Fri | Apr 23, 2021

PSG beat Bayern in CL thriller

Published:Thursday | April 8, 2021 | 12:24 AM
Bayern’s Niklas Süle (left) tries to stop Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé during their UEFA Champions League quarter-final match in Munich, Germany, yesterday.
Bayern’s Niklas Süle (left) tries to stop Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé during their UEFA Champions League quarter-final match in Munich, Germany, yesterday.

MUNICH, Germany (AP):

Kylian Mbappé scored twice to lead Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to a 3-2 win at defending champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final yesterday.

Mbappé was a constant threat, while Neymar had two assists as the French champions responded to their 1-0 loss to Bayern in last year’s final by seizing the advantage going into the second leg in Paris next week.

Marquinhos scored the other goal as the visitors went 2-0 up inside the first half-hour, but the PSG captain went off injured shortly afterwards and Bayern responded through headers from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Müller.

Mbappé sealed the win with his eighth goal of the competition in the 68th.

Choupo-Moting started up front for Bayern, who were without top scorer Robert Lewandowski due to a knee injury and Serge Gnabry because of a positive COVID-19 test.

COVID-19

The visitors also had absences due to COVID-19, with Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi both infected. Coach Mauricio Pochettino was also without forward Mauro Icardi and the suspended Leandro Paredes, as well as Layvin Kurzawa and former Bayern player Juan Bernat.

Bayern made a good start amid heavy snowfall, with Choupo-Moting hitting the crossbar with a header from a corner in the second minute.

Mbappé scored the next minute, set up by Neymar on a quick counterattack, when his shot from the right squirmed between Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s legs.

The visitors had the ball in the net again in the 12th, but Julian Draxler’s goal was ruled out through VAR as Mbappé was just offside in the build-up.

Bayern responded with sustained pressure. Keylor Navas was alert to deny Leon Goretzka in the 19th, then Benjamin Pavard a minute later.

Choupo-Moting went close from another corner before Marquinhos scored with the visitors’ second legitimate effort on goal. Neymar beat Bayern’s offside trap with a brilliant ball over the top for his Brazilian compatriot to make it 2-0 in the 28th.

But Marquinhos went off with a groin injury two minutes later – a major blow for the visitors who were forced to move midfielder Danilo back to defend.

Bayern’s Goretzka went off injured for Alphonso Davies shortly afterwards.

PSG paid the price for Marquinhos’ absence in the 37th, when Benjamin Pavard was left free to cross for the unmarked Choupo-Moting to head inside the left post.

Bayern had to make another change before the break, with Jérôme Boateng coming on for the injured Niklas Süle.

Müller equalised with a header to Joshua Kimmich’s free kick on the hour mark, but Mbappé struck again despite facing Boateng in the 68th. The France star simply shot through the Bayern defender’s legs past the wrong-footed Neuer inside the left post.

Yesterday’s CL results:

Bayern 2-3 PSG

Porto 0-2 Chelsea