Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) reached their first-ever Champions League final with a 3-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday, inspired by Argentine Angel Di Maria.
Goals from Marquinhos and Di Maria put PSG 2-0 up at the interval and Juan Bernat added the third in the 56th minute for what was a comfortable victory at the Estadio da Luz.
The French club, who celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding in 1970, will meet the winner of today's other semi between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais.
PSG were a step too far for Leipzig, who were playing in the regional leagues just 11 years ago and have exceeded all expectations by reaching the last four.
With French World Cup-winning forward Kylian Mbappe back in the starting line-up after fully recovering from his ankle injury, PSG's German coach Thomas Tuchel was able to field his preferred attacking trident with Brazilian Neymar and Di Maria.
Right from the outset, PSG looked a threat to the Leipzig defence with Neymar clipping the post after he was slipped in by Mbappe in the sixth minute.
Seven minutes later though, PSG had the lead -- Neymar and Di Maria lined up to take a free kick on the left and it was the Argentine who floated in a lovely cross which was nodded home by Marquinhos.
Former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger Di Maria was in fine form, constantly probing, while Neymar created from deep and Mbappe pushed on to the last defender looking to use his pace.
The Germans were struggling but did threaten in the 25th minute when Konrad Laimer burst down the right and found Yussuf Poulsen but the forward's shot was just off target.
Neymar then went close with an audacious free kick from deep and wide on the right, the former Barcelona man going for Peter Gulacsi's near post and striking the post as the Hungarian keeper scrambled.
PSG's Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring their second goal with teammate Neymar.
It was a poor clearance from the keeper that led to PSG's second. Leandro Paredes collected the ball and then found Neymar who cleverly flicked it with the back of his heel into the path of Di Maria who made no mistake.
Leipzig's 33-year-old coach Julian Nagelsmann needed to find some way to shift the momentum of the game and made two changes at the break but after a bright start, PSG put the outcome beyond doubt.
Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele slipped while attempting to clear, allowing Di Maria to cross the ball back in to the box and Bernat's glancing header floated into the far corner.
Mbappe forced a good save out of Gulacsi as PSG pushed for a fourth, while the French club's keeper Sergio Rico had his hands warmed by a fierce drive from fellow Spaniard Angelino.
PSG's only other appearances in the final of a European competition came with their UEFA Cup Winners' Cup victory in 1996 and their runners-up spot in the following season.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
QOC announces Doha 2030’s Project Legacy at OCA GA
Qatar’s al-Attiyah claims stage 3, Frenchman Chicherit takes lead
Bairstow confirms he won’t play again in 2022 after injury
Rossouw ton helps South Africa to consolation win
Australia’s Marsh to make batting return against West Indies
All-rounder Moeen closes the door on England Test return
Australia’s former Test captain Paine set to play first match since 2021 scandal
Saudi desert city to host Asian Winter Games
Kyrgios too sharp for Tseng as Ruud crashes out