Paris Saint-Germain booked their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase after earning a 2-1 win that eliminated Basel thanks to Thomas Meunier's superb late volley.
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Paris Saint-Germain rubber-stamped their ticket for the UEFA Champions League knockout stage with two games to spare following a last-gasp 2-1 victory at Basel.
With Arsenal fighting back to beat Ludogorets Razgrad 3-2, Paris needed just a share of the spoils to join them in qualifying from Group A, and it looked like they would settle for draw until Thomas Meunier's superb late volley.
Before that, Blaise Matuidi had flicked in a Meunier ball to put Unai Emery's men in front, but Basel responded via a wonderful long-range effort from substitute Luca Zuffi. Down to ten men after Geoffroy Serey Dié's 84th-minute dismissal, the Swiss club were consigned to a tussle with Ludogorets for a UEFA Europa League round of 32 berth when Meunier struck at the death.
Key player: Thomas Meunier (Paris)
Only in the starting line-up because of Serge Aurier's ankle injury, the Belgian international announced himself with his first goal for Paris since joining in the summer – the defender could hardly have dreamt of a better maiden strike. An energetic presence down the right flank, Meunier also had a hand in the opening goal.
All eyes on north London
Paris and Arsenal were both given scares tonight, but after pulling rank in the closing exchanges they now face a huge game in the English capital on 23 November. These two teams know from past experience that topping the group can be vital in the UEFA Champions League, and Paris's spirited reaction to Zuffi's leveller showed they intend to take pole position. That match will be unmissable.
Basel firing blanks
It's now four matches in this UEFA Champions League group stage and just two goals scored for Basel. The worrying aspect for coach Urs Fischer will be that, aside from a few snapshots in the first half, they did not create any real openings in the second 45 minutes. Their goal was a speculative effort and, while it still counted, they arguaby required more creativity in the final third.
Ben Gladwell, Basel (@UEFAcomBenG)
When the draw was made in August, many were tipping Paris and Arsenal to go through and leave Basel and Ludogorets fighting for third – and that is how it has panned out. Basel need to find something if they are to succeed in a mini-duel over the next 180 minutes with their Bulgarian rivals, starting in Sofia in three weeks' time. It will determine who remains in Europe over the winter.
Chris Burke, Paris (@UEFAcomChrisB)
That was some drama – and at the end of it, Paris are both into the last 16 and still tied with Arsenal at the Group A summit. They showed real character to produce a win when it looked certain they would fall behind Arsenal in the race for first place, but they probably should have made life a lot more comfortable for themselves beforehand.