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Bayern Munich have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fourth straight season after another ex-Paris Saint-Germain player scored against them to leave their European dream as far as ever.
Ex-PSG striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting struck on the hour from a Marco Verratti error and Serge Gnabry struck late in a 2-0 win (3-0 on aggregate) for hosts Bayern.
Kingsley Coman – another former PSG player – had scored the winner in both the first leg in Paris and the 2020 final between the same two sides.
Despite the billions their Qatari owners have poured into the club since 2011, the French champions once again fell short of a prize they have never won.
Whether the limp exit plays a role in Lionel Messi’s decision to leave or stay remains to be seen, but now Bundesliga leaders Bayern continue to march in the Champions League in pursuit of a seventh triumph.
In London, AC Milan drew 0-0 with ten-man Tottenham Hotspur to go through 1-0 on aggregate and end Spurs’ chances of lifting the trophy.
Brahim Diaz and Olivier Giroud had good chances for the seven-time winner, who deservedly advanced and was helped by Spurs defender Cristian Romero, who received a second booking in the 77th minute.
It continued a slump in form for Antonio Conte’s team.
“This is the third game in a row in which we haven’t scored a goal,” said the coach.
“I think the game was in limbo. I think we can do much better offensively. I’m talking about the whole team, not just those playing in the front half. We can do much better.
“I can’t say anything negative about the commitment of the players. You gave it your all from start to finish. We finished the game with 10 men. But if I have to see a positive situation, it’s that we’ve made a step forward.
“We played in the Europa Conference League last year and didn’t get past the group stage. Now we’ve made a step forward, but that’s not enough and if we want to be competitive we have to fight.”
Former Spurs forward Peter Crouch was scathing about the Spurs’ approach.
“What’s the point of finishing in the top four if you want to do that in the Champions League? I understand that there are financial aspects.
“The fans would love to see an FA Cup or a Carabao Cup won – a trophy. That’s so long ago. So if you play a weakened team in the FA Cup – and the reason you rest the players is the Premier League game – and then lose that, you’re out of the Champions League.
“You go in the top 4, but for what? They haven’t performed in any game I’ve seen here in the Champions League.”
On Tuesday, Chelsea eliminated Borussia Dortmund and Benfica embarrassed Club Brugge to advance to the last eight.
The remaining round of 16 second legs, including holders Real Madrid against Liverpool, take place next week.
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/03/09/whats-the-point-of-top-four-if-you-perform-like-this-spurs-slated-after-dismal-exit-psg-old-boys-lead-bayern-assault/ "What's the point of finishing in the top four if you do like that?" Spurs planned after dismal departure, PSG oldies lead Bayern attack