In a repeat of last season’s Champions League final, PSG put on an exceptional display against Bayern Munich. A near-perfect away performance, it was the mark of a team who had revenge on their mind. A brace from Kylian Mbappe and a third from PSG’s captain Marquinhos was enough to secure the Parisians the win. This was despite a comeback from Bayern with goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller.
For PSG their performance was never going to be about attempting to create hundreds of chances instead, it was about being realistic and taking the few that fell their way. An away tie at the Allianz is the stuff of nightmares for most teams but, PSG took the occasion in their stride.
If there was any pre-match nerves in the PSG camp they were almost immediately squashed. Just three minutes in Mbappe would place the travelling side into the lead as Manuel Neuer failed to keep out his shot. It was Neymar who set the Frenchman through as he picked up his first of two assists on the night.
Neymar wouldn’t have to wait long for his second assist. Picking out Marquinhos his compatriot for club and country, with an exceptional curled pass into the box. The PSG captain slotted the ball into the net with a cool finish. His last contribution before leaving the field with an injury.
Before the second-half came to an end Choupo-Moting would produce a brilliant header to get Bayern back into the game. The former PSG striker took his opportunity after hitting the bar earlier on in the half.
With Bayern’s twentieth shot of the game, Thomas Muller would bring the scoreline level. Sixty minutes in Muller escaped away from the PSG defenders and headed home.
For fans of Der Bavarians, their joy lasted just mere minutes as Mbappe was back with a vengeance. As a result, eight minutes after Muller’s goal the PSG attackers bombed forward like the Red Arrows with goals on their mind.
Mbappe would find himself in the box, wrong-footed Jerome Boateng and picked out the bottom corner. A finish as cool as the snow that fell in Munich. It was a statement of a goal from the man who is PSG’s third top goalscorer of all time, a feat he has managed at just twenty-two years of age.
From there on out, however, it was all about protecting the lead PSG had. Above all else, nobody on the field managed this better than Keylor Navas. The PSG keeper is nicknamed The Panther in his native Costa Rice, and with the agility on show for his ten saves, it’s easy to see why.
What can we expect from the second-leg?
During much of the pre-game analysis there were questions asked of how would Bayern Munich cope without Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski who is the top scorer in world football will also miss the second-leg.
Now, at the full-time whistle, those questions remain. Yes, Bayern did manage two goals against a keeper who played like his life depended on it. But, those two goals came from an incredible thirty-one attempts.
PSG on the other hand managed three goals from just six shots. Entering the game with a vendetta they now leave with three away goals, and a semi-final place in sight. The difference was clear, whilst Bayern missed their two-star attackers (Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry), PSG had theirs.
It will be a mountain to climb if Bayern are to reach the semi-finals now. Whilst they are just one goal down in the tie, PSG’s three away goals combined with them having two of the three top scorers in the completion this season may be too much to handle.
Featured photo credits (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)