Bayern take the advantage with a 1-0 win over sluggish PSG

By Samindra Kunti in Paris

February 15 – Bayern Munich Kingsley Coman’s second-half volley was enough to sink his boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain and leave the French champions on the brink of another premature Champions League exit.

After a three-month break the Champions League returned with a blockbuster round of 16 tie between PSG and Bayern Munich, but the first leg at the Parc des Princes failed to match expectations with the hosts looking toothless and disjointed, and the visitors lacking incisiveness and firepower in the final third.

Lionel Messi was a shadow of his ebullient self during the World Cup, Neymar rolled around ineffectively and Bayern’s dominant possession rarely translated into meaningful goalmouth action.

In the 55th minute, the German visitors took a deserved lead through Coman’s strike. PSG coach Christophe Galtier reacted bringing on Kylian Mbappe, returning from injury. The French star’s arrival prompted more urgency from his side.

“We had a difficult hour of play, against a team that deprived us of the ball,” said Galtier.

“We expected it from the moment we did not have much verticality in our team. Hakimi very quickly tired in the first half. We conceded the goal just before the substitution of Kylian that was premeditated, even if Bayern deserved to score.”

Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside, Messi had a goal-bound attempt blocked by Benjamin Pavard who was later sent off for a second booking, but in the end the Parisians couldn’t find an equaliser. The defeat leaves PSG with a mountain to climb in the return leg at the Allianz Arena and will prompt more pressure at a club obsessed by winning the Champions League.

PSG have never won Europe’s premier club competition, but lost the 2020 final to Bayern Munich 1-0, the winning goal scored by Coman.

In the evening’s other tie AC Milan defeated Tottenham 1-0. Today (Wednesday), Club Brugge host Benfica and Chelsea travel to Borussia Dortmund.

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