Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) secured a nerve-wracking passage to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, drawing 1-1 against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night. The critical goal came from the talented 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery, who became the youngest Frenchman to score in the Champions League. The draw ensured PSG’s advancement, clinching the second spot in Group F.
The tension-filled match saw Karim Adeyemi open the scoring for Dortmund, putting PSG on the brink of elimination. However, Zaire-Emery’s equalizer, crafted by Kylian Mbappe, salvaged the situation for PSG. Despite Mbappe having a late goal disallowed for offside by VAR, PSG’s fate was sealed as AC Milan’s victory over Newcastle United worked in their favor.
The first half witnessed a flurry of chances for both teams, with PSG’s Bradley Barcola hitting the post and Dortmund’s Niklas Süle producing a crucial goal-line clearance to deny Mbappe. Dortmund’s Adeyemi broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, capitalizing on a defensive error. PSG responded swiftly, with Zaire-Emery’s historic goal leveling the score.
The night’s drama unfolded not just on the pitch but also with AC Milan’s triumph over Newcastle United, which ultimately allowed PSG to progress. Despite the relief of reaching the Round of 16 for the 12th consecutive season, questions linger about PSG’s performance and their readiness to face tougher opposition in the knockout stages.
As Dortmund secured the group’s top spot, PSG coach Luis Enrique acknowledged the need for improvement. The draw sets up an intriguing Round of 16 fixture for PSG, with the possibility of facing formidable opponents like Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. The journey to their maiden Champions League title becomes more challenging, and PSG will have to address their vulnerabilities as they aim to make a deeper impact in European football’s premier competition.