The matchup between the two European powerhouses is perhaps the top fixture of the knockout rounds so far. After all, both Bayern and PSG are currently leading their domestic leagues and are regularly a mainstay in the Champions League knockout rounds. Both teams are also inside UEFA’s top five club coefficient rankings as well.
Despite the star power of the two sides, Warren Zaire-Emery made headlines ahead of the match. The 16-year-old was given a start in midfield by PSG boss Christophe Galtier. Zaire-Emery became the youngest player to ever start a Champions League knockout game when the match began.
The visitors dominated a vast majority of the opening half an hour of the game. Bayern had over 60% possession and all six shots of the match up to that point. However, the German giants couldn’t take advantage of the early domination. PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was not forced to make a save until a few minutes before halftime.
It also took PSG 45 minutes to register their first shot on the night. Superstar Lionel Messi, however, hit the wall from a free kick just outside the Bayern box. It was the latest PSG first shot in a Champions League game since sports data company Opta began tracking statistics.
Coman scores against former club
Bayern were, however, able to break the deadlock just eight minutes into the second half. Former PSG winger Kingsley Coman scored against the club where he previously spent a decade at during his youth development. Coman put the ball into the back of the net from close range and chose not to celebrate. Questions could be asked of Donnarumma, after the ball essentially went through his hands. The 6’5 keeper had a tough time getting down in time to make the block.
Mbappe strike ruled out as PSG falls short against Bayern
PSG thought it leveled the scoreline in the 82nd minute of the match thanks to super sub Kylian Mbappé. Nuno Mendes made a great run and then pulled the ball back straight into Mbappé’s path for the goal. However, VAR intervened and ruled that Mendes was slightly offside when he first received the ball.
The Coman goal turned out to be the lone strike of the match. PSG looked significantly better when Mbappé entered the fray in the 57th minute, but could not find an answer to Bayern’s goal. Benjamin Pavard was sent off in added time after picking up his second yellow card of the match.
Bayern will now take a one-goal advantage home to Germany. PSG did, however, manage to beat Bayern the last time they faced off in Munich. The two teams previously played in a quarterfinal matchup of the 2020/21 campaign. PSG advanced in that tie on away goals. They will next play the second leg of the current matchup on March 8.
PHOTO: IMAGO / RHR-Foto
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