Paris Saint Germain scored two goals in added time to complete a dramatic comeback against Atalanta and advance to the Champions League semifinals for the first time in twenty-five years.
Defender Marquinhos tapped home an equaliser from Neymar’s delivery in the 90th minute before former Stoke striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting sealed the win from substitute Kylian Mbappe’s assist to shatter Atalanta’s dreams.
The Italians had gone ahead through Mario Pasalic in the first half and looked on the verge of causing an upset before the French champions engineered the most dramatic turn around to progress to the last four for the first time under their Qatari ownership.
Champions League debutants Atalanta had been on a fairytale run since they became the first side to progress to the last-16 despite losing their first three group games.
And it appeared their incredible story was set for a new chapter when Palasic put them ahead in the first-ever one-legged quarter-final tie in the revamped competition.
It was an all too familiar feeling for PSG, the standard-bearers of bottling Champions League knockout ties with their history of falling apart at the business end of Europe’s elite club competition club.
They looked devoid of ideas and struggled to make any inroads into the Atalanta rearguard in a disappointing half and when they did, their brightest spark and the world’s most expensive player Neymar contrived to miss two glaring chances.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were staring down a dark abyss in a sweltering night in Lisbon but their fortunes brightened remarkably after the introduction of the fit-again Mbappe.
The Frenchman’s pace and incisiveness caused problems for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side and a previously resolute rearguard was undone with a quickfire double sucker punch when victory seemed nearly within reach for the Italians.
Atalanta were yet to recover from Marquinhos’ equaliser before Mbappe combined with fellow substitute Choupo-Moting to deal a death blow to Atalanta and seal the win for PSG on the 50th anniversary of their founding.
PSG will now face either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid in the first semi-final next Tuesday night.