Dortmund, PSG to clash in Champions League semi-final

Borussia Dortmund have qualified for their first Champions League semi-final in 11 years after a 4-2 second leg win over Atletico Madrid, advancing to the last four 5-4 on aggregate.

The Germans who lost the first leg 2-1 in Madrid last week, quickly turned things around in the tie with Julian Brandt and Chelsea loannee Ian Maatsen both scoring from tight angles in the first half.

But Atletico Madrid came back stronger after the break, and made it 2-1 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate when Mario Hermoso’s header deflected in off Dortmund defender Matts Hummels in the 49th minute.

Angel Correa then gave Atletico Madrid a 4-3 aggregate when he smashed in a rebounded finish from close range in the 64th minute.

But Dortmund levelled once again in a thrilling second half as Niclas Fullkrug finished off Marcel Sabitzer’s cross with a looping header after 71 minutes, and fewer than three minutes later Sabitzer struck Dortmund’s winner with a drilled finish into the bottom corner to round off a sublime quarter-final tie.
In the other quarter- final game, Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris St-Germain thrashed Barcelona to turn around a first-leg deficit and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

PSG had trailed 3-2 after the first leg in France but reached the last four for the first time since 2021 after a chaotic encounter in Spain.

The visitors started the brighter of the two at five-time champions Barcelona’s temporary home ; the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

But it was the Catalan side who struck first when Lamine Yamal drove down the right-hand side, beating Nuno Mendes and clipping over for Raphinha to score from close range.

The task ahead looked daunting for PSG at that point, needing to score two goals just to level the score on aggregate with the crowd heavily against them.

But things began to unravel when Barca defender Ronald Araujo received a straight red card for clipping Bradley Barcola just outside the area and denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Araujo appeared to argue that his centre-back partner Pau Cubarsi was covering, meaning he was not the last man, but the video assistant referee stuck with the referee’s on-field decision, leaving Barcelona to play 60 minutes with 10 men.

Ousmane Dembele capitalised on the advantage when, against his former side, he fired into the roof of the net from Barcola’s whipped ball across the six-yard box.

Vitinha was given acres of space on the edge of the Barcelona box and hit a sweet strike into the bottom corner nine minutes after the break to make it 2-1 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.

PSG’s remarkable recovery continued when Joao Cancelo brought down Dembele in the box and Mbappe converted the spot-kick to fire his side into the lead.

After being kept quiet for much of the two legs, Mbappe then stepped up and smashed into the net in the 89th minute to cap two highly entertaining quarter-final matches.

The two semi-final first legs take place on separate nights, on 30 April and 1 May, with the second legs on 7 and 8 May.

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