PSG and Porto become the final two teams to reach Champions League knockout stages… as last-16 is confirmed ahead of Monday's draw
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PSG and Porto become the final two teams to reach Champions League knockout stages… as last-16 is confirmed ahead of Monday's draw

Jan 26, 2024
  • Paris Saint-Germain scraped through to the Champions League’s last-16
  • The Parisians drew with Borussia Dortmund as Newcastle lost against AC Milan
  • Mauricio Pochettino looks bewildered! Serial winners are the SIXTH best team in London – It’s All Kicking Off 

Paris Saint-Germain and Porto have qualified for the Champions League knockout stages after both finished second in their respective competition groups. 

Relief, ecstasy and disdain was etched across the faces of PSG’s players after they qualified for the knockout stages of the  competition, with the draw for the next round taking place on Monday, December 18 at 11am in Switzerland.

PSG edged their way into the round of 16 by the barest of margins as they drew 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle fell to a 2-1 defeat against AC Milan at St James’ Park.

If Newcastle had beaten Milan then they would have pushed PSG into the Europa League and snatched second-place in Group F themselves. A lucky escape for Kylian Mbappe and Co.

The Parisians stuttered their way through their clash against Bundesliga opposition, initially going behind at the start of the second half before 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery rescued them a vital draw.

PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe cut a relieved figure after qualifying for the next round of the Champions League

PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe cut a relieved figure after qualifying for the next round of the Champions League

Parisians manager Luis Enrique watched on as his side sealed a narrow 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund

Parisians manager Luis Enrique watched on as his side sealed a narrow 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund

PSG's players shared muted celebrations with their travelling supporters at full-time

PSG’s players shared muted celebrations with their travelling supporters at full-time

Kylian Mbappe fell below his usual best as the French side squandered numerous chances, with the superstar striker himself being denied by a vital last-ditch clearance.

Fortunately for manager Luis Enrique, his side have avoided group stage elimination and most likely kept himself in a job given the club’s track record of sacking coaches when they struggle in the Champions League.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was in attendance at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund and was perhaps the happiest person on the pitch at full-time as he beamed while hugging his players.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST-16 DRAW DETAILS 

Date: Monday, December 18 at 11am

Location: House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland

 GROUP WINNERS

Bayern Munich

Arsenal

Real Madrid

Real Sociedad

Atletico Madrid

Borussia Dortmund

Manchester City

Barcelona

 GROUP RUNNERS-UP

FC Copenhagen

PSV Eindhoven

Napoli

Inter Milan

Lazio

PSG

RB Leipzig

Porto 

Meanwhile, solemn expressions donned the faces of Mbappe, Marquinhos and Marco Asensio with each possibly knowing just how close they had come to being knocked out of the competition.

The players clapped their travelling fans, with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma racing a celebratory fist to the crowd, but there was an evident sense of embarrassment on the faces of many.

There was huge relief for PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as his side avoided crashing out of the Champions League

There was huge relief for PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as his side avoided crashing out of the Champions League

Elsewhere in Europe, Porto sealed a 5-3 victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to also progress to the knockout stages

Elsewhere in Europe, Porto sealed a 5-3 victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to also progress to the knockout stages

PSG finished second in the group and must seriously improve on their recent form given the fact they will now be partnered alongside one of the other groups top seeds in the next round.

Elsewhere in Europe, Porto sealed a 5-3 victory over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk to also progress to the knockout stages.

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Brazilian winger Galeno scored twice and set up two other goals as Porto finished second in Group H with 12 points and level with group winners Barcelona.

Shakhtar drop into the Europa League after finishing third in the group, while Belgian side Antwerp finish bottom despite beating Barcelona 3-2 on the night. 

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