Paris Saint-Germain booked their place in the semi finals of the Women’s Champions League with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Joe Montemurro’s side came into the game having not played a competitive fixture since February and that lack of match fitness showed in the end, with PSG scoring a 77th minute winner at the Anoeta.
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Marie-Antoinette Katoto opened the scoring after 15 minutes, peeling away from Leah Williamson to volley home a corner kick on the swivel. But Arsenal equalised when Beth Mead curled a left-footed effort into the back of the net from Kim Little’s pass.
PSG dominated the second half, creating a number of opportunities through Kakota and Aminata Diallo. Signe Bruun struck the decisive blow with 13 minutes left on the clock, turning home a Kakota pass across the six-yard box to send PSG into the semi finals where they will face Lyon.
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TALKING POINT - Fitness factor was the difference for PSG
There was only so much Arsenal could have done to prepare for this match. While PSG had two competitive cup matches to ease themselves back into the swing of things before this Women’s Champions League quarter final tie, the Gunners could only play a series of friendlies and the French side’s superior fitness shone through in the end. That was ultimately the factor that decided this match.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint-Germain)
She opened the scoring after only 15 minutes and Katoto was a thorn in Arsenal’s side throughout this quarter final encounter. The French international provided cutting edge in front of goal, but was central to PSG’s attacking play as a whole. The Gunners just couldn’t deal with the relentless movement of Katoto, with the 21-year-old also setting up the winner for Bruun with an exceptional piece of play down the right.
Arsenal - Zinsberger 5, Maritz 6, Williamson 5, Beattie 6, McCabe 5, Walti 5, Van de Donk 6, Little 7, Evans 5, Miedema 6, Mead 8. Subs - Nobbs 5, Roord 5, Catley 5, Foord 4, Schnaderbeck 5.
PSG - Endler 6, Lawrence 7, Paredes 6, Dudek 6, Morroni 6, Diani 8, Dabritz 7, Nadim 7, Geyoro 5, Bachmann 6, Katoto 8. Subs - Baltimore 5, Formiga 4, Bruun 7.
15’ GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 PSG: What an incredible finish and PSG have the early lead! Katoto peeled away from Williamson inside the penalty box and fired home a full volley on the swivel to give the French side the advantage in this WCL quarter final!
17’ Little should have scored! So close to an immediate response from Arsenal. Maritz got down the right side with the overlapping run and cut the pass back fro Little, but her shot is deflected wide. Huge opportunity.
39’ GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 PSG: Arsenal are back on level terms! The pass was played into Mead inside the area by Little and the England international gets the ball out of her feet quickly and bends a left-footed shot into the far corner of the PSG net! Excellent finish, that!
75’ Should have scored! What a big opportunity for PSG to take the lead! Katoto threaded through an exceptional pass for Diani, she was in on goal, but Zinsberger made the save with his legs!
77’ GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 PSG: A massive moment in this quarter final! McCabe was robbed of the ball near the corner flag, that allowed Diani to surge into the penalty area and square the pass into the middle and Bruun was on hand to turn home from close range. PSG have the lead!
Paris Saint-Germain have conceded only two goals in this season’s Women’s Champions League.
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