Champions League 19/20 Round-up
Updated: Aug 31
Coman... the Bavarian
PSG 0 - 1 Bayern Munich
K Coman '59
It was a Champions League campaign like no other. After the last 16 was cut in half – with the restart came the single game knockout format that dealt some fantastic ties. The final, a showpiece that saw two of football’s attacking powerhouses, was over-run with suggestive hype surrounding the awesome threat of PSG’s all-star duo of Neymar and Mbappe - versus the insurmountable force of Robert Lewandowski and his resurgent team-mates, who drubbed Barcelona 8-2, and reduced the great Lionel Messi to a broken figure seeking exodus from the ‘Blaugrana’. In a game that promised so many goals – a possible tie for the ages – a pending humiliation for the French Champions perhaps? There was silence.
A spectacle like this deserved fans, as every football game does in truth. But the lack of roar from the crowd only enhanced the first half, which was cagey but fraught with flashes of brilliance from individuals though always lacking the cohesion and calm both sides had showed in their previous bouts. The towering Manuel Neuer once again showed why he is Germany’s no.1 through a number of sublime stops, the one to shut out Neymar the pick of the bunch. His place as the German no.1 has been questioned at times, though with his understudy conceded 8 goals to the team the towering German captains it does little to inspire confidence that he should dethrone the man whom has carried the mantle so well for so long…sorry Marc.
The second half then, surely the goals had to come. Enter, Coman…the Bavarian.
For a player of 24 years old, to have 20 major trophies is unfathomable. A league medal for every year of professional football played and still the commentary team remarked on how they believed Perisic should have started in the Final. Heir Flick, the mastermind behind the born again German behemoth, once more had the last laugh. Coman finished a fine move with a header in the 50th minute that would go on to be the games decider. The goal was a fantastic move and was one of the better examples of the team that had shone in so many games throughout the competition.
Although Neymar sparkled more after going behind the Brazillian was unable to carry his team through to an equaliser as he has done on so many occasions. Mbappe missed chances you’d have bet your savings and a high interest loan on him to score, and PSG slumped to a loss in their debut Champions League Final. Thiago Silva’s dream swansong was not to come in Lisbon. Even without Edinson Cavani, you’d be hard pressed to find too many things wrong with the all-star side from the French capital – bar a world class experienced striker, perhaps? Mbappe will surely make his return to Europe’s elite competition and you’d be a fool to bet against Neymar returning to the centrepiece. With PSG? It’s too early to say.
Bar possibly Real Madrid’s 13th triumph, I don’t think many have witnessed a more deserving winner of the Champions League than this Bayern Munich side. 11 games – 11 victories. In Lewandowski they had a top goal scorer, who dared people to speak of Ronaldo’s 17 goal haul in a single campaign being broken – in a normal season had the Pole had the 2 more games, it could well have happened. The turnaround under Hansi Flick has been fantastic to watch. Bayern Munich have conquered Europe for a 6th time under Joachim Lowe’s second in command at the 2014 World Cup triumph and they look every bit the team to beat in next years competition.