Champions League. Quarter-final first leg. Bayern Munich – Paris SG: 2-3
With this Paris Saint-Germain, you never know on which foot to dance. On the one, irresistible, displayed in the round of 16 go to Camp Nou against Barça (February 1-4, 18), or the passive and anguished of the return (1-1, 10 March) ? On that, devastating, unveiled in Lyon in Ligue 1 (2-4, March 21), or the numb and harmless against Lille, last Saturday (0-1)?
One thing is certain, he had to be ambitious and rigorous, Wednesday night, at a much more constant Bayern Munich, then undefeated in the Champions League since 19 games in C1, for the quarter-finals to go. Under a Munich snow which fell in large flakes, the Parisians have performed a choreography not always mastered but terribly profitable to achieve the feat of making the Bavarians waltz (2-3), at the Allianz Arena, on their own stage.
Total German domination
However, a symbol of its inconsistency, the double face of PSG was staged from the first moments. The wait-and-see, on a first corner taken by the ex-Parisian Choupo-Moting who hit the bar (3 ‘). The twirling one, the next minute, when Neymar fixed Süle perfectly, shifted Mbappé whose strike force forced Neuer to fault his hand (0-1, 3 ‘).
It did not take more to unleash Pavard’s teammates, who, even abandoned by their striker Robert Lewandowski, hit in the knee and package for both confrontations, showed projection, percussion and offensive bite to create a multitude of opportunities. This total domination was only disturbed by the last Navas rampart which held out against the recovery of Muller (10 ‘), the skull stroke of Goretzka (19’) or the missile of Pavard (20 ‘). In the intensity of the duels and the efforts, the teammates of Marquinhos did not stand up to the comparison against the winners of the defending C1.
Marquinhos scorer then injured
However, when talent combines with efficiency, damage is done. On a return from a corner, Neymar spoke his vision of the game to find Marquinhos, strangely alone behind the German defensive line, who was happy to adjust Neuer with a flat foot (0-2, 28 ‘). In the process, the defender-scorer had to give up his place, affected by the adductors.
Direct consequence or not, Choupo-Moting winked ugly at his former teammates by reducing the score with a header on a center from Pavard (1-2, 37 ‘). Despite 15 shots to 2 at the break in favor of the Germans, PSG was inspired by the climate to display an efficiency of relentless coldness in the face of the ardor of the gang to Coman, untenable on his wing.
Under a lucky star
The balance balanced out somewhat after the break, and Neymar was close to going from his goal but did not deceive Neuer (53 ‘). The Flick players were still more threatening with Alaba, from afar (53 ‘) and Pavard, of a recovery (54’). Bayern again besieged the Parisian camp when, on a free kick kicked by Kimmich, Muller emerged to cross his head and logically bring his team up (2-2, 60 ‘).
But domination did not want to be synonymous with victory this Wednesday night. A few minutes later, operating against, Mbappé, put into orbit by a hitherto shy Di Maria, fixed Boateng had to take Neuer against the grain, against the course of the game (2-3, 68 ‘). In a one-sided match, we are not sure, indeed, on what foot PSG really danced on Wednesday night. But he definitely evolved under a lucky star.
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
GOALS. Bayern Munich: Choupo-Moting (37 ‘), Muller (60’); Paris SG: Mbappé (3 ‘, 68’), Marquinhos (28 ‘).
Warnings. Bayern Munich: Hernandez (35 ‘), Kimmich (70’), Boateng (72 ‘), Choupo-Moting (89’); Paris SG: Draxler (68 ‘).
BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer – Pavard, Süle (Boateng, 42 ‘), Alaba, L. Hernandez – Kimmich, Goretzka (Davies, 33’) – Sané, Müller, Coman – Choupo-Moting. Coach: Hans-Dieter Flick.
PARIS SG: Navas – Dagba, Marquinhos (Herrera, 31 ‘), Kimpembe, Diallo (Bakker, 45’) – Danilo, Gueye – Di Maria, Neymar (Rafinha, 90 ‘), Draxler – Mbappé. Coach: Mauricio Pochettino.
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