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RB Leipzig 0-3 PSG: Di-Maria stars as Tuchel’s men reach their first ever Champions League final

It was a brilliant performance from PSG, with their superstars having finally turned up on the biggest stage, and they will now face either Bayern Munich or fellow Ligue 1 side Lyon.

Leipzig, meanwhile, just proved too inexperienced to handle the Parisians today, though they can reflect on a remarkable Champions League run.It’s all over in Lisbon, and PSG’s long wait for a European final is over.

It has been 23 years since they last appeared in one, having lost in the final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997, but goals from Marquinhos, the excellent Di Maria – who teed up the other two – and Bernat have sealed their place in Sunday’s showpiece.

RB Leipzig had no answer to them really and the scoreline flattered the Germans.

They have done magnificently to get this far, dispatching last season’s finalists, Tottenham, and Atletico Madrid, conquerors of Liverpool, on the way. But they were never in it here, PSG easing steadily away after taking the lead 13 minutes into the game.

Three goals to the good with more than half and hour remaining, they eased up otherwise it could have been a heavy defeat. Leipzig did not deserve that, even if PSG would have been worth every goal.

Paris St Germain had made terribly hard work of Atalanta in the quarter-finals but the first half here revealed a team that had shrugged off its inferiority complex in this competition, in a way Manchester City have not, and were ready to take their place among the European elite.

And why not? There has been an awful lot of establishment snobbery around this semi-final, a lot of sniping about new money and its ghastly influence.

France, a wonderful football nation that exports its finest players around the world to light up competitions like the Premier League, have never produced a winner of the European Cup or Champions League – and last had a team in the final in 2004. 

Leipzig would have been frozen out of this tournament forever had Red Bull not invested in its project there.

So a drinks company want publicity? So what? If the effect is a bright, lively, innovative team, capable of challenging a stale European order, that’s good news surely?

The absence of Timo Werner, who has joined Chelsea and elected not to play in what remained of Leipzig’s European campaign, shows how hard it is for a small team to break into the elite.

To resent what limited opportunity there is, then, shows how sick the football industry has become.

Leipzig were caught playing out the back, a loose Gulacsi pass swiftly recycled and given the merest backheeled flick by Neymar, into the path of Di Maria, who made the Hungarian goalkeeper pay for his error.

More pressure brought the third after 56 minutes. Juan Bernat took a heavy touch that was scrambled clear but Nordi Mukiele slipped with PSG players closing in, his prone form now playing Bernat onside in the middle as Di Maria crossed for his conversion.

The first French champions of Europe? You get what you pay for these days.  

ajay
Sports freak at your door step

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