Paris Saint-Germain’s unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 campaign came to a halt on the weekend and on Tuesday night, their unbeaten record in Europe also came to an end as FC Bayern Munich defeated the capital club 3-1 at the Allianz Arena. It was a completely different Bayern side than the one that Paris defeated 3-0 at the Parc des Princes back in late September.
It was a game in which Bayern dominated from the get-go and deserved to win. Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the match thanks to Dani Alves who aided him in being just onside. Corentin Tolisso scored shortly after off a James Rodríguez cross to double the German’s lead midway through the first half. Bayern’s domination continued for the remainder of the first half, which ended 2-0. PSG came back strongly after the break when Kylian Mbappé scored to cut the deficit in half. Former PSG man Kingsley Coman dribbled past Alves in the 69th minute and produced a teasing ball for Tolisso to score his second of the game to put the match out of reach. It was a stark reminder of PSG’s inability to come up with the goods away from home in Europe and Adrien Rabiot’s struggles in the defensive midfield has some speculating whether or not Blaise Matuidi should have been sold this summer.
The only positive was that this performance came in the group stage and not in the knockout rounds.
PSG’s mental flaws in Europe came to the fore today and proves that being the best team until winter means for nothing when titles are handed out in May.
PSG’s defense and midfield were in shambles as they conceded loads of chances all game and were comprehensively beaten by an excellent Bayern side.
Manager rating out of 10
5 Unai Emery looked out of sorts in a pressure-cooker situation and should have prepared himself and the players for a better performance in a packed Allianz Arena.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 6 Areola looked solid for most of the game and it’s difficult to blame him entirely for any of Bayern’s goals.
DF Dani Alves 4.5 Alves was culpable and at fault for the first goal that gave Bayern the impetus to impose themselves onto PSG. In the second half, Coman breezed past him to tee off Tolisso and summed up a horrendous night for the Brazilian. He was terrorized all night by the combo of James and Coman.
DF Thiago Silva, 5.5 The captain was struggling most of the game against a reinvigorated Bayern offense and was partly culpable in letting Lewandowski in for the first goal.
DF Marquinhos, 5.5 The center-back, like his compatriot, looked shaky and should have been marking Tolisso for the second goal.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 5.5 Like the whole PSG defense, Kurzawa looked out of sorts and was pinned to his own half as Bayern blitzed PSG.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 The Frenchman did his best at “defensive midfield,” but was thrown to the wolves. He was decent at build-up play, but defending has never been his strongest asset and should not have been played in that role.
MF Julian Draxler 5.5 The German is a great offensive threat, but he is not a central midfielder who can play as part of a compact three in the center of the park. Draxler’s weaknesses were exposed by a potent Bayern midfield and attack, and Emery needs to play a different formation if he wants to utilize Draxler. Playing the former VfL Wolfsburg man in a compact midfield is a recipe for disaster.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 Verratti, like the rest of PSG, looked clueless and out of ideas. The Italian again showed doubts over his big-game ability in another poor showing in an important away game.
CF Kylian Mbappé, 7.5 Mbappé looked good, but with little to no service from midfield in the first half, he had to drop back to help with build-up play and defending, which is obviously not what he was brought in for. In the second half, he scored a great header to half the deficit off an ingenious Edinson Cavani chip on the 50th minute.
RM Neymar, 6 Neymar probably had his first real bad game of the season. To be fair though, he was hounded all night by Bayern’s excellent defense and was given no time on the ball to do his trademark trickery. Again, it’s good that this was in the last game of the group stage when PSG had already gone through.
FW Edinson Cavani, 7 Cavani had limited opportunities and tried the best he could to create chances. But, like his attacking partners, he had no support from the midfield and had to drop back to help in build-up play instead of being on the end of them. He provided a brilliantly lofted chip assist for Mbappé to half the lead early second half.
FW Presnel Kimpembe, NA The French center back was introduced too late in the game for him to make an impact.
DF Lo Celso, NA The Argentinian was introduced in stoppage time and had no time to make an impact.