Many believed a game like this was going to be a game of goals, myself included. I certainly believed that the Bayern strike force was going to prove too strong for PSG’s defence. The early exchanges in the game however were mostly PSG attacking Munich’s defence, rather than the other way around. Early breakaways from Neymar and Mbappe kept the Bayern defence on their toes, reminding them that they had some real competition on their hands. At one point an incredible double save from Manuel Neuer to deny Neymar was crucial to prevent Bayern from suffering drastically to their poor defending at the start of the game, when Alaba and Boateng were caught unaware by the PSG attack.
Bayern did start to get some chances back, with Lewandowski hitting the post in a very unfortunate manner. Nevertheless, the first half was mostly PSG’s, with their fast-moving attacks and stylish passing, including a fantastic 1-2 pass between Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria that nearly punished Munich once again.
The end product of the Paris frontline was the only saving grace for Bayern in that first half, as PSG shots kept flying in and peppering Manuel Neuer’s goal, but not well enough to warrant a goal.
Another moment of lackluster defending from Bayern put Manuel Neuer under pressure again, as David Alaba gave the ball away in the 18 yard box to Mbappe, but the German shot stopper continued a perfect man of the match performance, stopping the Frenchman from close range. The first half ended with a penalty shout from Kingsley Coman, and was a decision that would have been an injustice to one set of fans, regardless of the way that the decision swung. For me, it probably wasn’t a penalty, but if it was my team trying to claim it, I probably would’ve shouted for it!
Bayern came out all guns blazing in the second half, with plenty of early chances going forward. A fantastic cross coming in from the right hand side met the head of Kingsley Coman, putting the Bundesliga champions ahead in the contest. Coman had come under some criticism before the start of the game, as many would have argued that Perisic was the favoured choice on the left wing, so Coman was the perfect player to find the goal.
Being perfectly honest, the defender (Kehrer) could’ve done better for me, as one of the smallest men on the pitch in Coman was allowed a free header from close range, to score a goal in the Champions League final. However, I am sure Kingsley won’t have been too bothered about that, and as a person that wanted Bayern to win, I can’t say I was too bothered at the time either!
As soon as Bayern went one up, they started to exhibit more confidence going forward, with Lewandowski getting more chances in the PSG 6 yard box. From there Bayern didn’t look back, as they continued to go through the gears, putting the defensive pressure on PSG for the first time in the match.
The last twenty minutes were very end to end, with both teams skipping through each other’s midfields and pressuring the defences. Another fantastic double save from Manuel Neuer using his right foot to deny Marquinhos and Mbappe helped to seal the fate of the game, and a well deserved win for the boys in red.
Another classic Champions League final, with the right team winning in the end. A man of the match performance from Manuel Neuer saw him lift the elusive trophy for his team at the end of the evening, and it was certainly deserved. I believe that Bayern will be the team to beat in this season’s competition as well, and their efforts in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League this season have been nothing short of spectacular.