PSG slams Leipzig 3-0 in Champions League semis.

The Paris Saint Germain of France Tuesday night classically scaled over RB Leipzig 3-0 in the first semifinal of the 2020 European Champions Leaguewith Angel Di Maria emerging as Man of the Match.

PSG is therefore in the waiting room for the winner of the Bayern v Lyon second semifinal on Wednesday for the Sunday Champions League final.

The Parisians continue to find success in front of goal with Marquinhos providing the opening goal on Tuesday

Paris Saint-Germain have equalled a Real Madrid record as the Ligue 1 side continued their goalscoring ways in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final.

After taking down Atalanta with a pair of late goals in their quarter-final clash, PSG were drawn against RB Leipzig, who also benefitted from a late goal in their triumph over Atletico Madrid.

PSG wasted little time in Tuesday's semi-final clash, scoring just 13 minutes in after creating several early chances.

After seeing Neymar fire the first chance of the game off the post, PSG took the lead from a set-piece via a goal from Marquinhos.

The Brazilian was on the end of a perfectly-placed free-kick from Angel Di Maria, allowing him an uncontested header from close range.

By burying that header, Marquinhos gave PSG an early lead while also sealing the club's spot in the record books.

With the goal, PSG have now scored in 34 consecutive European matches, dating all the way back to 2016.

The Parisians haven't been held scoreless since they were taken down by Manchester City back in April of that year, as they were eliminated from the Champions League quarter-finals behind a 1-0 loss.

Real Madrid are the only other club to ever score in 34 straight European matches, with the Spanish side doing so between 2011-2014 in the Champions League.

That run kick started what ended up being a period of dominance for Real Madrid, who went on to win four Champions League titles in five years upon that streak's conclusion.

PSG have reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign when they were knocked out by AC Milan 3-0 on aggregate.

Only one of the previous seven French teams to reach the semi-finals has reached the final, with that one being Monaco in 2003-04.

PSG have never reached the finale of the competition and, if they do this season, they'll take on the winner of Bayern Munich's clash with fellow Ligue 1 side Lyon.

The Champions League has been the missing piece of the puzzle since PSG's big-money takeover by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011.

In eight full seasons under Qatari ownership, they have won 18 of the 24 domestic trophies - including seven Ligue 1 titles.

But this is the first time they have been to the Champions League semi-finals since 1994-95, long before the takeover.

They reached the quarter-finals in the first four years of Qatari ownership but seemed to regress by going out in the last 16 for the next three seasons.

Capitulations against Barcelona in 2017 and Manchester United last year will live long in the mind.

Former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has never been this far in the Champions League

This year, instead of bottling the big moments, PSG have managed to show resilience.

They topped a group containing Real Madrid with five wins and a draw.

They then overcame a first-leg defeat to beat Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 pre-coronavirus break, before their comeback against Atalanta in the quarter-finals.

So what has changed?

"The team spirit we saw against Atalanta and in the second leg against Borussia Dortmund was not really there in previous years," says French football journalist Julien Laurens.

"Boss Thomas Tuchel and his staff created a pact between them that this could be their year - you have to believe until the end and not feel that stress or pressure that you did before. The game against Atalanta showed that really well."

PSG made Brazil forward Neymar the world's most expensive signing when they paid Barcelona 222m euros (£200m) for him in 2017, a record that still stands.

That was largely in a bid to challenge for the Champions League, a competition Neymar won with Barca in 2014-15.

They also brought in France striker Kylian Mbappe for 180m euros (£165.7m), the second most costly signing of all time.

Neymar has been unfortunate in the Champions League and missed the game in which they were eliminated in his first two seasons with a foot injury.

However, he has managed to stay injury free at the right moments during 2019-20 - even though he has had three spells out - and fitness should not be an issue after Ligue 1 was curtailed.

The 28-year-old was impressive in their victory over Atalanta, taking the lead in driving the team during the first half and then having a hand in both their goals.

"Neymar showed why he is one of the best in the world," adds Laurens. "He wasted chances but the way he played and the way he took the game on and owned the game was incredible."

PSG could probably not have hoped for a more favourable Champions League semi-final (on paper anyway) than RB Leipzig.

The German team were only formed 11 years ago and had only won two matches in Europe's elite club competition before this season.

They have also lost their all-time top scorer, Timo Werner, to Chelsea.

However, they did see off Atletico Madrid - conquerors of holders Liverpool and twice finalists under manager Diego Simeone - in the quarter-finals.

Laurens says: "In Paris they are very cautious of this Leipzig team and they know PSG can only go through if Neymar and Mbappe have the same type of performance they had against Atalanta."

Bayern are in the semi-final round after battering Barcelona 8-2, while Lyon have stunned Juventus and Manchester City in recent weeks to book their own place in the final four.

Bayern Munich or Lyon await the winner in the final. Will PSG be there? We shall find out soon enough.


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