Bayern defeats PSG in the opening leg of their Champions League match.
Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 match on Tuesday, with replacement Kylian Mbappe denied a late equalizer by a questionable offside call. Kingsley Coman scored the game’s only goal.
Eight minutes into the second half at the Parc des Princes, Coman, who was unmarked, swept in an Alphonso Davies cross. Mbappe, who was about to make his injury comeback, had just arrived and PSG had looked completely lost without their leading scorer.
With eight minutes left, Mbappe and the entire stadium believed he had equalized when he turned in a Nuno Mendes cutback, but the goal was disallowed because the Portuguese full-back started the move slightly ahead of the final defender.
Benjamin Pavard’s red card forced Bayern to finish the game with 10 men, but it was a disappointing outcome for PSG.
With Mbappe on the field, the French giants played much better in the latter minutes, but Gianluigi Donnarumma also had to make a few excellent stops to keep the score from getting worse.
PSG must now aim to win the match in the return leg on March 8 in Munich.
Mbappe, who also had another goal disallowed for a blatant offside, added, “We are at a disadvantage but we showed that we were capable of causing them issues. Now we just need to make sure all our players are in good health and we will travel there to attempt to qualify.”
Coman, whose career began in Paris, did not celebrate his goal, but it was a case of history repeating itself since he had scored the game-winning goal when Bayern defeated the Qatar-owned team in the 2020 European Championship final in Lisbon, bringing them their sixth title overall.
“It was a little odd. It was challenging to celebrate because I was born and raised in this city and club, so we are extremely happy with the outcome, said Coman.
Mbappe’s fitness had dominated the lead-up to the game; the France sensation had been initially ruled out due to a thigh injury before returning to training earlier than anticipated and making the team.
Warren Zaire-Emery, who started the Champions League quarterfinal game at the age of 16 years and 343 days, was picked among the substitutes.
Although Mbappe, who scored seven goals in six group stage games, watched on, Lionel Messi and Neymar were sorely missing his presence, so Bayern had little to fear in the first half.
Instead, Bayern, using a three-man central defense, controlled the game and limited PSG to only one attempt in the first half. Messi and Neymar struggle.
But aside from a shot by Joshua Kimmich that was easily saved, the Bundesliga’s top team did nothing to test Donnarumma while Sadio Mane is still out injured.
Joao Cancelo was replaced by Canadian international Davies by Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann at halftime, which required Coman to switch from the left flank to the right.
The loudest cheer of the evening was saved for Mbappe when he emerged to warm up during the break, replacing France center-back Presnel Kimpembe in place of PSG’s Achraf Hakimi.
When Davies crossed from the left to the far post where Coman, unmarked, converted first-time, Bayern opened the scoring, the 24-year-old was getting ready to replace him.
The French champs required Donnarumma to produce a fingertip stop to tip an Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting shot from a Jamal Musiala cutback against the woodwork, keeping them in the game and maybe the tie. Mbappe replaced Carlos Soler right away.
Pavard’s effort from the ensuing corner was superbly saved by Donnarumma.
In the 73rd minute, a Fabian Ruiz pass over the top sent Mbappe flying for the net as PSG finally found a way to get the ball to him.
Before Neymar was stopped on the follow-up, Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer came out to prevent Mbappe’s strike with his face.
Then Mbappe did score, but the celebrations were cut short. Bayern continued to hold on even after Pavard received a second yellow for scything down Messi.