GulfNews Sports

GulfNews Sports

Champions League: Real Madrid frustrate Liverpool to move into last four

Football|: Liverpool: Real Madrid moved into the semi-finals of the Champions League after their makeshift defence held on for 0-0 second-leg draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday to complete a 3-1 aggregate win. The Spanish side will face Chelsea in the last four as they search for their fifth Champions League title in eight years. Liverpool, the 2019 Champions League winners, created enough chances in the opening 45 minutes to have turned the tie around but they ran out of ideas in the second half. Jurgen Klopp had hoped that a disappointing Premier League campaign could be compensated for with some end of season European excitement but his side still look well short of the thrills they produced in the past two seasons. “You always need the key moments. We didn’t lose the tie tonight, we lost in Madrid. We didn’t score and then the experience of Real Madrid played the tie out,” said Klopp. “We love this competition and for other reasons it is very important we are back in it. We can now concentrate on the Premier League and we will.” With no crowd at Anfield, this was never going to be a dramatic and emotional night like the memorable comeback victory over Barcelona two years ago but Klopp will surely feel that a chance of progress was missed against a weakened Real without skipper Sergio Ramos and his central defensive partner Raphael Varane. Liverpool came out with intent and aggression and soon had Real on the back foot. Sadio Mane fed Mohamed Salah for an early chance but the Egyptian shot straight at Thibaut Courtois, who saved with his legs. Klopp had clearly targeted Real’s stand-in right-back Federico Valverde as a potential weak spot and the Uruguayan struggled to cope with Mane in the opening stages. A flowing attacking move, reminiscent of Liverpool at their best, ended with a curling shot from James Milner which Courtois did well to tip wide. But Liverpool had their own defensive vulnerabilities exposed in the 20th minute when Nathaniel Phillips was robbed by Karim Benzema and the Frenchman weaved his way into the box before his deflected shot struck the post. Salah then had another opening but scooped his shot, from a promising position, high and wide and then the best chance of the half fell to Georginio Wijnaldum — after good work from Trent Alexender-Arnold, the Dutchman leaned back and put his shot well over the bar. The home pressure continued after the break with Roberto Firmino testing Courtois at the near post with a fine shot on the turn. Klopp threw on Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara on the hour in search of the breakthrough but it so nearly came at the other end — Alisson Becker doing well to race off his line to foil Vinicius Jr and then smother Benzema’s follow-up. Real were in no mood to cave in and Liverpool did not have the inspiration needed to open them up and while their display was creditable, they could not do enough to make up for their defensive errors in the first leg loss. Neither of these sides were at their peak in these two-legs, both showing the effects of injuries and the tough schedule this season, but it is the 13-times European champions who deservedly progressed. Klopp has been without Virgil van Dijk throughout this campaign and he will not miss the irony in losing out to a team also missing their top defenders. “We had some huge absences, Ramos and Varane are two pillars of this team,” said Real’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro. “But Nacho and (Eder) Militao showed they are good enough to play for us too, they keep proving they have what it takes to play for Real Madrid. “We knew it was going to be difficult considering who we were playing, we know how hard it is to play here, but the team did a fantastic job and every player played their part.”

