The sensational Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain edged an exhilarating quarter-final first-leg clash against Bayern 3-2 in Munich to leave the holders staring at a Champions League exit.
In a breathless first half, PSG had two shots compared to Bayern’s 15 but, most importantly, both attempts found the net as Mbappe opened the scoring after just 149 seconds, before Marquinhos made it two just before the half-hour mark. Both goals were brilliantly set up by Neymar.
Former Stoke and PSG hitman Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – standing in for the injured Robert Lewandowski – headed his side back into it eight minutes before the break, before Thomas Muller completed the comeback to level things up on the hour mark.
But PSG’s superstar striker had the final say, as he raced clear on the counter to score a superb winner in the 68th minute, his eighth Champions League goal of a stellar season to raise his stock yet further and put his side in the driving seat to reach the last four. The defeat was just Bayern’s second loss in 29 Champions League games.
Mbappé et Neymar sur la pelouse du Bayern en Ligue des champions
Image credit: Getty Images
In heavy April snowfall in Munich, it was clear from the off this was going to be an enthralling contest as Bayern were carved open by Neymar early on, with Mbappe taking his career Champions League tally to 26 as he squeezed a strike under Manuel Neuer. It was the earliest goal Bayern have conceded in the knockout stages of the Champions League since Wayne Rooney scored after 63 seconds in March 2010.
Bayern continued to test Keylor Navas down the other end, but they could not find a way past the PSG stopper, and their wastefulness in front of goal was punished as Neymar picked another sublime pass out, this time into the path of Marquinhos, who slotted home a rare goal to put PSG in command.
Choupo-Moting’s fine header from a Joshua Kimmich cross meant you could not pause for breath. It was all happening in the first half, with three substitutions taking place before the break. Chaos all around.
In the second half, Bayern stepped it up a gear and got themselves back on level terms through Muller’s second Champions League goal of the season – another header from a set piece – but their brittle backline could not cope with Mauricio Pochettino’s side, as the Argentine’s biggest win since taking charge was sealed by a finish worthy of winning every game, from a player who seems to revel on the grandest of stages.
TALKING POINT – Give Neymar the respect he deserves
He may not be the perfect professional, one who has the narrow-minded drive to reach the top at all costs, but there is no doubting, after performances like this, that Neymar is among the very best players in the world.
Since making his competition debut in the 2013-14 campaign, Neymar has assisted 25 goals in the Champions League, the most of any player in this time.
Yet, where is the credit for such form? Yes, he does not always produce the goods, but in plentiful big games, Neymar has put on dazzling displays like he did in Munich, and with two, defence-splitting passes, he put the holders on the brink of elimination. Say whatever you like about Neymar, but the boy from Brazil is sheer class.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Kylian Mbappe
Just edges Neymar out, mainly due to the unbridled quality of the match-winning goal. That is now a hat-trick in the Nou Camp, and a double in the Allianz Arena. The bigger the occasion, the better Mbappe performs.
Bayern: Neuer 5, Pavard 6, Sule 4, Alaba 4, Hernandez 5, Goretzka 5, Kimmich 6, Coman 4, Muller 6, Sane 6, Choupo-Moting 6… Subs: Boateng 5, Davies 5.
PSG: Navas 7, Danilo 6, Kimpembe 6, Marquinhos 7, Diallo 6, Gueye 6, Dagba 6, Di Maria 7, Neymar 9, Draxler 8, Mbappe 9… Subs: Kean 6, Herrera 6, Bakker 6.
2’ – CROSSBAR! From a corner, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gets up, flicks a header for goal, but the ball clips the top of the crossbar and away from goal.
3’ – GGGGGOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Bayern 0-1 PSG. Straight down the other end, Mbappe squeezes the ball home to shock the hosts! Far too easy for the visitors. Swift counter, but Bayern are carved open, Neymar carries the ball forward, unselfishly lays it off for Mbappe, who drills under Manuel Neuer and into the net. What a start for Pochettino and PSG.
18 – CLOSE! Incessant pressure from Bayern. Leon Goretzka gets up to meet a Kimmich cross, heads down, but straight at Navas’ legs. Big chance from a good position.
28’ – GGGGGGOOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Bayern 0-2 PSG. Oh my! Marquinhos makes it two! Are the holders heading out here? Dreadful defending again from Bayern, as Neymar’s ball over the top catches Bayern out, they leave Marquinhos unmarked, with the Brazilian having all the time in the world to control before picking his spot.
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37’ – GGGGGOOOOOAAALLLLLL!! Bayern 1-2 PSG. Game on! Choupo-Moting! This crazy game takes another twist! Poor marking this time from the makeshift backline of PSG, who leave Choupo-Moting free to brilliantly head home his third Champions League goal of the season. Pavard’s cross was pinpoint, too.
51’ – SAVE! That could have been game over. Poor defending again from Bayern, again, Neymar steals in, but Neuer this time stays big and makes the block.
60’ – GGGGGOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!! Bayern 2-2 PSG. It had been coming. Muller with the header. Cometh the hour, cometh Thomas Muller. Only his second Champions League goal of the season, but what an important one. Kimmich with the free-kick, and Muller guides a brilliant header into the net.
68’ – GGGGGOOOOOOAAALLLLLLL!!!!! Bayern 2-3 PSG. Would you believe it! Mbappe puts PSG back in front! It is a pleasure to watch this man in action. World class goal from Mbappe on the counter. He carries the ball to the edge of the Bayern box, Boateng backs away, he cuts onto his right foot before whipping a brilliant strike in at the near post. Eight in eight in the Champions League for Mbappe.
86’ – WIDE! What a chance for Alaba. Great play from Choupo-Moting to hold the ball up, he lays it off for Alaba, who side-foots for goal, but grazes the outside of the post.
Bayern Munich have lost a UEFA Champions League match for the first time since March 2019 against Liverpool, winning 18 times and drawing once since. Their last four defeats in the competition have come under four different managers (Carlo Ancelotti, Josef Heynckes, Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick).
Paris Saint-Germain have beaten Bayern Munich away from home in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since November 1994, having lost on three straight such visits since.
Bayern Munich have conceded 50 goals in 42 games this season, as many as they conceded in total in 2019-20; the last season in which they conceded more goals was 2010-11 (54).
Before tonight Paris Saint-Germain had lost each of last four UEFA Champions League knockout stage matches against the holders (two versus Milan and two versus Real Madrid).
Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller has scored 24 goals in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, the fourth-most of any player, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (67), Lionel Messi (49) and Robert Lewandowski (26).
Since making his competition debut in the 2013-14 campaign, Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar has assisted 26 goals in the UEFA Champions League, the most of any player in this time. Neymar has now been directly involved in 67 goals (41 goals & 26 assists) in 66 appearances in the competition.
PSG pair Kylian Mbappé and Neymar have combined for 10 UEFA Champions League goals since their first season together in 2017-18, at least three more than any other duo over this period.