Paris Saint-Germain made the perfect shot on Wednesday night against Bayern. Decryption of a robbery.
How to explain the inexplicable? Logic would have wanted Bayern to win on Wednesday, against PSG, in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. And yet, it was the Red and Blue who left the Allianz Arena with success (2-3). Back on an improbable feat.
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Leaders show the way
Two goals for Kylian Mbappé, two assists for Neymar, ten saves for Keylor Navas and a goal also for the courageous captain, Marquinhos, before going out on injury: the executives showed the way. If the Parisian success is obviously collective (see elsewhere), the leaders held their rank and made the difference in the two surfaces. Author of eight goals in his last four matches in C1, Mbappé was elected man of the match. “It’s the high level, it was super efficient today”, greeted Kingsley Coman, on RMC Sport. “Congratulations to him, he has again shown that he is a great player,” agrees Benjamin Pavard, while the main interested party has, of course, not wanted to pull the cover to him. “It’s a great collective performance above all, I took advantage of everyone’s work,” said the world champion.
Paris “solid, united and combative” in Munich
“We’re knocked out,” smiled Julian Draxler, after giving everything to the Allianz Arena. He is not the only one. Tossed around by a dominating Bayern, the Parisians were “solid, united and combative”, as Mauricio Pochettino notes. It was better, knowing that Bayern had over 60% possession and hit 31 times! The Argentine coach also praised “the team’s attitude” and “their sense of sacrifice”. Mentally, the injury to Marquinhos (adductors) could have hurt their morale. The Munich equalizer too. But nothing helped: they continued to fight, to believe in their lucky star, to fold without breaking, and Mbappé’s talent did the rest to score this third goal synonymous with victory. Paris also lost Abdou Diallo, ill, along the way. All the while knowing that Marco Verratti, Leo Paredes, Alessandro Florenzi, Layvin Kurzawa and Juan Bernat were missing. “We were united even after the exit of Marquinhos, we went looking for the third goal, it shows the strength of the collective”, summarizes Colin Dagba. Note the debauchery of energy of Danilo Pereira and Idrissa Gueye. Tireless warriors.
“We could have scored four or five goals, but it was not our day,” plague Hansi Flick. And for good reason, Bayern only found the net twice out of 31 strikes, including 12 on target. “We’re frustrated, we deserved to win this game, we had possession and more shots. Bravo to Paris, ”Pavard breathes. As we have said, Navas was once again exceptional. But the Bavarians also harvested some occasions. The Parisians were devilishly efficient: six strikes, five on target, three goals. Difficult to do better … “Paris was very effective, we missed opportunities”, summarizes Coman, executioner of his training club in the final of the Champions League, on August 23, in Lisbon.
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Lewandowski, an absent so present …
Robert Lewandowski or Marco Verratti, which of the two absent will be missed the most by his team? This is the question we could ask ourselves before the game. The answer is obvious. With the Polish international, Bayern certainly wouldn’t have missed so many chances in front of Navas’ goal. If the Italian, who is positive for Covid-19, has a chance to play the second leg, Lewandowski will not return in time. “There will be no miracle. This injury takes time, ”sighs Hans-Dieter Flick. Note that Serge Gnabry, tested positive for coronavirus like Verratti, will also have to ignore the return match. To see if Paris will recover its absentees, Verratti and Marquinhos in the lead, from here to 13.
The hint of success that goes well
To go far in a competition like the Champions League, you need talent and efficiency, it is an established fact. But sometimes you also have to have the little help of fate that makes the difference. The kind of thing that PSG has lacked in recent years, here with an unfavorable whistle, there with an injury … This time, the football gods had visibly sided with Paris Saint-Germain, with this bar at the start of game or big failures in front of goal, Thomas Müller and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to name a few. Pochettino spoke modestly of “success”. Reputed to be the best goalkeeper in the world, Manuel Neuer is also not white-blue on Mbappé’s first goal, even if the latter shoots him hard. Quite a symbol, when we remember that he had come up against the German with a too soft strike at the end of the first period in the final of C1. “It can happen that a goalkeeper does not stop all shots,” Flick slips. Even the best …