Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain play out a defensive masterclass as they knock Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Champions League.
Paris Saint-Germain secure qualification to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League despite losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich on Tuesday. The narrow defeat takes the aggregate scoreline to 3-3 with PSG going through thanks to away goals.
It was quite a predictable start to the game as Bayern Munich dominated possession looking to find that early breakthrough while PSG just sat back and played on the counter, once again relying on the pace and quality of their offensive stars.
The move worked perfectly well for Mauricio Pochettino’s men as they created at least three or four clear cut opportunities but were denied a goal either by Manuel Neuer or some poor finishing. They were duly punished when Bayern secured the opener in the 40th minute through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
It was an equally mesmerising second half as Bayern continued to push forward in search of the second goal which would have been enough to get them over the line. However, their high-intensity game meant that the players grew tired as the match progressed, with the attackers, in particular, struggling to offer the dynamism that was prevalent for much of the proceedings.
It paved the way for PSG to create chances, but they continued to be wasteful in front of goal and were rather lucky as Bayern, too, failed to make use of their opportunities. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over both these players in this riveting encounter as PSG advance through to the semi-final of the coveted competition.
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Keylor Navas made a couple of notable saves to help his team remain in the contest, including the first-half strike from David Alaba. One of the protagonists for PSG’s success in the UCL this season.
Colin Dagba: 9/10
Colin Dagba looked supremely resilient up against Kingsley Coman, offering very little space for the Bayern Munich winger. A very able replacement for the injured Alessandro Florenzi.
Danilo Pereira: 9/10
Filling in for the injured Marquinhos, Danilo Pereira was one of PSG’s best defenders on the pitch. He was inspiring at times with his defensive actions, using his physicality and aerial prowess. Also made a number of blocks and won headers that were key in keeping Bayern at bay.
Yes Neymar and Di Maria were absolutely mesmerising, providing countless catch your breath moments…
But credit the unglamorous Danilo Pereira and Colin Dagba, two monstrous underdog performances!
— Dougie Critchley (@DougieCritchley) April 13, 2021
Presnel Kimpembe: 8.5/10
Presnel Kimpembe was another rock at the back for PSG. The Frenchman marshalled the defence well, winning numerous tackles and making a host of blocks inside the penalty area.
Abdou Diallo: 7.5/10
Abdou Diallo had occasional problems dealing with the threat of Leroy Sane but largely held his own before being subbed off around the hour mark due to an injury.
Leandro Paredes: 8.5/10
Leandro Paredes initially impressed the onlookers with his ability to play out from the back, but the midfielder was also solid defensively, barely looking troubled against the mighty Bayern side.
Idrissa Gueye: 9/10
Idrissa Gueye produced an inspiring display in midfield, recycling possession and driving forward with menace. He was a key figure in PSG’s transition from defence to attack.
Idrissa Gueye having a stormer for PSG
— Patrick Boyland (@Paddy_Boyland) April 13, 2021
Angel Di Maria: 8/10
Angel Di Maria rolled back the years with his trickery and unpredictability out wide that made life difficult for the Bayern Munich defenders. The ageing star also created a couple of goalmouth opportunities for his team.
Julian Draxler: 7.5/10
Julian Draxler was not as impressive as his attacking teammates, but he was there when called upon. Picked some good passes but was replaced by Kean during the late stages of the game.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Kylian Mbappe traumatised the Bayern defence with his pace and acceleration but he could have provided a bit more quality in terms of end product. A bit unlucky too, as the Frenchman was denied a 1v1 with Manuel Neuer by the linesman.
Neymar was perhaps the most important attacker for PSG in this fixture, making sizzling runs and intelligent passes but simply could not find that goal despite being given excellent opportunities to do so.
Best game of football I’ve watched for a long time.
So many great players performing with such sublime technique & incredible intensity.
And towering above them all…. Neymar was just 👌 pic.twitter.com/HofSCHaVNl
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 13, 2021
Mitchell Bakker: 7.5/10
Replaced the injured Diallo around the hour-mark. Deserves a lot of credit for settling into the game quickly, notably making a couple of key blocks.
Moise Kean: 6.5/10
Moise Kean came on for Draxler during the final phase of the game. Added dynamism and pace in the PSG attack as they kept troubling Bayern on the counter.
Ander Herrera: N/A
A late replacement for Di Maria. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Manuel Neuer: 8/10
Manuel Neuer was arguably the best player for Bayern Munich as he made numerous saves to keep his side in the contest. His positioning was also top-notch, but the goalkeeper will be disappointed by the poor performances of his teammates.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 13, 2021
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
Benjamin Pavard was always going to have problems dealing with the PSG attackers. So his struggles against the free-flowing Neymar and Mbappe was hardly surprising. The right-back also didn’t offer too much going forward.
Jerome Boateng: 7/10
Jerome Boateng had a point to prove, up against the likes of Neymar and Mbappe. And although Bayern did concede multiple scoring chances, the veteran centre-back looked better and better as the game progressed, utilising that offside trap perfectly.
Lucas Hernandez: 7.5/10
Lucas Hernandez had a difficult start to the game against Neymar, struggling to deal with his trickery. However, an improved second-half display saw him become a rock at the back for the Bavarians, with the Frenchman neutralising a host of PSG counterattacks.
Alphonso Davies: 6/10
Had alarming moments defensively, struggling to cope with Di Maria for the most part of the game. He was taken off during the final phase of the game, in favour of Jamal Musiala.
Joshua Kimmich: 6.5/10
Joshua Kimmich looked off-colour during certain parts of the game and looked clumsy with his touches, at times. His deliveries weren’t as precise as well, with the German desperately lacking a proper partner.
Neymar and Paredes making kimmich eat his words after suggesting Bayern are better than PSG pic.twitter.com/9CE3snybQS
— Random Clips (@random__clips) April 13, 2021
David Alaba: 6.5/10
David Alaba looked confident and impressive during the early stages, notably attempting a hopeful attempt on goal in the first half. Looked solid defensively after changing to the left-back slot.
Leroy Sane: 6/10
A lot of Bayern fans may deem Leroy Sane the culprit because of his poor cutback late in the game. Aside from that, though, the former Man City winger also lacked ideas out wide, failing to create anything much.
Thomas Muller: 6.5/10
Thomas Muller looked desperate to find the back of the net himself in the absence of Robert Lewandowski. The forward did get into good positions but always lacked that service from his teammates.
Kingsley Coman: 5/10
Kingsley Coman was another Bayern winger who might be turned into a scapegoat after this defeat. The Frenchman had no ideas on how to get past Dagba and always had to move sideways. Poor attacking performance.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 6/10
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting may have scored the all-important opener for Bayern, but he was awful for the remainder of the game. The forward made a host of poor first touches, almost killing scoring opportunities for the Bavarians. No ideas in the second half either.
Bayern Munich really missed the presence of Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry
That Leroy Sane boy can’t be trusted, no wonder Pep allowed him to leave
— KELEWELE JOINT 🍟 (@ANKAMAGYIMI__) April 13, 2021
Jamal Musiala: 6/10
Jamal Musiala replaced Davies in the 71st minute. Looked nervous and couldn’t make the desired impact.
Javi Martinez: N/A
Utilised as a target man late in the game. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.