Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Bayern Munich: Coman secures first-leg win
Kingsley Coman netted another vital Champions League goal against his former club Paris Saint-Germain as Bayern Munich claimed a 1-0 lead from the away leg of their last-16 tie.
Paris-born Coman scored the only goal when Bayern beat PSG in the final three years ago, and he repeated the trick at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
The first-leg victory was no more than Bayern deserved, and the Bundesliga giants will hope they do not pay the price for winning by just the one goal against a PSG side who played without Kylian Mbappe until the 57th minute.
Mbappe, returning from injury, was introduced soon after Coman’s goal and could not inspire a turnaround – seeing a late equaliser disallowed – but his involvement in the return match in Germany could yet be decisive.
Without Mbappe from the outset, PSG were completely outclassed, albeit Coman’s strike early in the second half was their first clear-cut opportunity.
The winger’s finish from substitute Alphonso Davies’ cross was close to Gianluigi Donnarumma, but it crept beneath the goalkeeper, who still has not kept a clean sheet in the Champions League this season.
Mbappe’s introduction did little to slow Bayern, and Donnarumma was far more impressive in keeping PSG in the tie, making instinctive stops from Eric Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard.
Finally, with 17 minutes to play, Mbappe got in at the other end, but Yann Sommer blocked bravely, and the PSG forward was still in an offside position when Neymar’s subsequent shot was spilled at his feet.
That was a straightforward call for the linesman, but the VAR was required when Nuno Mendes dashed in behind and squared for Mbappe to score. The celebrations were cut short as replays showed the left-back had strayed offside.
Although Pavard was sent off for a second bookable offence in stoppage time, Bayern have control heading back to Bavaria.
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PSG will no doubt rue not having had Mbappe fit from the start, yet the first half did not suit Bayern either.
Without their star man, the home side lacked ambition, and their wait until first-half stoppage time for a first attempt was their longest in a Champions League match since at least 2003-04, but a low block kept Bayern at bay.
Donnarumma’s error altered the pattern of play, however, and Bayern found joy almost every time they went forward for a time, showing how tricky the second leg might be for PSG as they chase the game.
Coman the man again
Coman lined up as a wing-back, from the left in the first half and the right in the second, but such was Bayern’s early dominance his defensive responsibilities were negligible. He could focus instead on hurting PSG at the other end – again.
The former PSG man joined Moussa Dembele and Nordi Mukiele as the only French players to score away at the Ligue 1 side in the Champions League. Only against PSG has Coman netted more than once in the knockout stage.
PSG hoping for repeat
If this was a re-run of the sides’ final encounter, PSG will hope the second leg might yet see this tie resemble their last two-legged affair against Bayern.
In 2020-21, PSG dumped out then defending champions Bayern despite losing 1-0 at home. A 3-2 victory in Germany, then in the first leg, was enough to see PSG through to the semi-finals, with Mbappe netting twice.
PSG will aim to end a three-match losing run in all competitions against Lille in Ligue 1 on Sunday, while Bayern return to Bundesliga action on Saturday at Borussia Monchengladbach.