Bayern Munich’s final hero Kingsley Coman has again become the terror of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. The Frenchman, who headed the winning goal against his ex-club in the final in 2020, was unleashed when the German record champions made it 1-0 (0-0) in the first part of the round of 16 showdown with the initially ineffective world champion Lionel Messi and after his substitution playing PSG joker Kylian Mbappé with a volley again the match winner.
When Coman scored (53rd) after a cross from Alphonso Davies, European champion Gianluigi Donnarumm cut a bad figure in the PSG goal. Bayern, who were very dominant after the break, are now going into the second leg on March 8 in Munich as favorites. Then Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, who came on after the Coman goal, have to offer more than in the first half in front of their own fans.
After all, Mbappé, who was injured last, revived the game considerably, but his goals in the 74th and 82nd minutes were rightly disallowed for offside. Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard received a yellow-red card in added time for repeated foul play and is therefore out of the second leg.
Fans and both teams had to wait 99 days since the draw for the evening in the sold-out Parc de Princes. Oliver Kahn was also very excited just before kick-off. “It’s about exploding here today and calling up everything that’s in it,” said Bavaria’s CEO at Amazon Prime Video. And coach Nagelsmann was also aware: “We all have to deliver.”
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who for tactical reasons was preferred to Thomas Müller on Bayern’s offensive, sent the first signal with a long-range shot after 30 seconds. After that, however, the German record champions lacked speed and momentum for a long time. The mutual respect between the two teams that faced each other in the 2020 Champions League final was palpable. The Munich team, who started with a three-man defense, had significantly more possession of the ball, Paris gave up the initiative.
The hosts were lurking for mistakes and counterattacks. Messi, who, unlike Mbappé, had become fit for a starting eleven after surviving a muscle injury, and Brazil’s soccer star Neymar took on almost no defensive tasks.
The top duo of the French series champion also rarely took an offensive position. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer initially had little to do in his first premier class game for Bayern. Even with a Messi free-kick just before the half-time whistle, the Swiss didn’t have to intervene. Significantly, the ball landed in the wall.
Before Messi or Neymar could turn up, they were usually stopped by the attentive Bayern defense. However, Benjamin Pavard received a yellow card after 26 minutes after a foul on Neymar.
After four competitive defeats this year, the Parisian star ensemble acted noticeably unsettled. Former PSG player Kingsley Coman developed a goal on the left – unlike his offensive colleagues Leroy Sané and Jamal Musiala. The occupation of the penalty area for crosses from Coman and winter newcomer Joao Cancelo was clearly expandable at Bayern. A shot by captain Joshua Kimmich from 16 meters just before the half-time whistle was the biggest chance of the first half.
Warren Zaire-Emery also remained inconspicuous. The Frenchman, who at 16 years and 343 days is now the youngest starting XI in a knockout game in the Champions League, was hardly able to provide PSG with an offensive stimulus. The home fans longed for Mbappé to play: applause erupted when the superstar stepped onto the lawn to warm up during the break.
Nagelsmann brought in Davies for the inconspicuous Cancelo in the second half and ordered Coman to the right – and was spot on. After a cross from Davies, Coman, who ran into the penalty area, scored a volley to make it 1-0. However, Donnarumma also had his share of the goal in the PSG goal, the ball came centrally and without much impact on his box.
Only four minutes after the deficit, PSG coach Christophe Galtier reacted and replaced Mpappé. But Bayern had the next big chance through Chupo-Moting, who failed with a side kick (62′) and a shot at the post (63′). Pavard’s header (64th) was also extremely dangerous. But then PSG, led by Mbappé, took the initiative and created high-profile chances.