Atalanta 1-2 PSG: Marquinhos and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting late goals send PSG through

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PSG celebrate their late goal

The Serie A side were literally within seconds from a famous victory at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon when Marquinhos bundled home an equaliser to set the stage for Choupo-Moting to win it 2-1 in a dramatic finish.

In the process, they got team-mate Neymar out of jail after he had earlier passed up a series of glorious opportunities.

The French side, who have so often fluffed their lines at the business end of the competition in recent years, will face either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid in the last four.

PSG should have been ahead with less than three minutes gone when, seconds after Alejandro Gomez had forced a save from Keylor Navas, Neymar ran clear of a flat-footed Atalanta defence from halfway to go one-on-one with keeper Marco Sportiello, only to stab his shot horribly wide.

Navas was called upon again to claw away wing-back Hans Hateboer’s 11th-minute header with the Italians giving as good as they got in a very open start to the game.

Neymar continued to look the man most likely to hurt Atalanta as the Ligue 1 side struggled for fluency, but it was Gian Piero Gasperini’s men who took a 26th-minute lead when the ball fell kindly for Mario Pasalic to sweep it imperiously past the helpless Navas.

Neymar came within inches of a swift equaliser when, after cheekily pushing the ball through Pasalic’s legs, he made space for himself before firing agonisingly wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Neymar’s touch in front of goal continued to elude him as Sportiello comfortably fielded his curling 35th-minute free-kick before the Brazilian sliced woefully wide as the half-time whistle approached.

PSG upped the tempo on their return to stretch their opponents, who picked up a rash of yellow cards as they worked to keep them out, with Marten De Roon’s piledriver, which flew wide from distance, and Berat Djimsiti’s snapshot rare moments of relief.

Kylian Mbappe’s arrival as a substitute on the hour gave PSG fresh impetus, and he forced a vital 74th-minute save from Sportiello after being played in down the left by fellow newcomer Leandro Paredes before being denied by Jose Palomino’s timely block.

However, it was Marquinhos who forced home a 90th-minute equaliser with the help of a touch from Mattia Caldara’s boot to set the stage for a grandstand finish.

The clock had ticked into the third of five minutes of stoppage time when Neymar and Mbappe combined superbly to allow Choupo-Moting to fire home the winner and deal Atalanta the cruellest of blows.

Opta facts

  • Paris Saint-Germain have reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time since the 1994-95 campaign.
  • Excluding games that went to extra-time, Atalanta are the fourth team to be leading a Champions League game coming into the 90th minute and lose, after Bayern Munich v Man Utd (1998-99 final), Chelsea v Bayern Munich (2004-05 quarter-final) and Malaga v Borussia Dortmund (2012-13 quarter-final).
  • There were just two minutes and 29 seconds between PSG’s equalising and winning goals.
  • Atalanta have scored the opening goal in seven different UEFA Champions League games this season, more than any other side in the competition.
  • Atalanta conceded 29 fouls in this match, the most by a team in a UEFA Champions League knockout round game since Real Madrid against Barcelona in May 2011 (30). The Italians have also received more yellow cards than any other side in the competition this season (25), picking up six yellows in this match.
  • 56% of Paris SG’s shots in this match came in the 30 minutes Kylian Mbappé was on the pitch (9/16), with no player having more attempts on target than the Frenchman (2).
  • Atalanta’s Mario Pašalić has been involved in five goals in his last six UEFA Champions League appearances (3 goals, 2 assists), having failed to score or assist in any of his first nine games in the competition.
  • Neymar completed 16 dribbles in this match for Paris SG, the most by a player in a single UEFA Champions League game since Lionel Messi against Manchester United in April 2008 (also 16).

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