GulfNews Sports

Champions League: Foden fires Man City into semi-final clash with PSG

Football|: Dortmund: Manchester City set up a blockbuster Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain as Phil Foden’s second-half winner sealed a 2-1 victory at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday to send the Premier League leaders through 4-2 on aggregate. England midfielder Jude Bellingham gave Dortmund an early lead, but a second-half Riyad Mahrez penalty and Foden’s powerful strike moved City into the last four of Europe’s top club competition for the second time. Having also scored the 90th-minute winner to give City a 2-1 victory in last week’s first leg in Manchester, England international Foden again broke Dortmund hearts. “We are finally in the semi-finals and we’re really happy,” Guardiola told Sky with his team bidding to win four titles this season. “The guys deserve it because what they have achieved this season is incredible.” Guardiola was full of praise for Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG after they reached the last four by squeezing past holders Bayern Munich on away goals. “We saw yesterday how strong they (PSG) are, Neymar is an excellent player and they have eliminated the world’s best team,” said Guardiola. “It’s time to celebrate and drink a lot of wine, then prepare to face Chelsea (in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday).” City had bowed out at the quarter-final stage in each of the last three seasons, and had to come from behind at Signal Iduna Park as Dortmund shrugged off their indifferent Bundesliga form to take the lead on 15 minutes. Four days after scoring his first Bundesliga goal, Bellingham also hit the back of the net for the first time in the Champions League. After Mahmoud Dahoud fired straight at City goalkeeper Ederson with six minutes gone, Dortmund went ahead with their next clear chance. Emre Can’s long ball found Erling Braut Haaland in the area, the Norwegian squaring for Dahoud, and although his shot was saved, Bellingham curled the rebound beyond Ederson. At 17 years and 289 days, Bellingham became the second youngest goal-scorer in the knockout stages of the Champions League behind Bojan Krkic, who was 72 days younger when he scored in the quarter-finals for Barcelona in 2008. Conceding an early goal fired up City, whose captain Kevin De Bruyne hit the crossbar 10 minutes later following a mistake by Mateu Morey. Dortmund goalkeeper Marvin Hitz pulled off saves at point-blank range to deny Foden and a header by Oleksandr Zinchenko, while Bellingham got back to block a Mahrez attempt. Can looked crestfallen when he gave away the penalty 10 minutes after the break by heading a corner onto his own arm. “That’s bitter, it really hurts,” said Can. “I touched the ball first with my head and then with my hand”. Mahrez converted the spot-kick by slamming the ball beyond Hitz. The Algeria’s fist-clenched celebration showed what the away goal meant to City before being mobbed by his team-mates. The winning goal came with 15 minutes to go when Mahrez took a short corner with Bernardo Silva, who found Foden on the edge of the penalty area. The 20-year-old hit his left-footed shot low past Hitz and in off the post before sprinting to celebrate with Guardiola on the sidelines. It was a quiet night for Dortmund top-scorer Haaland, who has now failed to score in his last seven games for club and country. “We had a big dream, but unfortunately it’s over now,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.

GulfNews Sports

IPL 2021: Shah Rukh Khan apologies to fans for Kolkata Knight Riders performance

BollyWood|IPL|Cricket|: Chennai: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fell to a stunning 10-run defeat to Mumbai Indians (MI) despite being in a dominant position for much of the match and their owner, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, ended up apologising to fans for the performance. "Disappointing performance. to say the least @KKRiders apologies to all the fans!" Shah Rukh wrote on Twitter. KKR all-rounder Andre Russell said that while he supports team owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's tweet apologising to fans of the team for their defeat to Mumbai Indians (MI), the team is still confident and will learn from the loss. "Yeah, I support that (Shah Rukh Khan) tweet but at the end of the day the game of cricket... you are not sure until it's over," said Russell in the post-match press conference. "We are still confident and playing some good cricket and I am proud of the boys. We are definitely dissapointed but it's not the end of the road. It's our second game and we will definitely learn from it," he said. Russell said that the wicket was a difficult one to bat on. "It is a difficult wicket to bat on and it is not easy for a new batsman to come in and start the hitting from ball one. It is very challenging, even for me the ball was a bit up and down. It is not the easiest wicket to bat on, no matter how good you are you still need a couple of balls to actually get your eye in," said Russell. Russell's five-wicket haul had helped KKR dismiss MI for 153 and while they were cruising for much of the chase, a collapse after 72-run opening partnership led them to being restricted to 142/7.

