Bayern Munich knew it would not be easy against Paris Saint-Germain — and for most of the night it was not. The first half was a bit choppy at times and Julian Nagelsmann was not thrilled with what he had seen, but by the second half, the Bavarians took control of the game and marched away with a 2-0 victory. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Let’s start with some thoughts on the lineup, though things came in like most anticipated:
- There were no surprises in Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup. Incredibly, there were no red herrings or mis-directions in the pregame discussions. It feels weird to see a Bayern Munich lineup without Leroy Sané, Sadio Mané, and Serge Gnabry, but I think Nagelsmann went with what was working heading into the match... and it worked like a charm.
- Bayern Munich’s back three of Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, and Josip Stanišić was very, very good against a very potent PSG attack. De Ligt’s goal line clearance was masterful. The Dutchman has developed into the exact type of leader on the backline that everyone wanted when he arrived. What an absolute stud.
- I’m not going to lie, I was happy to not have to bank this Stanišić take for our year-end bad take roundup. The versatile Croatian shook off some early jitters and put forth a masterful effort.
- Defensively, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich also held their own. For as much guff as Goretzka takes, he has a knack for raising his level of play when needed — and he did just that against PSG. The midfield duo was stellar overall.
- The Bayern Munich offence scuffled for parts of the night, but that was not wholly unexpected against PSG. In the end, they did what they needed to do.
- After an offside call ruled out what appeared to be an early header goal for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (cancelled out by a Müller offside infraction), the Bavarians came firing back just a few minutes later in the second half. Marco Verratti found himself in a difficult spot in being pressed by both Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka. Ultimately, Müller ended up with the ball, passed it to Goretzka, who set up Choupo-Moting perfectly. ECMC was in the right place at the exact right time — which is a terrific trait for a striker. Once the ball got to Choupo-Moting’s foot, there was never a doubt he would score it.
- Minutes after the goal, Yann Sommer made an outstanding save on a header attempt from Sergio Ramos. Sommer proved his mettle in a big way after a few shaky moments early.
- In a weird way, Kingsley Coman was the least effective of the Bayern Munich attackers, but I did not come away feeling like he had a bad performance.
- Overall, Bayern Munich did exactly what was needed on the day: Get a couple of goals, limit the damage that and hang on for dear life. It did not need to ne pretty or even resemble the “beautiful game” — it just needed to be ruthlessly efficient in terms of avoiding big mistakes. Bayern Munich’s strong second half was indicative of exactly how good — and deep — this team is.
If Benjamin Pavard wants a future with Bayern Munich, it seems like the club is willing to offer just that. However, it is unclear if Pavard wants to extend his contract with the club.
If the Frenchman opts against that, he will be sold this summer:
Bayern are currently waiting on whether Benjamin Pavard would show willingness to extend his contract beyond 2024. If not, the club would sell him in the summer to generate income.
I have been one of the (few) folks backing Pavard here over the years and I think he has really done well this season. I’d like to see him stay, but I get why he might want to settle in elsewhere.
Borussia Dortmund director Sebastian Kehl on Jude Bellingham: "We will do all we can to keep Bellingham at BVB for one more season", he told @CarrieBrownTv ⚫️⭐️ #BVB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 8, 2023
...but it's not easy at all as Manchester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool keep pushing to sign him. pic.twitter.com/NLASyUyM24
Bellingham, of course, was furious with the officiating decisions made during his squad’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea FC on Tuesday. Bellingham let loose to BT Sport regarding a questionable handball penalty called on Mariusz Wolf — and then a penalty-retake awarded to Kai Havertz.
“I’m not sure what more he can do with his hand. That in itself was disappointing and the fact that they’ve had a retake, I think it’s a joke. For every penalty, especially when you have such a slow run-up, there’s going to be people encroaching into the box by a yard or so. He’s made the decision and we have to live with it. I don’t want to get in trouble. I’ve paid enough to them lot,” Bellingham ranted.
Anyway, Foot Mercato also reported that Bellingham’s father met with representatives from Real Madrid, while in London:
According to our information, Real Madrid manager Juni Calafat has reunited with the father of the English midfielder from Dortmund. Where will Jude Bellingham play next season? One thing seems certain, not at Borussia Dortmund.
Eintracht Frankfurt is seeking to extend the contract of manager Oliver Glasner:
Bild reporting Eintracht Frankfurt‘s offer to their coach Oliver Glasner would see his salary increase from 2.1 mil Euro per year to around 3 mil. Glasner‘s contract is up in 2024 & Eintracht want to extend until 2026. Glasner has asked for a few weeks to mull it over. #SGE— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) March 8, 2023
Glasner has done a terrific job with Die Adler and is well-deserving of a longer contract.
Newcastle United could be entering the bidding fray for Chelsea FC star Mason Mount. With Liverpool FC already in the hunt for Mount, the big spending Magpies might want to start throwing some major money around:
Another midfielder on Liverpool’s radar is Mason Mount, but they now face competition from Newcastle for his signature.