Sports Desk, Apr 7 (efe-epa).- Kylian Mbappe had a brace and goalkeeper Keylor Navas made several key stops Wednesday as Paris Saint-Germain topped Bayern Munich 2-3 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie.
PSG took a big step toward avenging their loss to Bayern in the 2020 final.
Though supporters of the French club remember only too well the times their team has faltered in the second leg of a European tie, it’s hard to imagine a Bayern squad without injured super-striker Robert Lewandowski winning in Paris by a large enough margin to nullify the three away goals for PSG.
The hosts had 64 percent possession and outshot the Parisians 31-6 amid snow flurries at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
But five of PSG’s shots were on target and they put three past keeper Manuel Neuer.
Lucas Hernandez forced a save from Navas in the second minute and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting headed just over the cross-bar on the ensuing corner.
PSG went ahead in the following minute. A giveaway in midfield sent Neymar charging into the area to find Mbappe, whose shot slipped through Neuer’s hands and into the bottom corner of the net.
Julian Draxler appeared to double the lead for the visitors in the 12th minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside.
Navas made a pair of excellent stops around the 20-minute mark against Leon Goretzka and Benjamin Pavard and Choupo-Moting fired wide a few minutes later before Marquinhos extended the lead for PSG with an assist from Neymar.
Choupo-Moting finally saw his ambition rewarded in the 37th minute, heading beyond the reach of Navas after a great cross into the box from Pavard.
Already missing Lewandowski, Bayern had to use two substitutions in the first half to replace Goretzka and Niklas Süle, while Marquinhos left the pitch injured within minutes of scoring.
Neuer did well to stop Neymar from making it 1-3 in the 52nd minute. Seconds later at the other end, Navas did the German one better with impressive saves in quick succession against David Alaba and Pavard.
Thomas Müller equalized for Bayern in the 60th minute, redirecting a Joshua Kimmich free kick with his head. But the deadlock lasted just eight minutes, as Mbappe got his second with a tremendous strike on the counter.
The home side pressed frantically to get back on level terms. Navas dealt with a threat from Choupo-Moting, while Alaba and Müller had near-misses.
Draxler fired over the cross-bar on a chance to increase PSG’s advantage.
It was Bayern’s first loss in the Champions League since March 2019. EFE