GulfNews Sports

IPL 2021: Another run-fest on the cards as Rajasthan Royals take on Delhi Capitals

IPL|: Dubai: Sanju Samson might have fallen four runs short in his virtually single-handed pursuit of Punjab Kings on Monday, but he justified Rajasthan Royals’ decision to hand him the captaincy for IPL 2020. Samson has been deprived of a go-to guy in the bowling department as Jofra Archer continues his recovery from surgery. That gave debutante Chetan Sakariya a baptism by fire of sorts, but the youngster shouldered the yoke and turned to be the pick of the bowlers for the Royals with a haul of 3/31. It still could not restrict the Kings from reaching a massive 221/6. Kerala star Samson might have anticipated a high-scoring affair with them. The last match between the two at Sharjah in IPL 2020 finished with 449 runs being scored between them as Punjab scored 223/2 and another Samson flourish saw the Royals win by four wickets after scoring 226 with three balls to spare. MORE FROM IPL 2021 IPL 2021: When harakiri by the Knights batsmen left the fans stumped IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals' Ben Stokes ruled out with broken finger IPL 2021: RCB v Sunrisers Hyderabad: Harshal Patel looking to revel in newfound confidence Samson had the added pressure of having to captain the Royals for the very first time and he did phenomenally with a 119 the other day. Next best in the scoreboard were Jos Buttler and Riyan Parag with 25 each. Now, with Ben Stokes being ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a broken finger, Samson and the rest will have to carry on in similar vein. Stokes was out for a duck in that first match perhaps on account of the discomfort caused by his injury, but Samson was the highlight of their batting with Buttler, Parag and Shivam Dube (23) playing bit part roles. All will have to step up with Liam Livingstone the likely draft to fill in for Stokes, meaning a return for Buttler to his opening role. Sakariya was superb on debut and Samson will be expecting more of the same from him second time around, with South African allrounder Chris Morris 2/41 also likely to improve going forward. Going head-to-head, the teams are level on 11 wins a piece after 22 face-offs, but Delhi Capitals seem the one to beat this time as they performed rather well in the absence of both their top bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje against Chennai Super Kings in their tournament opener which they won by seven wickets. DC let CSK score 188/7, but with Rabada and Nortje available to play now having completed quarantine, RR should definitely find the going tougher. Avesh Khan justified his selection in the Delhi squad with a 2/23 from his four overs and could be retained as the Capitals look for a second straight win. More worrying for the Royals though is the fact that DC batsmen were able to overhaul the target in a matter of 18.4 overs with Prithvi Shaw (72 off 38) and Shikhar Dhawan (85 off 54) putting on a 138-run stand for the opening wicket. Shaw has been in terrific form domestically for Mumbai and seems to have brought that forward to the IPL, and it will be interesting to see if he can light it up enough to put the sensational Samson in the shadows. Catch the match Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai Match starts at 6 pm UAE

GulfNews Sports

NBA: Players hold moment of silence for 20-year-old Duante Wright, shot by police, ahead of rescheduled game

Sport|: Members of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets wore warm-up shirts on Tuesday reading “With liberty and justice FOR ALL” and held a moment of silence for a Black man fatally shot by a police officer in Minneapolis. Daunte Wright, 20, was shot on Sunday during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center in what the city’s police chief said appeared to be an “accidental discharge” after the officer drew her gun instead of her Taser during a struggle. The shooting prompted all of Minneapolis’ professional sports teams to postpone play on Monday, including the Timberwolves-Nets game, which was being made up on Tuesday. A tribute to Duante Wright, who was killed recently in a police shooting, appears on the scoreboard before the NBA basketball game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday. Image Credit: AP “We extend our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies to Daunte’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” an announcer said at a darkened Target Center prior to the tip-off of the game. The police chief and the officer both tendered their resignations on Tuesday, the city’s mayor said. The moves followed two nights of protests in the city of 30,000 people just miles from Minneapolis, which was already on edge with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd during an arrest last May. Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) wears a shirt that reads 'With Liberty and Justice For All' before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Image Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports Before the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash, who is white, called the shooting “unacceptable” and “devastating” and said he would have supported a further postponement of the game if it was part of a broader strategy to combat the underlying issues. “I’d be all for not playing today if there was a step-by-step, procedural reasoning behind why. But I’m not sure we have that clarity as to what it would change,” he said. “We all want change but I’m not sure though that whether this game is played or not will bring about that change. That’s the tricky part.” National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association players have been among the loudest voices calling for an end to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. The Minnesota Twins baseball team also held a moment of silence for Wright before their game between the visiting Boston Red Sox, which was also postponed by a day because of the shooting. (Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney and Lincoln Feast.)

