PSG defeat reigning champions Bayern Munich in thrilling clash as Kylian Mbappe scores twice

  • PSG took an early lead after making an aggressive start
  • Bayern fought back well, taking control in the second half but PSG struck on the counter to secure their advantage

The last time Mauricio Pochettino faced Bayern Munich in the Champions League, his Tottenham Hotspur team were thumped 7-2. Pochettino’s players could not get close to the German champions on that occasion so he must have taken considerable personal pleasure, if he found time to think about such things, from this relentless brawl of a match in Munich.

It takes a certain type of bravery to attack a team of Bayern’s class in the way that Pochettino’s PSG did at the Allianz Arena. It also takes a certain calibre of player to succeed with such an approach, and in Kylian Mbappe and Neymar they had two individuals capable of sticking more than a few daggers into the heart of the German side’s defence.

Fresh from outshining Lionel Messi, the world’s best player, in the previous round, Mbappe turned his attention to the world’s best team. His two finishes were further proof of his world-class ability and yet another reminder that he is fast becoming the world’s most devastating attacker, if he is not already there.

Between Mbappe’s goals there was so much action that it would require a book or two to detail it all. Marquinhos scored PSG’s second, before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller both struck for a Bayern team that played with an intensity and intent that bordered on recklessness.

Thomas Muller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both scored impressive headers

Credit:
GETTY IMAGES

Such was the speed of this game, for a brief moment it made you think that a European Super League might not be such a horrendous idea after all. Here were two of the continent’s great heavyweights, going for each other’s throats under the swirling Munich snow, and it was as breathlessly exciting as anyone could expect.

The conditions did nothing to slow it down in the first half. PSG looked to exploit the home side’s high defensive line at every opportunity while Bayern, without star striker Robert Lewandowski, passed with all their usual menace and intensity.

The eye-wateringly high starting point of Bayern’s defenders was a fundamental reason for their success last season, when they beat PSG in the final. It requires courage and impeccable timing to execute such a strategy, though, and they lacked both in the first few minutes, when they seemed spooked by the pace of Mbappe.

Of all the players in Europe, Mbappe is perhaps the best suited to exploiting such space behind opposition defences. Once he goes, he won’t be caught. And he went early here, peeling away after Neymar had cruised through the middle. Neymar’s disguised pass was perfect, and Mbappe’s finish squirmed past Manuel Neuer in the home side’s goal.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe linked up intelligently against Bayern Munich

Credit:
GETTY IMAGES

There were only three minutes on the clock at that point but Bayern had already created a chance of their own, with Choupo-Moting glancing a header onto the bar. Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka and Benjamin Pavard all went close in the next few minutes, before Choupo-Moting missed a close-range opportunity which Lewandowski would have buried ten times out of ten.

All the while, there was reason for Bayern to be afraid at the other end. Neymar was in one of his more dangerous moods and it was his cross that caught out Bayern for the second time. The defence was slow to push up, allowing Marquinhos to slot his finish past Neuer.

Marquinhos is the leader of this PSG side, the defensive stalwart, and it was no coincidence that Bayern looked more likely to score after he was then forced off through injury. Pavard crossed from the right wing and Choupo-Moting, at the third time of asking, provided the crucial touch.

The Bayern striker was a PSG player this time a year ago, having joined the French side in 2018 following a largely forgettable spell at Stoke City, of all places. He is no Lewandowski (scorer of 42 goals this season) but he was certainly busy against Pochettino’s side, throwing his body around and occupying defenders.

Bayern made two substitutions before half-time, which said plenty about their struggles to get a grip on the occasion. But Hansi Flick knows what he is doing, and Bayern were soon swarming all over the white shirts, even if they needed Neuer to prevent Neymar from scoring a third from close-range.

The equaliser was coming and it was Muller, never one to shrink on the big occasion, who headed home from Joshua Kimmich’s delivery. The pressure was so intense that it seemed inevitable that PSG would concede more.

But the pendulum was to swing again, this time back in PSG’s favour. Another counter-attack, another chance for Mbappe, another away goal for the visitors. As he had done against Barcelona in the previous round, Mbappe cut inside from the left before rifling home his finish.

The three away goals made for some achievement for PSG, although the wild nature of the match means there can be no predicting what might happen in the second leg. All that can be said with certainty is that, if it is anything like the first game, it will be worth watching.

