On Sunday night, Bayern Munich were crowned as European champions for the sixth time in their history, as the Bavarians beat PSG 1-0 in the Champions League final, just we predicted they would. The game was not quite the goal-fest most observers expected. However, there was still plenty of action at both ends of the pitch.
Stars failed to produce on the night
In the end, it would be difficult to claim that Bayern did not deserve the win. However, PSG’s two supposed superstar forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will be disappointed with their displays. While Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer deserves credit for several good saves during the game, as PSG’s star players Neymar and Mbappe just did not produce when their team needed them.
The big games usually bring out the best of the top players, but Neymar endured a difficult night, as he seemed to be trying too hard to get his team going. However, arguably more disappointing was Mbappe’s display. The highly-rated young forward is mooted as a successor to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the star stakes.
The youngster just struggled to get into a game that looked well set-up for his pace for exploit Bayern’s notoriously high defensive line. Thomas Tuchel’s team did not seize on that supposed weakness, though, which may have brought the young forward into the game more.
No doubt this will not be Mbappe’s last big final and the 21-year-old is sure to go on and enjoy far more big occasions in the future. He will be looking to add a Champions League winners medal to the World Cup winners medal he already owns.
Bayern stifled by an organised PSG team
Bayern Munich have been the outstanding team in the Champions League this season. Hansi Flick won all 11 of their games in European football’s competition, scoring at least twice in all of their previous ten games before Sunday’s final.
PSG did a decent job of restricting Bayern’s vibrant attacking play. The Parisians were very well organised and disciplined in their work. The defence was very ably assisted by Brazilian Marquinhos in a defensive midfield role. The fact that he is naturally a defender certainly helped him in his efforts to subdue Bayern’s attacking threat.
In-form Serge Gnabry had one of his quieter games of the campaign. Meanwhile, on the opposite wing, Coman impressed with his general play, as well as the winning goal before being replaced by Ivan Perisic. PSG also restricted the room for manoeuvre of ‘space interpreter’ Thomas Muller.
PSG will be back in the future
Sunday’s final was PSG’s first-ever in the Champions League. The Parisians will feel they now have the mentality to return and win the competition in the future after shaking off their tag of ‘bottlers’ in previous rounds.
The final was not a case of ‘bottling it’, it was more a case of coming up against a team that was slightly superior all around. The French champions will return to the transfer market and tweak their already strong team for next season and will no doubt return to be major contenders for the trophy once again.
Was Bayern Munich worthy winners of the Champions League?