GulfNews Sports

ICC ban ex-Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak for eight years on corruption charges

ICC|: Kolkata: Former Zimbabwe captain and coach Heath Streak has been banned from all cricket for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Streak was charged as a participant under the Code by virtue of his status as the coach of Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018 and as the coach of various domestic teams. The charges are as follows: 1.2.3.2: Disclosing inside information under both the ICC Code and various domestic Codes, in circumstances where he knew or should have known that such information may be used for betting purposes. In particular, he disclosed inside information in relation to matches in the 2018 Tri-Series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe versus Afghanistan series in 2018, the Indian Premier League 2018 and the Afghan Premier League 2018. ALSO READ ICC to retain umpires’ call; IPL does away with it in 2021 edition Cricket: Why Suryakumar Yadav’s sublime batting augurs well for India Indian brand Himalaya to be ICC’s grooming partner for major events till 2022 Cricket: What’s the secret behind Shardul Thakur’s success for India? 2.2.3.3: Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach the Code. In particular, he facilitated or attempted to facilitate the introduction of four different players, including a national captain, to someone he knew, or should have known, may have wanted to approach them to provide inside information for betting purposes. 3. 2.4.2: Failing to disclose the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute. 4.: 2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code including in relation to international matches in the 2017 BPL, the 2018 Pakistan Super League, the 2018 IPL and the 2018 APL. 5. Article 2.4.7 – obstructing or delaying an investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and / or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. Under the provisions of the Code, Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti-Corruption Tribunal hearing. He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on March 28, 2029. Announcing the decision, Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Heath Streak is an experienced former international cricketer and national team coach who had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions and was fully aware of his a under the Code. “As a former captain and coach, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game. He breached the Code on several occasions, including facilitating the approach of four other players. At times, he also sought to obstruct and delay our investigation. “The offences did not affect the outcomes of any relevant matches and Streak has agreed to assist the ICC anti-corruption education programme for which we are grateful. He has also expressed his remorse and contrition and entered this agreed sanction decision to avoid the need for a full disciplinary process. The sanction reflects this cooperation.”

GulfNews Sports

Why Mumbai Indians dominated Kolkata Knight Riders yet again

IPL|: Dubai: Victory for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had looked like a formality against their nemesis Mumbai Indians (MI) when their openers Nitish Rana and Shubhman Gill had walloped 72 runs in 9 overs before Gill fell chasing just 152. But KKR then created Hara-kiri when they paid the price for playing the gung-ho style of cricket, which England has played under Eoin Morgan for five years and collapsed to 122/5 and in the end fell short by 10 runs to loose from a winning position. No one can say KKR paid the price for being too aggressive, but you can’t rule out the fact that KKR are finding different ways of losing to arch rivals Mumbai Indians for over a decade now. Their record against Mumbai Indians is now 22 losses to just 6 wins in 28 games, which is abysmal and KKR team owner Shah Rukh Khan summed up with a tweet that it was pretty disappointing performance and he apologized to the fans. Now, what happens to KKR when playing against Mumbai Indians, which is not the case when they play against other teams? Gautam Gambhir under whom KKR has won the two IPL titles had said that Mumbai Indians take out their 'A' game when they play against KKR. History shows that once a team dominates another team for a while it becomes difficult for the loosing team to come out of that losing streak. There was a time after the great Javed Miandad had hit that heart breaking six at Sharjah, Indian team was finding it very difficult to beat the Pakistan team in the 90s and there was a mental block whenever they played Pakistan till India won the T20 World Cup. Similarly Pakistan team still can't find a way to beat India in a world cup game from 1992 as it goes in to a negative frame whenever a world cup game happens against India. The sight of Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians seems to bully the KKR team time and again and it will take something special from KKR to get out of this rut, not sure when it will happen. But unless they find their way past Mumbai Indians, the third title for KKR is so near yet so far. Anis Sajan null Cricket enthusiast and businessman Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group.