[1]

That’s all from me…

But read Sam Dean’s match report for a full recap of this evening’s events.

[2]

PSG were clinical tonight

Bayern were the better side for large parts of the game but PSG took their chances! What a game this was.

The second leg cannot come soon enough!

[3]

FULL TIME: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Boateng catches Rafinha and is lucky to avoid a second yellow. 

Kean holds the ball in the corner and that is that!

[4]

90 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Bayern win a corner but PSG clear their lines once again. The ball then comes to Muller who goes down under a challenge from Herrera. Nothing in it. A corner occurs instead, and it is cleared again.

A second ball comes in, but Alaba’s header goes over the bar. Rafinha is on for Neymar.

There will be two minutes of added time.

[5]

87 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

The ball is laid off to Alaba in the PSG box but he can only side foot the ball wide of the post! Decent chance, that.

Another chance! Coman finds Muller in the middle but he can only shank the ball wide.

[6]

84 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

The snow is coming down even harder now. Kean holds the ball in the corner, winning a throw-in for his side. The ball comes to Draxler who fires a shot into the stands. Decent strike, but not much accuracy. 

[7]

82 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Neymar takes it, but his cross goes through to Neuer untouched.

Bayern drive forward but cannot create a clear chance. They are running out of steam a touch.

[8]

80 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Mbappe drives at the Bayern defence once again, drawing a foul from Alaba. Clever play.

[9]

77 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Choupo-Moting is played through on goal but he is miles offside.

[10]

75 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

This game has been superb, surely there is more drama to come? Sane wins a corner but Herrera heads the resulting ball clear.

Kimmich then wins a corner, but once again it is cleared.

[11]

72 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Boateng is booked for a slide tackle on Neymar – who of course takes it like a bullet wound. 

[12]

70 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

Bayern are immediately back on the front foot. Coman goes down in the box under a challenge but nothing is awarded. Kimmich is booked after overzealous appealing.

Change for PSG; Di Maria off, Kean on.

[13]

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL! Mbappe Bayern Munich 2 PSG 3

A goal against the run of play! Mbappe runs in behind, he cuts onto his right foot and drives a shot into the bottom corner. Outstanding finsih!

PSG have three away goals – and the lead!

[14]

66 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 2

Davies and Coman link up nicely down the left. Kimpembe makes an important tackle. PSG counter, but Di Maria cannot release Neymar in behind.

Muller is briefly off, having sustained a cut. He is being cleaned up on the sidelines.

[15]

63 min: Bayern Munich 2 PSG 2

Bayern have dominated this half and deserve to be level. PSG are sitting deep, looking to counter – but it is not working.

Draxler is booked for a poor tackle on Pavard. The free kick eventually comes to Muller who controls the ball with his head before unleashing a bicycle kick wide of the mark.

[16]

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL! Muller Bayern Munich 2 PSG 2

Draxler gives away a free kick in a dangerous area. Kimmich puts the ball perfectly on the head of Muller who glances it home. He had so much space!

The scores are level!

[17]

59 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

The home side attack again, it is all Bayern! Once again Navas is forced into a save, it comes to Kimmich who attempts a chip from the edge of the box. Not this time!

PSG counter, Mbappe is in behind but cannot beat Neuer one-on-one. He was offside anyway.

[18]

56 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Bayern attack again. The ball comes to Coman but his long range shot is saved with ease.

Another attack, another waste. This time Sane sends a chance into the empty stands. He has been underwhelming tonight. 

[19]

54 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

After the corner, a second ball comes into the box. It falls to Pavard who hits a low volley towards goal. Navas makes another sharp save.

[20]

53 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

PSG should score! Mbappe forces his way into the box, he holds off Sane, firing a shot off. The ball comes to Neymar but he cannot slide it home. It comes back to Mbappe who beats Neuer but Davies coolly clears it off the line!

At the other end, Alaba, who has moved into midfield, bursts forward, hitting a powerful shot at Navas. The ball goes out for a corner.

[21]

50 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Coman wins a corner for his side. Kimmich’s cross is headed clear. 

[22]

48 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Bayern start the second half well, maintaining possession before sending a speculative cross into the box. It does not quite fall to a player for the German side.

[23]

The second half is underway!

Bayern get us restarted. Bakker is on for Diallo – so two changes apiece already!

[24]

Neymar was a provider again tonight

[27]

Expect more goals tonight!

