Last 16 2nd Leg
PSG 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Agg. 3-2)
Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals 3-2 on aggregate with a 2-0 second-leg victory over Borussia Dortmund at an empty Parc des Princes stadium on Wednesday.
The Ligue 1 side faced the prospect of yet another disappointing campaign in Europe after losing 2-1 at Dortmund, however first-half goals from Neymar and Juan Bernat secured passage on an eerie night in Paris.
Over 3,000 ultra fans gathered near the Parc des Princes before kickoff after being granted authorisation by the police — demonstrations being considered an exemption to the ban of gatherings of more than 1,000 as French authorities try to contain the coronavirus, which has infected 2,281 people and killed 48.
They lit firework and their chants could be overheard in the stadium. “Our only virus is Paris SG,” a banner in the empty arena read.
Neymar, who appeared to hurt his shoulder early in the match, opened the scoring on 28 minutes with a well-placed diving header from an Angel Di Maria cross following a corner kick.
Bernat collected an unlikely second goal just before half-time following a swift PSG move — the former Bayern Munich man ever-so-slightly redirecting a low Pablo Sarabia cross past Roman Burki and into the far netting.
Pushing and shoving between the teams ensued after a hard challenge on Neymar on the sideline, highlighting a frustrating night for the Germans in France — new signing Emre Can receiving a red card for pushing the Brazilian after a verbal exchange.
The match was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with the French government announcing on Sunday night an indefinite ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. However, PSG fans assembled outside the stadium, letting off flares and waving flags in a show of support for the team.
The Ligue 1 champions made it past the last 16 after painful exits at the same stage in the last two years. They let slip a 4-0 advantage in a 6-5 aggregate defeat by Barcelona in 2017 and lost to Manchester United on away goals after beating the English side 2-0 at Old Trafford 12 months ago.
PSG have experienced an impressive run of domestic success since Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Qatar Sports Investments took over the club in 2011 but have never won the Champions League.