GulfNews Sports

Tamil star Vishnu Vishal to get married this month with Jwala Gutta

Even a pandemic couldn’t keep them apart with Tamil actor Vishnu Vishal announcing that he will be marrying his fiancée and long-time girlfriend Jwala Gutta on April 22. In a statement on social media, which was accompanied with the image of wedding card, Vishal tweeted: “LIFE IS A JOURNEY.... EMBRACE IT... HAVE FAITH AND TAKE THE LEAP.... Need all your love and support as always...” An official statement by the family reads: “With the blessings of our families, it gives us immense joy in sharing the news of our marriage, in a private affair in presence of near & dear. We thank you for all the love you have showered upon us over the years and seek blessings as we embark on this journey of love, loyalty, friendship, and togetherness.” Vishal and badminton player Gutta have been dating for several years before they decided to make it official last September in a small ceremony, keeping the pandemic in mind. The wedding will also be on a small scale due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in India. This will be the second marriage for both of them with Vishal previously married to Rajini Natraj between 2010 and 2018. The couple also share a son, Aryan. Gutta was also married to fellow shuttler Chetan Anand for six years. They were hitched in 2005 but divorced in 2011. Vishal has been out of commission for a while following his injury during the shooting of ‘Kaadan’, which was the Tamil version of ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’. Following his wedding, Vishal will be starring in ‘FIR’ and ‘Mohandas’; both are Tamil movies.

GulfNews Sports

Dan Evans eager to get vaccinated ahead of Wimbledon: British tennis player would be 'heartbroken' to test positive for Covid-19

Tennis|: Britain’s Dan Evans said he would be “heartbroken” to test positive for Covid-19 ahead of Wimbledon in June and is eager to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Evans’ comments come after world number two Daniil Medvedev tested positive on Monday and was subsequently withdrawn from this week’s Monte Carlo Masters. Some of the top players at the Miami Open recently expressed a reluctance to get vaccinated but Evans, Britain’s top ranked male player at No 33, was not among them. “I’m very eager to get vaccinated, if I can,” he told reporters on Tuesday after beating Dusan Lajovic at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, his first Tour-level victory on clay in four years. “It would be heartbreaking if I tested positive for Wimbledon.” Evans said he had witnessed the celebrations back home to mark the reopening of England’s businesses after three months of lockdown but said he “won’t be socialising any time soon” to avoid getting infected. Organisers of Wimbledon, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, have said players must stay at official hotels during the grasscourt Grand Slam as part of safety measures. But Evans, who reached a career-high ranking of 26 in February, said he would not be against top players being given a “bit of leeway”. “I would have no issues if some of the top guys were given a bit of leeway, past champions, where they can stay at a house,” said the 30-year-old. “I think they would be pretty responsible, not be out for dinner. “It’s going to be a different Wimbledon ... I don’t really know what to expect, but yet I’ll expect they’ll do a good job.”

