PSG overcame a one-goal deficit to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2016 against Borussia Dortmund in an empty Parc des princes.
Fears of coronavirus ensured the contest was played out in a surreal setting behind closed doors. Fans were barred but the majority gathered outside the stadium and joined in celebrations when Neymar headed PSG into the lead.
The hosts doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time. Pablo Sarabia’s low cross was tucked home by Juan Bernat. But Dortmund knew one goal would send the tie into extra time.
Lucien Favre’s side was lackluster throughout. Erling Haaland failed to add to his 10 goals in the competition this season and they ended the night with 10 men after Emre Can was sent off following an altercation with Neymar.
How PSG lifted Champions League “curse”
Tuchel’s preparation for the second leg was affected by the postponement of last Saturday’s Ligue 1 trip to Strasbourg.
However, even in the absence of key players like Mbappe from the start, PSG turned the tie on its head during an impressive opening 45 minutes.
Angel Di Maria had been denied a penalty after falling theatrically under a challenge by Dan-Axel Zagadou. Moments later, the Argentine released Edinson Cavani through the middle but Roman Burki produced a superb save.
The visitors on the other side were in need of greater attacking impetus. But it was Tuchel’s side who duly earned their advantage in the tie.
Achraf Hakimi switched off at the set-piece as Di Maria’s delivery was gleefully headed home by the unmarked Neymar.
The goal initially sparked Dortmund into life. Jadon Sancho tested Keylor Navas with a free-kick before the England winger elected to shoot from a tight angle. Once more, Dortmund was denied by Costa Rican stopper.
In the first minutes of the first-half stoppage, PSG doubles their lead in the night. Neymar turned provider as he started the move on the left with a neat turn and run. The Brazilian found Sarabia on the overlap on the right and his low ball was diverted into the bottom corner by left-back Bernat for his first goal since 2019.
Dortmund went below par. Fire witnessed every other week generated by 80,000 at Signal Iduna Park was replaced by nervousness in front of empty stands.
Mbappe entered the field in the 63 minutes as Tuchel sought to provide the visitors with another problem.
Favre responded with Julian Brandt’s introduction and it was his speculative shot that served as a reminder to the hosts that the tie was finely balanced.
Dortmund failed to score and their night was compounded when Can was shown two yellow cards.
PSG return to domestic action against Nice on Sunday. Dortmund continues their Bundesliga campaign a day earlier at home to Schalke.