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Mbappé fired PSG towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League

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Mbappé fired PSG towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League

The Paris Saint-Germain team is less star-studded than in many years, but perhaps this is the season it will finally succeed in the Champions League.

In the 58th minute, Ousmane Dembélé took a corner kick from the right. Team captain Marquinhos won an aerial duel with two opponents, and at the far post, Mbappé could throw his leg forward all by himself and send the ball into the roof of the net.

Hamari Traoré, who had marked Mbappé at set-pieces, was on the sidelines receiving treatment. Takefusa Kubo took over responsibility for the star forward, but let him run forward unimpeded.

The score really woke up the home team, who put the Real Sociedad goal under pressure, and five minutes after the score, Mbappé sent a volley into the crossbar via the hand of visiting goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

In the 70th minute it was 2-0. Bradley Barcola got the ball out on the left. The Real Sociedad defense was seemingly in control, but he created an imbalance with his pace. He moved past Traoré, reached the ball in front of Igor Zubeldia and tipped it between the legs of Remiro.

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– We scored in important moments and are satisfied with the first step. There is still a job left to do, but it is good to go to Spain with a head start, Mbappé told Canal Plus.

– We had trouble in the first half, and the coach (Luis Enrique) gave us a full ear at half-time. I think it helped, because we were much better after the break, said team captain Marquinhos.

Difficult

Real Sociedad made it difficult for the home team from the start with their high and very aggressive pressure. The PSG players were surrounded by opponents as soon as they got the ball and had problems playing out of defence.

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A couple of times PSG almost managed to punish the bold tactics, because there was a lot of back room when the ball was won favorably. In the 6th minute, Mbappé was played through by Dembélé, but he didn’t hit the way he wanted, and Remiro made a good save.

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It would remain the home team’s best chance in the first half. Real Sociedad would get more.

After just over a quarter of an hour, it became dangerous after a practiced free kick, where Mikel Merino got the ball on the edge and wide-sided it into the middle. Marquinhos cleared for a corner under heavy pressure.

A few minutes later, an obvious Kubo cut in from the right, and André Silva nodded just outside the crossbar. Gianluigi Donnarumma was after the ball but was hardly in control.

In the crossbar

Merino came closest a few seconds into overtime in the half, when he found room to finish from 20 metres. The left-footed shot went straight towards the crossbar, skimmed the crossbar and bounced over.

– Two goals is not much. With the supporters behind us at home, we still have a chance, Merino told Movistar.

Real Sociedad were unbeaten in the autumn’s CL matches and won their group ahead of Inter and Benfica. PSG took just one point from three away games and narrowly edged ahead at the expense of Milan.

On Wednesday, PSG at least got themselves an excellent starting point to reach the quarter-finals.

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The second leg will be played in San Sebastián on March 5.

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