PSG were superb in the first 15 minutes, taking a well deserved league. But since then it has been all Bayern.

Neither defence looks especially capable… and that has made it a very entertaining encounter!

[28]

HALF TIME: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Bayern win a corner after some sloppy PSG defending. The ball into the box finds Muller but his header only results in a simple save for Navas.

What a half of football this has been!

[29]

45 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Kimmich will take the free kick. He puts it into the six-yard box and Danilo unconvincingly puts behind for a corner.

This time the away side successfully clear.

There will be two minutes of added time.

[30]

43 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

Another Bayern change in the first half! Boateng on for Sule… this one may be due to an injury as Sule looked to be struggling a touch.

Bayern win a corner. Kimmich puts in a dangerous cross but Navas comes out and punches clear. Di Maria then fouls Coman.

[31]

40 min: Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

This game has been superb! End-to-end, chances and goals galore!

[32]

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL! Choupo-Moting Bayern Munich 1 PSG 2

The pace of this game has not slowed down! Choupo-Moting is picked out in the box and he directs a header into the bottom corner. Top finish!

Game on!

[33]

35 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 2

Davies is immediately involved down the left, whipping a cross into the box. It does not beat the first man. 

PSG win a free kick in the opposition half. Neymar whips it to the front post but Herrera cannot quite get on the end of it.

[34]

32 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 2

Danilo will drop into defence, with Herrera replacing him in midfield.

Neymar breaks through on goal, he beats one defender but, before he can shoot, Hernandez gets a foot in. Crucial challenge.

This game has been frantic! Bayern makes a change! Goretzka off, Davies on! It did not look like an injury…

[35]

30 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 2

Marquinhos has been fabulous so far tonight but he is having to come off! This is a huge blow for PSG as their captain departs.

Herrera is on to replace him. A rejig is required…

[36]

GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL! Marquinhos Bayern Munich 0 PSG 2

The ball is headed away from the corner. It is dinked back into the box and Marquinhos is played on side! He takes a touch, then putting the ball in the bottom corner like a striker! What a goal!

[37]

28 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Mbappe breaks in behind, winning a corner for his side. 

[38]

27 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Bayern win another corner. Coman is being a handful so far tonight.

The corner reaches Choupo-Moting at the back post but he slices his volley well wide.

[39]

24 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Sane tries to pick out Coman at the back post but the cross has too much on it. Bayern are now on top after PSG started the better of the two sides.

[40]

21 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

The corner finds Sule whose header is deflected behind for another. PSG fail to clear but Bayern cannot capitalise.

[41]

19 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Di Maria takes the set-piece, but Neuer comes off his line and punches it clear.

Bayern should score again! Kimmich crosses into the six-yard box and Goretzka directs a header straight at Navas who makes a reaction save. He should have done better. Pavard then shoots from distance and Navas tips it around the post for a corner.

[42]

16 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Coman breaks down the left, he fires in a low cross but Marquinhos intercepts, sending it behind for a corner.

The resulting ball in is also cleared by the PSG captain. The away side break, winning a free kick in a good area for a cross. 

[43]

13 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Draxler has the ball in the back of the net but it is ruled offside! Mbappe was just offside, but he broke in behind, finding Draxler who hit home. Worrying signs for the home side!

[44]

11 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Huge chance for Bayern! After some scrappy play in the PSG box the ball falls to Muller who rolls a volley at Navas from close range. He should have done better…

[45]

8 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Kimmich takes the free kick, but cannot beat the wall. The ball bounces to Alaba who sends a volley well wide of the target.

[46]

6 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

Well, this game has been frantic so far! Bayern so close at one end, but now they are behind. It has been extremely open.

Muller chips the ball to Kimmich on the edge of the PSG box but the ball is intercepted via the arm of Gueye. Free kick in a dangerous position. 

[47]

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL! Mbappe Bayern Munich 0 PSG 1

PSG break up the pitch. They have an extra man. Neymar carries the ball to the edge of the box before rolling Mbappe in on goal. He drives a low shot through the legs of Neuer and into the back of the net!

What a start for the away side!

[48]

2 min: Bayern Munich 0 PSG 0

PSG start brightly, attacking with pace but the final pass cannot find Mbappe. 

Bayern then attack with promise, Hernandez breaks into the box and fires a shot at the near post. The ball is tipped behind for a corner. Choupo-Moting wins the corner and his header strikes the bar! Unlucky. 

