Champions League: Mbappe's brilliant brace propels PSG into quarterfinals

San Sebastian (Spain), March 6 (IANS) Kylian Mbappe struck twice as Paris Saint Germain beat Real Sociedad 2-1 to wrap up a comfortable aggregate (4-1) victory over Real Sociedad and book their place in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

The capital club’s attack tallied six total shots in the first half, with Mbappe opening the scoring for PSG in the 15th minute for a 1-0 lead to give the team breathing room on Tuesday night.

Despite having the home crowd behind them, Real Sociedad had a challenging first 45 minutes, as they only registered two total shots. In the second half, the game got tougher for the Spanish team when PSG scored their second goal of the match.

Mbappe again haunted the Real Sociedad defense as the PSG star registered his brace after scoring in the 56th minute to make it 2-0.

Real Sociedad’s offensive performance picked up notably in the final 45 minutes, managing to take a total of 12 shots and securing a late goal courtesy of Mikel Merino.

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Gianluigi Donnarumma put on an impressive show during the 90 minutes, pulling off six saves even if the Italian goalkeeper let one slip past in the 89th minute, preventing him from keeping a clean sheet.

“We’re really happy. That was the objective, we wanted to qualify, but we also wanted to win. We had a gameplan that was clear, and we managed to score early. We didn’t come under too much pressure, just a little at the end,” said Mbappe after the win.

Luis Enrique, PSG coach said: “Us managers will always try and find a solution, but it’s the players that played well. They all played at a very high level. (They were) solid in defence and very efficient going forward. We produced a promising two-legged performance.”

Meanwhile, FC Bayern beat Lazio 3-0 on Tuesday night to book a berth in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Harry Kane and Thomas Müller overturned the 1-0 first-leg deficit in the first half before the England striker rounded off his brace in the second half for a 3-1 aggregate victory.

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Bayern began the second leg under pressure after a meek showing in their 1-0 defeat in Rome, but an early chance for the recalled Leroy Sane set the tone for a dominant first-half display by the hosts.

Ciro Immobile ended a prolonged spell of Bayern pressure by heading wide when well-placed to double the visitors’ aggregate advantage, and Lazio rued that miss as Kane pounced to nod his 50th European goal and draw his side level with his fifth of his club’s European campaign.

Lazio then suffered a hammer blow when Muller connected with Matthijs de Ligt’s exquisite strike to head in from close range and give the six-time champions the lead in the tie for the first time.

Kane capitalised further when Ivan Provedel could only push Sane’s whipped cross into his path, producing a typically composed finish on a night when his goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, had precious little to do.

–IANS

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