Posted on September 29, 2017
Paris Saint-Germain just shook up Group B of the Champions League in a huge way, utterly dominating Bayern Munich to the tune of a 3-0 win driven by goals from both Edinson Cavani and Neymar, and with Kylian Mbappe putting in a jaw-dropping performance.
PSG got things off to a hot start almost right away, with Dani Alves popping up with a late run to the far post in one of the French club’s first attacks of the match to hammer home a pass from Neymar and give his team a second-minute lead. PSG would dominate the opening minutes off that momentum, but they started to back off Bayern a bit and gave the Germans a chance to create a long, sustained spell of attacking play that nearly netted them several goals.
But Paris Saint-Germain’s defense was up to the task, and Alphonse Areola made several huge saves to keep Bayern off the scoreboard, and eventually the Germans’ momentum slowed — and PSG struck again, this time in the 31st minute off the strength of a gorgeous long-range shot from Edinson Cavani that found the top corner with incredible power.
Bayern were left scrambling for answers at halftime, and Carlo Ancelotti tried to change the game by hauling off James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso for Kingsley Coman and Sebastian Rudy. Rudy helped stabilize a midfield that had been shaky against PSG’s attack, but Coman provided very little out wide to help boost Bayern’s flagging attempts to score.
Even Arjen Robben struggled to make much impact on the match — but his introduction came too late as PSG had gone up 3-0 on the strength of a goal from Neymar in the 63rd minute, a goal created by some outstanding work on the ball from Kylian Mbappe, with a fake-shot-toe-drag move that left David Alaba looking around in confusion, then bodying Niklas Sule off the ball like the big German defender was a youth player.
From there, it was mostly a formality — PSG were in full control, and Bayern had no answers. It was a stunningly authoritative display that’s shaken up not just the group, but potentially the Champions League landscape as well. That is, of course, provided that Paris Saint-Germain follow up this performance with more like it. We’ve seen them pop up with dominant showings before, but fail to back them up with similar performances, like how they flopped in their second leg against Barcelona in the knockout rounds last year. But if what we saw today is the “real” PSG now, the rest of Europe needs to watch out.
Paris Saint-Germain: Alphonse Areola; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Layvin Kurzawa; Marco Verratti (Julian Draxler 89′), Thiago Motta (Giovanni Lo Celso 86′), Adrien Rabiot; Kylian Mbappe (Angel Di Maria 79′), Edinson Cavani, Neymar
Goals: Alves (2′), Cavani (31′), Neymar (63′)