PSG beats Atalanta with excellent performance by Neymar

A 2-1 victory over Atalanta sent Paris Saint-Germain into the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 25 years.
PSG Atalanta
© Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar was tipped to shine against Atalanta in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final but for much of the game, he had a shocker.

However, the Brazilian played his part in a dramatic late comeback and it was an unlikely hero, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who sealed a 2-1 win and a place in the semi-final for PSG.

Neymar’s tough evening started in the third minute.

When the Brazilian found himself clean through on goal, only to badly scuff his shot well wide of the target.

Neymar would squander two more golden opportunities in a first half to forget, as Mario Pasalic gave Atalanta a 1-0 lead at half-time.

There was some sympathy for Neymar’s performance, with many pointing out his dribbling and running were causing problems for Atalanta though his end product did not deliver.

PSG looked set to be crashing out but it was two second-half subs, Kylian Mbappe and Choupo-Moting, who combined with Neymar to help turn the tide.

Choupo-Moting’s ball in the 90th minute found Neymar behind the Atalanta defence, and the Brazilian’s cross found Marquinhos who tapped home the equalizer. Just three minutes later, Neymar’s through ball found Mbappe, who squared to Choupo-Moting to finish for the winner.

It was a dramatic turn of events and there were plenty of reactions on social media to Neymar’s up-and-down night and the former Stoke forward’s unlikely winner.

An ecstatic Neymar spoke after the game and said PSG never lost faith of winning the game.

“Nobody will ever get it out of my head that I want to go to the final,” he said. “We’re a formidable squad, a family, with the attitude that it’s impossible to knock us out.”

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