only shocking moment of the game. On most any other day, he scores one or two — maybe even all three — of these chances. It wasn’t his day, clearly.
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Kylian Mbappe (ankle) was introduced as a substitute right on the hour mark, and the 21-year-old instantly threatened and gave PSG energy and life. His first great scoring chance — and PSG’s best chance since Neymar’s early miss — came in the 74th minute, but Marco Sportiello was up to the task of denying one of the world’s most expensive signing.
Six minutes later, it was the exact same story.
Finally, with 89:35 on the clock, Marquinhos broke through Atalanta’s stout defense and drew level. It was anything but pretty, which made it all the more painful for Atalanta.
Two minuets after drawing level, Mbappe teed up Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting for the close-range winner that PSG largely deserved on the whole of their dominant performance.
¡Gooool gool del PSG! 🔥— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) August 12, 2020
¡Gooool gool del PSG! 🔥
¡Gooool gool del PSG! 🔥
¡Qué jugada de Neymar! Choupo-Moting aparece en el último minuto para darle la vuelta 💪@PSG_espanol 2-1 @Atalanta_BC
🔴 EN VIVO
📲 https://t.co/4roxbKwtxP#UCL I #PSG I #ForzaAtalanta pic.twitter.com/RTPWQmymeJ
Up next for Thomas Tuchel’s side is a semifinal clash with the winner of Thursday’s quarterfinal between Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig.