Bayern Munich vs PSG: the mongoose and the cobra

Of the three soccer matches on television here in Spain last night I chose Bayern - PSG, in the Champions League, as I’m guessing most fans did too. And I was pretty pleased at my choice. Since the draw this tie was seen as an ‘early final’, possibly an exaggeration, because only the final is really the final, but the match lived up to its billing. A Champions League match 100%, played in the heart of Europe, on a freezing spring night with snow falling and a rhythm to the match that was simply stunning. Two styles: the constant hammering attacks of Bayern against the rapier counters of PSG. The mongoose and the cobra. In nature I’m led to believe the mongoose tends to win. In Munich the cobra came out on top. But this is far from over.

Bayern and PSG: two great teams

Two great teams, so many fine players. Bayern were missing Lewandowski, whose substitute, the solid Choupo-Moting is a decent forward and who had good company: Sané, Koman and Müller, along with Kimmich, a sensational metronome, feeding them from behind. A superb Bayern team who produced 31 shots but only two goals thanks in part to Keylor Navas, who stopped what came through the tireless, focused PSG defence. For their part, PSG had four attacks which they turned into three goals. Electric moves, like cobra strikes, laced with the venom of the Neymar-Mbappé pairing.

Neymar and Mbappé

Neymar was lined up as the successor to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but right now he’s been pushed to one side by the in-fashion duo of Mbappé and Haaland. He’s started to look for a place a little further back on the pitch, in the creation of the moves rather than the finishing, which he has left to Mbappé. With this new perspective and ably supported by Di María he was the key to the game, above all in the first half, where he provided the passes that led to a quick fire 0-2 on the scoreboard. But the final hammer blows were provided by Mbappé, who made it 0-1 and then 2-3, the winner created and scored by the Frenchman himself. Two outstanding players who improve each other. And having seen this match, we just can’t wait to see the return leg in Paris.