Paris: Paris St Germain beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in an empty stadium due to coronavirus fears on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate.
Neymar and Juan Bernat scored before halftime to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit and send the French champions into the last eight for the first time since 2016 as Dortmund finished with 10 men after Emre Can was sent off in the dying minutes.
PSG made it past the last 16 after painful exits at the same stage in the last two years. They let slip a 4-0 advantage in a 6-5 aggregate defeat by Barcelona in 2017 and lost to Manchester United on away goals after beating the English side 2-0 at Old Trafford 12 months ago.
Over 3,000 ultra fans gathered near the Parc des Princes before kickoff after being granted authorisation by the police — demonstrations being considered an exemption to the ban of gatherings of more than 1,000 as French authorities try to contain the coronavirus, which has infected 2,281 people and killed 48.
They lit firework and their chants could be overheard in the stadium. “Our only virus is Paris SG,” a banner in the empty arena read.
PSG were without captain Thiago Silva, who had not fully recovered from a hamstring injury, while Kylian Mbappe started on the bench after suffering from a sore throat.
PSG dominated possession and had the first clear chance when Edinson Cavani’s cross shot from Di Maria’s through ball was deflected by keeper Roman Buerki.
Neymar put the hosts ahead in the 28th minute as he headed home Angel Di Maria’s free kick for his 35th goal in 57 matches, making his presence count after missing the return leg against United through injury last season.
Bernat doubled the lead on the stroke of halftime by flicking Sarabia’s attempt past Buerki.
PSG pressed high after the break while Erling Haaland, who scored a double in the first leg, never looked likely to add to his 10 Champions League goals this season.
Thorgan Hazard and Axel Witsel made way for Julian Brandt and Giovanni Reyna as Dortmund coach Lucien Favre looked to freshen up his attacking line and PSG were suddenly on the back foot.
A brawl erupted two minutes from time after Can fouled Neymar and pushed the Brazilian to the ground.
Can was sent off while Di Maria picked up a yellow card which means the Argentine will be suspended for the first leg of PSG’s quarter-final.