Victory against PSG in a quick check: De Ligt’s heroic tackle saves FC Bayern

FC Bayern made it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League against the star ensemble from Paris Saint-Germain. Central defender Matthijs de Ligt prevents the game from going wrong early on, with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé signed off in the second half.

What happened in the Allianz Arena?

What was not philosophized about in advance: FC Bayern meets the best offensive series in European club football – only without Neymar. What does the Brazilian’s absence mean? Is PSG without a chance now? Is it maybe even a boost for the French? Finally, Paris could substitute a player who is stronger in the backward movement for the offensive free spirit and thus protects them better against counterattacks.

At least Neymar’s failure didn’t gnaw at the Parisians’ self-confidence. The French had arrived with the 0-1 mortgage from the first leg, but the big questions were more on the mind of the German record champions: what will happen to coach Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern era if the 34-year-old should leave after the surprising end last year Year against FC Villarreal fail again in the round of 16? At the latest, Bayern boss Oliver Kahn clarified that before the game, the coach would stay even in the event of a defeat. You can get eliminated against Paris, said the former world-class goalkeeper.

This led to the second question: How do Munich actually prevent this feared defeat? Or in other words: how do you keep Kylian Mbappé under control? Nagelsmann decided on the unsurprising solution: against the 24-year-old miracle striker João Cancelo should not run against the city loan, but home-grown Josip Stanisic in cooperation with Dayot Upamecano. The plan worked: Mbappé found practically no gaps, especially in the second half, and hardly ever got into dangerous situations.

And so FC Bayern can be happy not only to have reached the quarter-finals, but also to have eliminated one of the toughest competitors for the handle pot with the French star ensemble. It didn’t look so safe: In the first half, the Munich team had to fight their way into the game. Messi, who often dropped into midfield, was either straddled by Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich – or he just smashed the biceps of Leon Goretzka. And Munich could also thank the sovereign central defender Mathis de Ligt. After Yann Sommer failed to dribble in the penalty area, de Ligt grabbed the ball off the line. Paris thought they were in the lead, but instead the heroic deed of the Dutchman drives Bayern.

Our match report is here.

Teams and Goals:

Munich: Sommer – de Ligt, Stanisic, Upamecano – Coman (86th Gnabry), Kimmich, Musiala (82nd Mané), Goretzka, Davies – Müller (86th Cancelo), Choupo-Moting (68th Sané). – Trainer: Nagelsmann
Paris: Donnarumma – Ramos, Hakimi, Marquinhos (36 Mukiele/46 Bitshiabu), Danilo, Mendes (82 Bernat) – Ruiz Pena (76 Zaire-Emery), Ferreira (82 Ekitike), Verratti – Messi, Mbappé. – Trainer: Galtier
Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Gates: 1-0 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (61′), 2-0 Serge Gnabry (89′)
Viewers: 75,000 (sold out)
Yellow card: – Achraf Hakimi.

Bavaria’s success in feature films

1st minute: Is this a foretaste of what is to come? It takes less than 26 seconds for Stanisic to win the first duel of the evening against Mbappé on the center line.

14 minutes: Oops, the ball is in the Bayern goal for the first time. What happened? It really wasn’t a challenging move by the Parisians: long oats from their own defense on Mbappé. Although he wins the running duel against Upamecano, Sommer is more on the ball. The PSG attacker and the Bayern goalkeeper collide, the ball is suddenly free. Mbappé pushes in, but: striker foul.

22 minutes: That must have hurt. Messi crashes into Goretzka in the center and falls to the ground. However, the German escapes without a yellow card, much to the displeasure of the Parisians.

25 minutes: Bayern now with luck. Mendes picks up pace on Mbappé’s left side. He plays the ball in the middle and Messi finishes in the sixteen. But full-back Davies throws himself in between and prevents worse.

32 minutes: MUSIALA! The 20-year-old gets the ball with his back to the goal, turns it up, leaves Danilo standing and pulls from an acute angle. Donnarumma is there. There is corner.

38 minutes: Bayern now with even more luck. Sommer dribbles in his own penalty area, but loses the ball. The quick-witted de Ligt, however, ensures that Paris cannot use this to lead. The Dutchman throws everything in to prevent the goal – and scratches the ball off the line. He celebrates the straddle (quite rightly) like a goal in the final.

half time: That was better than in the first leg. Lots of speed, lots of chances, lots of small promotions worth seeing. Bayern is a bit more reserved, PSG have better opportunities. But the people of Munich actually get in front of goal every now and then.

52 Minute: Goooooooor, Bayern in a frenzy, the goal music is already on. Musiala crosses to Choupo-Moting, who runs the ball over his head. Müller lurks at the second post, goes to the ball and was offside. Goal doesn’t count. It stays at 0:0.


