A Kylian Mbappe brace helped Paris Saint Germain to a fantastic 3-2 victory away at Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
An enthralling first half kicked off with the visitors breaking the deadlock inside just three minutes. Neymar broke forward and unselfishly played in Kylian Mbappe, who powered the ball through Manuel Neuer at the near post. PSG’s Brazilian maestro turned provider once more in the 28th minute as Mauricio Pochettino’s men made it 2-0. As Bayern were stepping up after clearing a corner, Neymar clipped the ball back into the box where an onside Marquinhos was waiting to bring the ball down and finish expertly.
Hansi Flick’s side began to mount the pressure on their visitors and eventually pulled one back in the 37th minute after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting headed in clinically from a wonderful Benjamin Pavard cross.
The hosts carried on their search for goals and managed to get an equaliser on the hour mark when Joshua Kimmich’s free kick was coolly headed into the net by Thomas Muller.
PSG, however, restored their advantage just eight minutes later when Mbappe latched onto an Angel Di Maria pass, before calmly standing up Jerome Boateng and dragging the ball back between the German’s legs and into the bottom corner.
Pochettino’s side held on for the win and came out on top in a thrilling repeat of last season’s final, to take a 3-2 lead into the second leg of their last eight tie. Now, let’s get to the ratings.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 4/10 – Will be kicking himself for letting the opener get past him. Couldn’t much about the other goals.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 8/10 –
Was a little tentative with his attacking play at first but then stopped holding back when PSG took the lead, and looked really dangerous throughout. Produced real quality, notably a lovely cross to assist his side’s first.
Niklas Sule (CB) – 5/10 – Didn’t look comfortable from the off, often being too deep to cope with the pace of PSG’s forwards. Had to come off with an injury on 42 minutes.
David Alaba (CB) – 5/10 –
Did well in stepping forward to play passes through the lines but, in doing so, left way too much room in behind – especially in the build up to the first goal.
Lucas Hernandez (LB) – 6/10 –
A strong performance in general, making a couple of key tackles as PSG sauntered forward. Couldn’t get forward to impact the game like he can once moved into the centre of defence.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 8/10 – Spread the ball well and kept the Bavarians ticking throughout. Was dangerous with his set piece delivery and started to pick out more advanced positions as time went on to make ten key passes, including the assist for the equaliser. World class.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 6/10 –
Put himself about really well and picked up clever spaces on the edge of the box to make a nuisance of himself. Was unlucky as Keylor Navas denied him with a great stop on 19 minutes, before being taken off with an injury in the 33rd minute.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 8/10 –
Roamed around freely and couldn’t quite find a penetrative pass to create for his team mates. Did manage to get the equaliser on the hour with a good header, though.
Leroy Sane (RW) – 5/10 – Started the game brightly, but seemed to fade as it went on, failing to produce the spark Bayern so badly needed. Should’ve driven at his man more to really take advantage of PSG’s inexperienced full backs.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (ST) – 7/10 – Another stoic performance, really worked hard to hold the ball up and bring others into play. Unlucky to hit the bar in the second minute but then got his goal in the 37th.
Kingsley Coman (LW) – 6/10 –
Looked threatening throughout but just couldn’t deliver the perfect ball to convert threat into clinical creativity, despite making three key passes.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 6/10 – Injected a lot of pace down Bayern’s left and managed to add to things offensively as well as tracking back to stifle counter attacks.
Jerome Boateng (CB) – 4/10 – Was made to look utterly incompetent by Mbappe for PSG’s third. Not the greatest cameo.
Paris Saint Germain player ratings
Keylor Navas (GK) – 8/10 – Made a couple of really important stops throughout, notably from Goretzka to keep the score 1-0 in the first half.
Colin Dagba (RB) – 6/10 – Didn’t look confident in dealing with Bayern’s left hand side but worked hard, in the end, was important in seeing out the win.
Marquinhos (CB) – 8/10 – Gutting he only lasted 29 minutes before being forced off with injury. Did not put one foot wrong, positioning himself perfectly to make a whopping seven clearances and even finishing off a less-than-simple chance off like a seasoned striker to double the lead. What a cameo.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 7/10 –
Generally solid at the back, as usual reading the game well to cover in behind. Took captain’s responsibility on well after Marquinhos’ exit and led his side to victory.
Abdou Diallo (LB) – 5/10 – Like his fellow ful-back, struggled to nullify the threat of the overlap and didn’t look very strong in dealing with balls coming into the box from wide. Subbed at half-time.
Idrissa Gueye (CM) – 6/10 – Placed himself really well in front of his back four and made some great interventions – making seven interventions in total.
Danilo (CM) – 6/10 –
Looked a little flustered in possession and found it difficult when moved into the heart of defence. Learned quickly, though, and had a solid second half, making a couple of crucial clearances.
Neymar (AM) – 9/10 –
Instrumental for PSG, assisting the first two goals with unselfish play and sublime vision. Also worked hard, playing deeper than he would’ve liked to, putting himself about to close space down in midfield.
Angel Di Maria (RW) – 8/10 – A tireless display, tracking up and down to help defend against the potent Bayern wide men. Also got the counter going with a good ball into Neymar for the first goal and assisted Mbappe for the winner.
Kylian Mbappe (ST) – 9/10 – Dangerous doesn’t even cover it. Took Neuer by surprise to finish strongly early on and made the third look as easy as anything, not giving the opposition a prayer. He is the real deal.
Julian Draxler (LW) – 6/10 – For such an open, thrilling game, Draxler was strangely quiet. Made some decent runs to open up space but couldn’t really get into proceedings as much as his colleagues.