GulfNews Sports

IPL 2021: When harakiri by the Knights batsmen left the fans stumped

IPL|: Kolkata: The IPL have often shown a knack of producing some unbelievable twists and turns in the game - be it wins or losses. The 10-run loss by Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday night, whereby they let a rare opportunity to buck their dismal record against five-time champions Mumbai Indians, would rank quite high up that list now. How would you define the hara-kiri by some of the KKR batsmen like captain Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan or Nitish Rana? Was it sheer panic to finish off the game before the death overs when Mumbai’s best bowlers, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah would come back? When Andre Russell joined Dinesh Karthik, the seasoned pair still had five wickets in hand with 31 runs to get 28 balls - and all it needed was to keep rotating the strike and look for the odd boundaries. What transpired was another example of choking by Morgan’s men - as it has now become the norm whenever they take on the blue shirts. Russell, who was the bowling hero of the Knights with his 5/15 off just two overs, could not force the pace on a wicket which had become slower while Karthik - considered as one of the finest players of spin in the IPL - got a cold feet against the fastish left-arm spin of Krunal Pandya. It was eventually left to Boult to clean up the innings and Mumbai Indians showed, under skipper Rohit Sharma, as to what separates the men from the boys. MORE ON IPL 2021 IPL 2021: Straight Bat with Gulf News and Mr. Cricket UAE Anis Sajan - Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals' Ben Stokes ruled out with broken finger IPL 2021: RCB v Sunrisers Hyderabad: Harshal Patel looking to revel in newfound confidence Chetan Sakariya: From struggling to meet cricket expenses to IPL stardom The unfortunate part of the story is that it was the much-hyped middle order which undid all the good work of the bowlers earlier on, while the World Cup-winning captain Morgan must have realised how the roll of the dice can turn in a matter of hours in this game. The innovative moves by Morgan to contain the famous run-flow of the champions paid off well - be it in the use of three spinners in the first five overs of powerplay to disturb the rhythm of the openers, slowing down the pace off the ball in the final overs with Russell by utilising Pat Cummins’ overs earlier to strike vital blows. Dre-Russ, who used the crease shrewdly from round the wicket to bowl a wide line, reaped the rewards as the rival batsmen tried to hit him inside out and got caught between the point and cover region. The same Morgan soon turned a villain when coming at number four after his openers had given a solid start, he showed a sudden rush of blood against Chahar - possibly trying to break free of the shackles rather than playing as per the needs of the situation. It was the same story with Rana and Shakib - which may raise questions about the ultra-aggressive approach of the batsmen in this format. ‘Expressing’ oneself - as the favourite word of the cricketers these days - is fine. But so is winning watches...

GulfNews Sports

Champions League: PSG edge Bayern tussle despite losing second leg

Football|: Paris: Paris Saint-Germain knocked holders Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on Tuesday despite Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring against his old club as a 1-0 defeat in the second leg at the Parc des Princes could not prevent the French giants from winning a tremendous quarter-final tie on away goals. Neymar twice hit the woodwork for PSG in the first half and Choupo-Moting then put Bayern in front five minutes before the break. But the reigning European champions could not get the second goal they needed after losing 3-2 at home in the first leg last week. Hansi Flick’s team are out, and PSG have revenge following their 1-0 defeat in last season’s final in Lisbon. The dream of winning a first European Cup remains alive for the Qatar-owned club and Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who had already eliminated Barcelona in the last 16, can now look forward to a semi-final showdown with Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund. Bayern will have to console themselves with trying to win a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, and will wonder what might have been had the prolific Robert Lewandowski, or Serge Gnabry, been available for the two legs of this tie. The future of Flick will come back into focus, too, given his frosty relationship with the club’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic. Yet Bayern more than played their part in an epic tie that will live long in the memory and that deserved to be played before a full house both in Munich and here. They were also without influential midfielder Leon Goretzka for this second leg, and they had next to no Champions League experience on their bench either. Their starting line-up was still impressive, and with Thomas Mueller leading from the front and co-ordinating their suffocating press, Bayern took the game to their hosts throughout. That suited PSG, who have produced their best performances this season away from home and could look to hit the Germans on the break with the devastating pace of Kylian Mbappe. The Parisians, to be fair, were without two huge players of their own in captain Marquinhos and playmaker Marco Verratti, but they did have Mbappe and Neymar. Neymar’s frustrating night The Brazilian was in the mood but was left frustrated by a combination of Manuel Neuer and the frame of the goal in the first half. Twice the Bayern goalkeeper produced saves to deny Neymar before the world’s most expensive player hit a superb shot off the angle of bar and far post in the 37th minute after Angel Di Maria’s free-kick was cleared to him. On 39 minutes another breakaway finished with Mbappe squaring to Neymar, who this time saw his effort strike the base of the right-hand post. Bayern could have been dead and buried, but within a minute of that they were in front on the night. Thomas Mueller’s cushioned lay-off in the box set up David Alaba for a first-time shot that Keylor Navas saved. The ball looped up to Choupo-Moting and he headed in. The Cameroon forward, who scored once in 10 Champions League appearances across two seasons at PSG, now had his second goal against his old club in this tie while standing in for Lewandowski. Bayern could even have scored again before the break as a thunderous strike by Alaba was turned behind by Navas, keeping PSG ahead overall on away goals. A goal for the home side would have calmed the nerves as they looked to avoid another dramatic exit from the Champions League like so many before over the last decade. Neymar stretched but just could not connect with Di Maria’s ball across goal at the start of the second half. PSG lost left-back Abdou Diallo to injury and Bayern continued to push them back, accepting the risk of conceding as they went looking for a crucial second goal. Mbappe had an effort disallowed for offside, while another Bayern goal never arrived, and the final whistle was met with loud roars of delight from the home bench.

