Current European champions Bayern Munich faced Paris Saint-Germain at a snowy Allianz Arena for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League 2021 quarter-final.
The Parisians were looking for revenge from last year’s Champions League final and in the first half of this match, it seemed like it was going their way.
After a couple of quick chances from the hosts, PSG made a breakthrough within the first three minutes. World Cup winner Kylian Mbappé sealed the opener from a quick counter attack. Bayern’s defence was shaky, with veteran goalie Manuel Neuer being the concern for Hansi Flick’s side.
PSG looked scary on the counter-attack as another chance was created for Julian Draxler. He comfortably slotted a ball from Mbappé in the box, only for it to be disallowed by a VAR offside ruling.
As a response to the opener, Die Roten pushed with a high press, creating a couple more chances that should’ve been converted including a solid header by Leon Goretzka from a set piece within the first 20 minutes.
Just before reaching the half-hour mark, Paris Saint-Germain increased their lead as an unmarked Marquinhos put the ball past Neuer after a lazy clearance from the German defence.
Shortly after scoring, the PSG captain was subbed off due to an apparent groin injury.
As a result of conceding, the hosts decided to respond by making their own tactical substitutions by bringing on Alphonso Davies, injecting pace into the squad.
Less than 10 mins later, former PSG striker Choupo-Moting scored for Bayern Munich. With a little space in the box, Benjamin Pavard delivered a cross to meet the head of the striker, reducing the deficit by one goal.
The first half ended with the visitors leading 2-1.
Bayern returned in the second half with strong attacking spirit but still struggled to keep a balance in their defence.
Before the half-time whistle, Niklas Süle was replaced by an aging Jerome Boateng, who has not been in the best of form.
Despite the homeside’s onslaught, it was clear PSG has the upper hand with blistering pace in the counter-attack.
Bayern Munich finally equalised on the hour-mark as a set piece header from Thomas Müller went past Keylor Navas inside the Parisian box.
All Bayern had to do was tighten their defence as PSG had been doing throughout the game. No less than eight mins later, however, Paris Saint-Germain went back in front with a spectacular solo goal from Mbappé.
Once again, the French forward took advantage of Bayern’s open defence, squeezing it past Neuer from a shot aimed to the near-post. The German goalie started shouting at his defence for not tackling the 22-year-old.
For the remainder of the game, Bayern kept pressing for a goal with multiple chances that should have been converted. Perhaps Robert Lewandowski’s absence was the missing piece of the puzzle.
A penalty shout was made just before the 90th minute, but the referee refused to believe a handball attempt in the Parisian box.
The whistle blew after two-minutes of extra time as Mauricio Pochettino looked calm and composed, ready to face Bayern Munich at home next week.
Source of Image: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE via Twitter