Bayern Munich overcame Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in a tightly contested final to claim their sixth UEFA Champions League title. Frenchman Kingsley Coman netted a header in the 59th minute thanks to a superb assist by Joshua Kimmich.
Huge credit is due to Hansi Flick, who is the first-ever manager to win all games in a Champions League campaign. Flick took over from Niko Kovac, who was sacked in November after a disastrous start in the Bundesliga.
Neuer was heavily relied upon, as he saved two certain goals from PSG in the first half. PSG failed to capitalise on these magnificent chances, leaving Bayern to hold their ground and methodically work their German magic.
Di Maria and Herrera also missed great chances for PSG
Bayern Munich have now won their second treble after winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and now the Champions League. Their sixth title also means they equal Liverpool’s number of elite European titles.
For PSG, they must wait. As Coman hit the back of the net, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe couldn’t get past Neuer. Di Maria and Herrera also missed great chances. So, who stood out and who failed to shine?
Stand-Out Performances: Manuel Neuer shines on the world’s stage
Marquinhos (PSG) – he managed to stop several Bayern chances. Most notably he won a header against Leon Goretzka and came close to equalising.
Thiago Silva (PSG) – sadly, his last game for PSG wasn’t as he had hoped. Nevertheless, he led the back four bravely and stopped a second goal from Coman.
Manuel Neuer (Bayern) – the captain was responsible for preventing Bayern being steamrolled by PSG. Early saves, which could have turned the direction of the game, have proved that the 34-year-old still has it in him.
Kingsley Coman (Bayern) – Coman was not even expected to be in the starting line-up. PSG coach Thomas Tuchel even admitted he was shocked. Once a PSG schoolboy, Coman could have scored twice and remained a threat for the entire 90 minutes.
Hit and Miss: Kylian Mbappe falters, while Serge Gnabry lacks composure
Thilo Kehrer (PSG) – played well in the first 30 minutes but dropped off after that. Very lucky not to concede a penalty for holding back Coman.
Neymar (PSG) – it was supposed to be a night of triumph. Instead, Neymar sat crying whilst Bayern celebrated on the pitch. The Brazilian was particularly wasteful in the first half. What next for the man that was supposed to escape Messi’s shadow?
Kylian Mbappe (PSG) – wasteful like Neymar. The Frenchman’s best chance came when he shot straight at Neuer. Mbappe is only 21, so will have many more chances but could have made history.
Alphonso Davies (Bayern) – didn’t have much composure on the ball. At just nineteen years old, this may have been expected and for sure, this will not be his last final. The Canadian is a superstar in waiting.
Serge Gnabry (Bayern) – like Davies, he didn’t have composure. It didn’t help when he roughly tackled Neymar and caused a commotion on the pitch. It is worth noting he was regarded as a flop by Arsenal and West Brom; winning the Champions League is a huge statement.
So, what next for PSG? In the post-match press conference, Tuchel admitted the Parisians have some work to do. They have lost Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier and are due to lose Thiago Silva and Choupo-Moting. They must act swiftly in the transfer market if they are to make any progress and reach the final next year.
As for Neymar, he seems happy to stay at PSG for the next two years according to his agent. Tuchel can have a piece of mind as he looks to replace the departees and build squad depth.
This could be the changing of the guard for Bayern
With reports that Messi wanting to leave Barcelona, PSG could sign him. But, in the current climate and for a long term project it doesn’t seem likely they will. The PSG coach remarked “what coach says no to Messi? I think Messi finishes his career in Barcelona. He is Mr Barcelona.”
As for Bayern, the future looks bright. This could be the changing of the guard, as we see Neuer, Müller and the likes being slowly replaced by a younger squad. Thiago Alcantara, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool, seems content staying in Munich after Sunday’s win.
PSG start their 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign on August 29, and Bayern’s Bundesliga title defence starts on September.