GulfNews Sports

Champions League: Chelsea into semi-finals despite Porto defeat

Football|: Seville: Chelsea reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2014 despite a 1-0 defeat against Porto in Tuesday’s quarter-final second leg in Seville. Thomas Tuchel’s side will play Real Madrid or Liverpool for a place in the final after producing a masterclass in game management to win 2-1 on aggregate. Real travel to Anfield on Wednesday looking to protect a 3-1 lead from the first leg. They could do worse than copy Tuchel’s tactics as Chelsea smothered Porto with an intelligent defensive approach until Mehdi Taremi’s stunning bicycle kick in the last minute of stoppage-time. That sublime strike was out of character with the rest of Porto’s display as they laboured to overturn the 2-0 first-leg deficit. Chelsea have lost only once in 18 matches since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January and this was another feather in the German’s cap. Tuchel had admitted this week was a make or break period for Chelsea. They passed the first test with ease and can now focus on Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Premier League leaders Manchester City at Wembley. The Blues are fifth in the Premier League as they chase a top-four finish, meaning they might need to win the Champions League for the first time since 2012 if they are to qualify for next season’s competition. Led by the astute Tuchel, who took Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final last season, that lofty ambition can’t be ruled out. Tuchel this week said he wouldn’t want to fight Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta, such is the ferocious will to win coursing through Chelsea’s most vocal players. Both defenders lived up to Tuchel’s billing as they fought tooth and nail to keep Porto at bay in a niggly clash. Chelsea cruise Mason Mount had scored Chelsea’s opening goal in the first leg and he was inches away from netting again when his long-range drive was deflected over. Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy gifted Porto a golden opportunity for a priceless early goal when his miscued pass went straight to Jesus Corona inside the penalty area. But Corona couldn’t keep his composure and Jorginho did enough to ensure the shot flashed wide. Mendy’s blunder was forced in part by the relentless pressing that epitomised Porto’s frenetic start, but Chelsea matched their work rate as the foul count rose for both teams. N’Golo Kante was fit to start for Chelsea after a hamstring problem and the France midfielder teed up a good chance for Kai Havertz, whose limp finish failed to match the quality of his team-mate’s incisive raid. Having already wasted one good chance, Corona’s profligacy let Porto down again when he lashed hurriedly over from 12 yards after Ben Chilwell misjudged Otavio’s high ball. Chelsea had never lost a knockout tie in Europe after winning the first leg away from home and that record remained pristine as Porto ran out of steam in the second half. Chilwell’s cross presented Christian Pulisic with a clear sight of goal, but the winger couldn’t get enough power on his wayward volley. Desperately short of a cutting edge, it took Porto until the 68th minute for their first effort on target as Taremi’s header from Corona’s cross forced Mendy to save. Taremi’s eye-catching strike with seconds left came far too late for a dramatic finale, with tempers flaring in a heated exchange involving Rudiger and several Porto players after the final whistle.