KINGSLEY COMAN followed Paris Saint-German for the second time in three years as FC Bayern Munich moved one step closer to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
It was the 26-year-old French forward who scored the winning goal between these two teams to decide the infamous 2020 final behind closed doors.
And the Paris-born star made the difference in tonight’s round of 16 first leg – even if he refused to celebrate out of respect for his former club.
It’s been a frustrating night for PSG megastars Lionel Messi, Neymar and the injured Kylian Mbappe – the most expensive attacking side ever assembled in club football – as their progression hopes are at stake.
PSG have lost four times at this stage of the tournament in the previous six seasons.
And if they forget their shooting boots for the trip to Bavaria on Wednesday, March 8th, they will leave early again.
That tie came the day after Uefa slammed hard-line Paris coppers for their “faulty” handling of the 2022 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
French police have been accused of losing control outside the Stade de France last May and needlessly pepper-spraying innocent Liverpool fans with tickets who had been denied entry.
So pictures of riot police attacking Bayern supporters before the game at the Parc des Princes were not something the board wanted to see.
The Ligue 1 side had suffered back-to-back defeats in preparation and last Saturday there was an explosive altercation in the dressing room between Neymar and a senior club official.
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Head coach Christophe Galtier’s tenure in the French capital hinges on European glory and his initial tactical decision for PSG to sit back, soak up Bayern pressure and pound on the counterattack didn’t please viewers.
The home fans started booing as early as the sixth minute when the German champions dominated possession.
However, offensively it was a first half without real quality and neither goalkeeper found himself in an awkward position.
The visitors came closest in the 43rd minute when an attacking attempt by Bayern captain Joshua Kimmich was parried by PSG number 99 Gianluigi Donnarumma.
PSG centre-back Sergio Ramos was brilliant in the first half but, like the rest of the home defence, he was absent when substitute Alphonso Davies ran over a cross in the 53rd minute.
In his 50th appearance at this level, Coman delivered a superb finish for the first time with the inside of his right foot squirming under Donnarumma.
Within three minutes, Italy stopper Donnarumma saved with two fine saves from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – the second of which he tapped the woodwork – and an exceptional reaction to stop a Benjamin Pavard header.
Mbappe, weighted down with a hamstring, came off the bench just after that sucker shot and his presence lifted the overall spirit of the place, adding a tremendous spark.
But there was no equalization, although he forced a close-range save from Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer and ZWEI TORE was correctly disallowed for offside.
It was a night to remember for midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery, who became the youngest-ever starter in a Champions League knockout game aged 16 years and 343 days.
The England side in Paris – led by the ever-reliable Premier League referee Michael Oliver – had a fairly quiet evening leading into injury time.
Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard was sent off for a second yellow card when he tripped Messi outside the box with fractures.
But the fact that Uefa have given VAR responsibility to a Polish referee rather than an English one speaks volumes for the respect they have for the Prem’s best video guys…
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7394272/psg-0-bayern-munich-1-messi-co-champions-league/ PSG 0 Bayern Munich 1: Messi and Co. shortly before Champions League KO as Mbappe goal is excluded in the agonizing VAR