As fate would have, just as it was in the 2020 Champions League final in Lisbon, Portugal, Kingsley Coman scored the lone goal in Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first league of the competitions round of 16 tie. It was a finely-take, half volley finish in the 53rd minute to make the difference, and out of respect for his former side, Coman refused to celebrate in front of the home fans at the Parc des Princes.
On the overall balance, Bayern did out shoot PSG with shots on frame 7:4, but a plethora of PSG’s chances came in the second half after Kylian Mbappe’s introduction. Yann Sommer was forced to make an excellent 1v1 save to deny him midway through the half to keep it 1-0 and he marginally ruled offside not long after to keep Bayern in the lead and rule back what was his equalizer in the 82nd minute.
Speaking after the match, Julian Nagelsmann said he was really pleased with the opening phases of the match from his side and the way his back line stood firm under increased pressure, especially in the second half. “We played a really good game in the first 25 minutes. We were a bit surprised that we got the ball so much. We didn’t expect PSG to be so passive. He was a good first half. Even after the break it was really good at the beginning. Then it was a ride on the razor’s edge. Of course it’s not that easy. But you can see what’s going on here when Mbappe comes in. Benji had a strong game, it’s a pity that he gets the second yellow card. But Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt were also great today. Coman defended very well from behind,” he explained (Tz).
Nagelsmann also made the decision to take off Joao Cancelo for Alphonso Davies at the halftime break because he said he felt the latter would create more of a problem and worry for PSG as they were committing numbers forward to find an equalizer. “If Phonzie breaks through on the left, we’ll have even more of a manpower. Joao didn’t get that deep. We wanted to bring a little more speed, Phonzie is another three km/h faster, but Joao’s game was okay,” he explained.
Despite going into the second leg in Munich with a 1-0 lead over PSG, Nagelsmann refuses to get too comfortable with the aggregate lead they now have — there's plenty of work left to ensure Bayern’s advancement to the quarterfinals. “It’s not bad, but it doesn’t mean too much. We’re better off than Paris, but we can’t put our feet up now. It plays into our hands that Paris has to do more now,” he said.
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