(Photo: IMAGO/Revierfoto)

60 minutes: GOOOOOOR for Bayern! But now really: Choupo-Moting scores. Bayern press up, the goal is a co-production by Müller and Goretzka. They press Verratti, who loses the ball on his own 16 edge. Müller lays across, goal, Mr. Choupo pushes in.

64 minutes: Summer is here! So at least on the line. PSG corner, Sergio Ramos comes to the header and the Bayern goalkeeper saves.

69 minutes: That was the chance to decide. Counterattacks by Bayern, Coman and Sané are in the majority two-on-one, but play the situation uncleanly. Nagelsmann cooks on the sidelines.

89 Minute: GOOOOOOR for Bayern! That’s really the decision now. counter. Goal. Substitute Cancelo – that says something if you can bring one like that – dribbles over half the field, sees Gnabry on the left. The city loan plays diagonally into the top and the German international pushes in dry.

94 minutes: Goooooooor Mane. But wait: the flag goes up again, the Senegalese is offside with the tip of his foot. PSG is now completely deregistered. It’s over shortly after.

What was good?

De Ligt’s heroic deed did not go unnoticed by Nagelsmann either. The tackle in the 38th minute, it may have saved Bayern from being eliminated against PSG. These are hypothetical questions: What would have happened if Sommer’s dribbling had resulted in a goal? What if Vitinha had turned the goalkeeper’s blunder into something countable for PSG?

De Ligt was probably aware at that moment that things would not have gone well for Bayern. And so the Dutchman celebrated the rescue operation in the best Nico Schlotterbeck manner. The Dortmunder made a similar save last summer when he was with Freiburg against RB Leipzig in the DFB Cup final. Such rescue operations could also be hung in the Louvre in Paris.


Was good, wasn’t it?

(Photo: IMAGO/Matthias Koch)

Special praise was therefore also given by the coach. “Nine out of ten in the world stop because they think it’s over,” said Nagelsmann on DAZN. “He just feels like defending,” he added, and Sommer, who had dribbled in the penalty area, thanked him. The rescue was “incredible,” said the Swiss. “I’ve already said it a few times, I’ll put a truck of Swiss chocolate in front of his front door because he’s a great thinker.”

In any case, the entire Bayern defense was impressive. Above all Stanisic: The Croatian was showered with praise from all sides even before the game. In the duel against Mbappé, he repaid all of these advance laurels. Practically nothing has burned over his side, especially after the break.

What was less good?

It’s one of the first lessons young footballers get: don’t dribble your own penalty area! Then it’s a bit surprising that it happens twice in a Champions League round of 16 that experienced professionals do exactly that. On the one hand there is Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer, who has proven that he is not Manuel Neuer, at least in this respect. On the other hand, it was Verratti. His dribbling in his own box ended in 1-0 – just for Bayern because he was successfully pinched there by Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller.


bounced off

(Photo: AP)

What was even less good? There is no other way to say it, but: the second half of Mbappé and Messi. While both of them still posed real danger from time to time before the break, that decreased significantly after the restart. Mbappé in particular, christened the human high-speed train TGV by DAZN expert Sandro Wagner, lurked on the middle line, but he rarely reached his destination. Similarly with Messi: The Argentinian world champion was busy dropping into midfield and launching attacks from there, especially in the first half. In the second 45 minutes it just stopped.

And what do those involved say?

Julian Nagelsman (FC Bayern Munich coach) on the game: “It’s normal that when you win the first leg 1-0, the opponent wants to come up a bit more. Of course, they have a brutal quality. It was clear that we would love the spectators and the Talent-free areas in football are needed. I think we played very passionately and played as we. That’s a key against PSG, we did that and cracked them.”

Nagelsmann on de Ligt’s rescue operation: “Yann forgets the player in the back. I just said that in the coaching office: Matthijs, who loves to defend, there are so many defenders who stop running because they say it’s already over. Nine out of ten stay put.”

Nagelsmann on Sasa Stanisic: I would like to highlight Stani, who played a very good game. Sensational. Not everyone believed him capable of making such a game. It was unbelievably strong and won every duel. We also had Mbappe under control for the longest stretches.”

Thomas Müller (FC Bayern Munich) on the game: “Of course you have to be honest that in football you sometimes earn luck through diligence. We had a moment when Yann lost the ball and Matthijs cleared it on the line. When that 1: 0, you don’t know how the two teams will react to it, but we shed our shyness in the second half in particular and defended more clearly, less in the half-half situations where you don’t know whether we should fall or not So we played the better game in the second half and deservedly won. We played two or three bad counterattacks, but we did a very good job in the lead today.”

The tweet about the game

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