Kingsley Coman, scorer of the only goal when these teams met in the 2020 final, once again made the difference as Bayern beat Paris 1-0 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.
Paris looked content to cede possession to Bayern for much of the first half and limited the visitors to only Joshua Kimmich’s effort just prior to the break. Eight minutes after the interval, though, half-time substitute Alphonso Davies crossed from the left and former Paris winger Coman drifted in unnoticed at the back post to side-foot first-time under Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Donnarumma’s reflexes came to the rescue ten minutes later when he turned Eric Choupo-Moting’s close-range effort onto the woodwork before then denying Benjamin Pavard from the subsequent corner.
Kylian Mbappé’s earlier introduction off the bench had given Paris an outlet and he twice nearly hauled the hosts back into it. First, Yann Sommer came to the rescue; second, when Mbappé did have the ball in the net, the goal was ruled out for an earlier offside against the increasingly influential Nuno Mendes.
Pavard blocked a Lionel Messi shot late on before being shown a red card in added time.
Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern coach: “We didn’t expect Paris to be so passive; it was a good first half. After the break, we had a great start and then things hung in the balance a little, though the two times they really threatened it was offside.”
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bayern forward: “We definitely had good phases. The first 25 minutes were good. We also started the second half well. In the end it was quite close, but Paris are a very good team, so we are very happy that we won.”
Yann Sommer, Bayern goalkeeper: “We had the game under control in the first half, but we had a bit more about us after the break. We’re a little closer [to the quarter-finals] than before, but the second leg won’t be a walk in the park.”
Sergio Ramos, Paris defender: “I’m very disappointed for the supporters. We’ll have to show more character in the second leg. We want to win and be the best we can be, but this is the nature of football. Sometimes we play well, sometimes we play badly.”
Kylian Mbappé , Paris forward: “We have to move on quickly. We’re going over there to qualify. Our players have to be in good health for the return leg, everyone needs to eat and sleep well. When we play attacking football, it’s uncomfortable for them.”
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