Kylian Mbappe continued his scintillating form by scoring twice as Paris St-Germain (PSG) upset defending champions Bayern Munich in a thrilling UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg.
This was a meeting between last year’s finalists and it was a much closer game than last season’s final as both contributed to an extremely entertaining game that was worthy of being a final itself.
Mbappe opened the scoring for the French champions in the third minute as he was fed by Brazilian superstar Neymar, which the Frenchman latched onto as he drove the ball through German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s legs.
Marquinhos doubled the lead for PSG in the 28th minute as Bayern were blitzed by Mauricio Pochettino’s side as they were on their way to losing their first game in the competition in over a year.
Neymar was the playmaker once again and looked to have made amends for getting sent off in the previous game in Ligue 1 against Lille, which sees him suspended for 2 games domestically.
Ex-PSG striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored with a headed effort 9 minutes later to bring Bayern back into the game as the Bavarians made it 2-1 before half time.
Coming out of the break, Bayern Munich kept up the pressure and found the equaliser that they deserved at the hour mark when Thomas Muller connected on a Joshua Kimmich free-kick to head home to level things up at 2-2.
However, it was the World Cup winner Mbappe who had the final say as he swept a low strike through Jerome Boateng’s legs in the 68th minute to give the Parisians are massive victory in the first leg as they return home to Paris for next week’s second leg.
The biggest advantage that Paris has going into the return leg is the away goal advantage. 3 away goals means that they are huge favourites to go through as they can afford to lose by 1 goal as long as they do not concede 3 or more.
Against a side that had not lost any of its previous 19 games in the Champions League – with 18 of those victories – PSG produced a tactically brilliant display as they stood up to Bayern’s relentless attacks before utilising the pace of Neymar and Mbappe to catch out the world champions on the counter and break.
PSG were helped by the absence of Poland’s Robert Lewandowski in the Bayern lineup. Without their prolific goal scorer, Bayern’s 31 chances on goal were not utilised properly as Lewandowski would have likely done but it was still a wholesome display by Pochettino’s side as they look to knock out the defending champions on Tuesday, 13th April.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick lost his first game as manager in the Champions League and he rued the number of missed chances.
“With the chances we had, we could have got a good result despite conceding three goals,” Flick said.
“We don’t like to lose, but the way the team played was top.”