Champions Bayern fall behind to Mbappe goals

Kylian Mbappe

2020-21 UEFA Champions League quarter finals first-leg review

Bayern Munich 2 Paris St. Germain 3 – Allianz Arena – Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Twin strikes by Kylian Mbappe helped Paris St Germain beat title holders Bayern Munich in a thrilling Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

A Lewandowski-less Bayern looked to assert themselves, beginning with a bang as Eric Choupo-Moting's header hit the crossbar within 2 minutes of play commencing.
A minute later, after a one-two between Neymar and Angel di Maria at the halfway line, the former raced ahead and released a perfect cross to Mbappe on the edge of the area. The prolific young Frenchman coolly finished through the legs of Bayern keeper Manuael Neuer to stun the champions in as early as the 3rd minute.

Bayern were lucky not to be down by another in the 11th minute of play when Mbappe teed up Julian Draxler to fire home, but the former was judged to be marginally offside in the build up to the strike.

PSG did get their second one with 28 minutes gone when Marquinhos ghosted in behind the Bayern defense from Neymar's aerial ball from a cleared corner and beat Neuer to put his side in early command.

Surprisingly, those were the only two shots on target the Parisiennes managed in a first half in which Bayern dominated territorial possession. The PSG defense cracked to rival pressure when Benjamin Pavard's cross was met by an unmarked Choupo-Moting who headed home from twelve yards to make it 1-2 in the 37th minute.

The Bundesliga giants kept up the pressure post the break with Pavard and Jerome Boateng forcing diving saves from Keylor Navas. But the threat of a PSG counter always remained what with the Bayern defense very vulnerable to counterattacks.

They were exposed again as Neymar was denied by the legs of Neuer after fine work from Mbappe. Bayern's attacking class came to the fore when Joshua Kimmich's free-kick into the box was nodded home by a lunging Thomas Muller to draw the scores level on the hour mark.

But Neymar and Mbappe were causing serious problems by hitting on the break. Much against the run of play, the pair punished a lax rival defense with a third in the 68th minute with Mbappe letting loose a disguised finish to Neuer's near post and handing PSG a huge advantage of three away goals before the second leg at Parc des Princes next week.

Bayern put all their attacking might behind an equalizer but the PSG's defense threw themselves in front of everything. David Alaba fired just wide and Muller's attempt came of a standing Navas's legs as PSG notched up a sensational finish at the Allianz Arena, Munich.

PSG were undoubtedly aided to quite an extent by the absence of Bayern's star striker Robert Lewandowski as evinced from the hosts' inability to capitalize on the 31 chances they had on goal but that doesn't belittle an excellent performance by Pochettino's men that helped set up things wonderfully when the two sides meet in Paris on Tuesday, 13 April.

Bayern Munich starting XI: Neuer (goal), Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Hernandez, Goretzka, Kimmich, Coman, Muller, Sane, Choupo-Moting.
Subs: Davies, Boateng.

PSG starting XI: Navas (goal), Dagba, Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Diallo, Gueye, Danilo, Di Maria, Neymar, Draxler, Mbappe.
Subs: Herrera, Bakker, Kean, Raphinha.

Man of the match: Kylian Mbappe.

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