March 9 – The wait goes on for the most star-studded side in Europe. Paris St Germain’s hopes of lifting the Champions League for the first time are over for another season as they crashed out of the competition in the last 16 with a 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich (3-0 on aggregate).
They may have Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé and host of other stars but as a team PSG failed again on the biggest stage of all.
After former PSG forward Kingsley Coman scored in the first leg, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – another former PSG player – doubled the advantage in Munich before Serge Gnabry finished off the scoring.
PSG had dominated the first half of the game and were only denied the lead by a goal-line clearance from Bayern’s Matthijs de Ligt.
But Bayern, who have been fined €44,750 after their fans unfurled an offensive banner and caused disturbances during the first leg, regained their focus in the second half to secure the win and a place in the quarterfinals.
All PSG can win now this season is another French league title after being knocked out of the French Cup by Marseille last month.
“It’s a big disappointment,” said coach Christophe Galtier after PSG’s fifth last-16 exit in seven years. “We have to deal with it and accept it. There’s a lot of disappointment in the dressing room.”
“I don’t know if it’s a lesson to be learned, but there’s a lot of frustration. If we’d scored first, it would have been different, but we didn’t.”
There was also massive disappointment for Tottenham Hotspur who once again will end a season empty-handed.
Despite only trailing 1-0 from the first leg against AC Milan, Spurs hardly laid a glove on their opponents with home advantage and bowed tamely out of the competition after a 0-0 draw.
The Italian champions now have a chance of winning club football’s biggest prize for the first time since 2007, while Spurs’ 15-year wait for a trophy of any kind goes on.
Even the return of manager Antonio Conte after his gall bladder operation could not inspire a comeback from Spurs, fuelling speculation that Conte will leave at the end of the season rather than sign a new one-year contract.
“That is the third game in a row that we were not able to score,” Conte said. “I think we can do much better offensively. I speak about the whole team not only those who play in the front half. We can do much better.”
Tottenham are now left to battle for a place in the Premier League top four, which would provide a route back into the Champions League.
But the talk is getting louder that like Conte, England captain Harry Kane, Tottenham’s record goalscorer, may not be around next season either after being condemned to yet another campaign without silverware at his boyhood club.
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