[49]

Here we go!

PSG get us underway.

[50]

The players are out onto the pitch…

And they are greeted by plenty of snow in the air!

[51]

Less than 10 minutes to kick-off!

Bayern are slight favourites, but can they cope without Robert Lewandowski? It should be a cracker.

[52]

Third time lucky for PSG?

This is the third time PSG have drawn the reigning champions of the UEFA Champions League in the knockout stages, losing both legs on both previous occasions: the 1994-95 semi-final against AC Milan and 2017-18 last 16 against Real Madrid.

[53]

Things have not been going to plan for Mauricio Pochettino in Paris

The former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur manager finds himself on the back foot already, facing heavy criticism for his team’s inconsistencies and their struggles in the league. Saturday’s defeat by Lille left them three points off the top of Ligue 1, and was their third consecutive league loss at home.

Not since 2007, four years before the Qatari millions changed the club forever, have PSG lost three home league games on the bounce. Only once since 2012 have they failed to win the title (Monaco won the league in 2017) and yet it now seems a real possibility again, with Lille clear at the top and third-placed Monaco only one point behind Pochettino’s side.

Read Sam Dean’s full piece on the situation here[54]

[55]

Kylian Mbappe loves playing in the Champions League – he starts tonight

Kylian Mbappe has been directly involved in 35 goals in 33 games for Paris SG in the UEFA Champions League (19 goals, 16 assists), while he’s scored six in seven games in the competition this season – already his joint-best goal tally in a single campaign (also 6 in 2016-17).

[56]

And here is the PSG line-up for tonight

PSG XI: Navas, Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria, Danilo, Diallo, Draxler, Gueye, Dagba

[57]

The Bayern Munich team news is in!

[65]

A reminder that both sides will be without key players tonight

Both sides will be missing key players, with PSG striker Mauro Icardi out with a thigh injury while midfielder Marco Verratti and his Italy team-mate Alessandro Florenzi both tested positive for Covid-19.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski is sidelined with a knee injury while winger Serge Gnabry also tested positive for coronavirus.

[66]

Bayern Munich are on fire in Europe

Bayern Munich are unbeaten in their last 19 games in the UEFA Champions League (W18 D1) and could become only the second team in the competition’s history to go 20 consecutive games without losing, after Manchester United (25 between 2007 and 2009).

[67]

It does not look like we are going to have the best weather conditions this evening…

[74]

PSG have the edge over Bayern historically

This will be the 10th UEFA Champions League meeting between Bayern Munich and Paris SG (four Munich wins, five Paris wins previously) and only the second in the knockout phase, after last season’s final – a 1-0 Bayern Munich win.

[75]

A reminder of what happened when these sides met in the final last season…

[79]

Good evening, PSG will not have revenge on theirs minds tonight according to Mauricio Pochettino

Paris St Germain will not have revenge on their minds when they play Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final after losing to the German team in last season’s decider, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday.

Bayern beat PSG 1-0 in the final last year to seal a treble but Pochettino, who replaced manager Thomas Tuchel midway through this season, said this time would be different as they were playing a two-legged tie.

“The final is not a benchmark match for us, we weren’t there with my staff, we were just spectators,” Pochettino told reporters ahead of tonight’s first leg in Munich.

“In addition, it’s going to be played over two matches, the context is different. Revenge exists in sport but for us it’s more of a challenge to beat such a strong team, maybe the best in the world. It’s a source of motivation.”

Both sides will be missing key players, with PSG striker Mauro Icardi out with a thigh injury while midfielder Marco Verratti and his Italy team mate Alessandro Florenzi both tested positive for Covid-19.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski is sidelined with a knee injury while winger Serge Gnabry tested positive for Covid-19 but Pochettino said the German league leaders had enough squad depth to remain competitive.

“The strength of Bayern is in its collective,” Pochettino added. “When you win the Champions League and the Club World Cup, it’s because you have a very good group, not just 11 performing players.”

PSG forward Neymar was sent off in a 1-0 loss to Lille over the weekend and Pochettino said the Brazilian’s emotions got the better of him in his first Ligue 1 start in over two months.

“He was very excited to start a match. He’s an emotional player, he likes to play, he likes to fight, he’s a competitor. He didn’t deserve that red,” Pochettino said.

“But he knows he has to channel himself. I hope that tomorrow everything will be fine.”

Reuters

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