International Sports Desk, Aug 23 (efe-epa).- No team was more deserving of winning the Champions League title this season than Bayern Munich, whose performance has been impeccable in the run for the European trophy, culminating on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint Germain, the game-winner being scored by Kingsley Coman.
The Champions League final was played at Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz before empty stands due to the ban on attendance at large sports events because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The German team dominated the pitch from net to net all during the match, sparking much frustration among the players for the Paris squad, who had wanted not only to take the French title but also the European trophy, signing in 2017 both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for 222 million euros ($262 million) and 180 million euros ($212 million), respectively, to outfit the team to make it beyond the quarterfinals.
Bayern now has secured six European titles and, with the win, becomes the second European squad to hit the “treble” twice – the first to do so being Barcelona in 2008-09 and 2014-15. The German team had secured the treble in 2012-13 and this season notched not only the Bundesliga and German Cup titles but also now the Champions League win.
PSG, on the other hand, coached by Thomas Tuchel, was making its first appearance in a Champions League final, and – despite the result – did have scoring opportunities on either side of Coman’s second-half winning shot, along with another great chance to pull even in stoppage time.
Although the match was scoreless at the break, in the 59th minute it was Coman – who was born in Paris and had started his career at PSG before leaving for Juventus in 2014 – who sank what proved to be the winning tally on a perfect pass from Joshua Kimmich.
The highly efficient German team was heavily favored in all 11 of its Champions League matches this year, right up to the Lisbon confrontation, scoring an incredible 43 goals on the way. Among the outstanding performances the squad put on were its 7-1 goal differential over Chelsea in the teams’ two matches in the Round of 16, along with its huge 8-2 result against Barcelona in the quarterfinals and its 3-0 tutorial against Lyon’s Olympique in the semis.
Although it remains to be seen whether Spain’s recent hegemony in the Champions League has been damaged or devastated, none of the top Spanish squads – Real Madrid, Atletico de Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia – were able to get beyond the quarterfinals this year, and Bayern – with its 21 consecutive wins – showed that coach the method employed by Hans Flick since his signing last November seems to be working.
PSG performed better, it seemed, in the first half on Sunday, exerting considerable pressure on the Germans, recovering the ball quickly, often in the opposing half of the pitch and launching lightning attacks, despite the fact that they came to nought.
However, the German squad seemed to have limitless resources and ultimately it was that combined with excellent ball-handling and efficient execution that enabled them to prevail, albeit by the smallest possible margin, which in itself is a testament to the power of PSG and suggests that the Paris team will be back posing a threat again in the very near future.
Paris Saint Germain: Keylor Navas; Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat (Kurzawa, m. 80); Herrera (Draxler, m. 72), Marquinhos, Paredes (Verratti, m. 65); Di Maria (Choupo Moting, m. 80), Neymar, Mbappe.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng (Sule, m. 25), Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago (Tolisso, m. 86); Coman (Perisic, m. 68), Mueller, Gnabry (Cotinho, m. 68); Lewandowski.
Official: Daniele Orsato (Italy). He showed yellow cards to Davies (m. 28), Gnabry (m. 52) and Sule (m. 56), for Bayern Munich, and to Paredes (m. 52), Neymar (m. 81) and Thiago Silva (m. 84), for Paris Saint Germain.