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UEFA Champions League: PSG Defeat Real Sociedad with Mbappe Brace, Enter Quarter-Finals

On Tuesday, Kylian Mbappe guided Paris Saint-Germain to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad. His performance keeps PSG’s hopes of winning the European title alive in his last season with the club.

PSG won the match 4-1 on aggregate, with Mbappé scoring one of the goals in the 2-0 victory in Paris three weeks earlier. Mbappé has already informed PSG that he will not continue with the club after this season.

Despite massive investment to win the Champions League for the first time, PSG had been ousted from the round of 16 five times in the previous seven seasons, including the last two. It made it to the semifinals in 2021 and finished second place in 2020.

“We knew right away that we couldn’t go to sleep,” Mbappé commented. “If they had opened the scoring, they would have pushed on with their fans’ backing. We had to dampen their hopes early on. That’s what we did, and we’re very happy to be back in the quarterfinals.”

Once again, Mbappé stood out as the game-changer on Tuesday, breaking the deadlock with a splendid goal in the 15th minute. He showcased his skill with a series of clever maneuvers inside the box, cutting back from near the touchline before unleashing a powerful right-footed shot into the far corner. The shot shattered the netting near the far post, resulting in a brief pause in play to allow for repairs.

Mbappé scored his second goal in the 56th minute, following a run that began around the midfield line. He dashed to the open space to receive a long pass from Lee Kang-in and calmly scored from close range.

Mbappé, at 25 years and 76 days, became the second-youngest player to score 45 Champions League goals, from the group stage to the final. Lionel Messi achieved that milestone at the age of 24 years and 257 days. Mbappé scored a total of 46 goals.

Mbappé had not scored in his last two PSG appearances, although he had eight goals in his previous eight. He had been replaced in the previous two games, but he played until the last whistle on Tuesday.

PSG had won 10 of its last 13 matches in all competitions, although it had just drawn consecutive French league games against Rennes and Monaco. 

Mikel Merino scored Sociedad’s only goal in the 89th minute to give the home crowd reason to cheer.

“We wanted to qualify, but we also wanted to win,” Mbappé stated in an interview. “We had a clear game plan and scored early. We didn’t feel too much pressure, maybe a little near the end.”

On Wednesday, Bayern Munich moved forward with a 3-1 overall win by beating Lazio 3-0 at home.

Sociedad was attempting to go beyond the Champions League last 16 for the first time. The Basque Country club had not participated in Europe’s top club championship since 2013-14. Its best European campaign came in 1982-83, when it advanced to the European Cup semi finals.

Sociedad began the season strong, winning its Champions League group for the first time, but has subsequently suffered a decline in performance. It has lost six of its last seven matches in all competitions, with only one win in its last nine games.

“All opponents are difficult in the Champions League, but unfortunately we were drawn with probably the toughest one that we could face,” he remarked. “We needed a perfect match to advance, but they are too excellent and have a player like Mbappé, who almost always scores with his transitions. “They were better than us.”

The Spanish team dominated PSG for the majority of the first game until conceding twice in the second half.

Ander Barrenetxea’s goal for Sociedad was disallowed in the 63rd minute due to offside.

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Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey
Swastika's inclination towards sports, irrespective of the game, has often left her peers awestruck. She never misses a sporting event and devours every single piece of information pertaining to an athlete or their game. People who know her say that calling her a sports fanatic would be an understatement.

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