Bayern Munich overcame Paris St-Germain in a tightly contested Champions League final in Lisbon to claim the crown for the sixth time.
Kingsley Coman, who started his career at PSG, settled a tense affair with a 59th-minute header at the far post from Joshua Kimmich’s cross to leave the French giants still searching for that elusive Champions League triumph.
It was a night of joy for Bayern coach Hansi Flick, who added the Champions League to the Bundesliga after initially taking over as interim coach from sacked Niko Kovac in November.
In contrast, it was a night of bitter disappointment for PSG’s two attacking superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who failed to produce their best and found themselves frustrated by Bayern keeper and man of the match Manuel Neuer when they had the best of the first-half chances.
Mbappe’s pain increased in the second half when he looked to be tripped by Kimmich in the area, but PSG’s penalty claims were ignored – leaving Bayern to celebrate being crowned champions of Europe once more, becoming the first team to win the trophy by winning every Champions League game in a single campaign.
Bayern show steel to match silk
Bayern fully merited their sixth triumph in this tournament, an all-consuming machine that demonstrated graphically that they could overpower teams with attacking prowess but also showed the grit, determination and organisation to frustrate PSG’s attacking golden boys Mbappe and Neymar.
And huge credit must go to coach Flick, who has guided Bayern to 21 successive victories, reviving and inspiring Bayern after emerging from the shadows when Kovac was sacked in November and the club in crisis.
Flick also illustrated his ability to make the big calls, selecting Coman ahead of the influential Croat Ivan Perisic and being rewarded with that decisive moment just before the hour.
Bayern also leant heavily on one of the great figures of the club’s successes, keeper Neuer, who was at his magnificent best to stand toe-to-toe with Neymar in those crucial first-half duels and make the saves that made such a huge contribution to this victory.
Bayern’s status as European champions is deserved, having won every game in the tournament this season, not only having the ability to produce blistering performances of the sort that overwhelmed Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-final and frustrate PSG’s threat in the final.
This is a developing team, with Leroy Sane already signed from Manchester City for next season, and Bayern’s future looks bright under Flick.
PSG’s big two misfire when it matters most
PSG looked to the two great superstars Neymar and Mbappe to spearhead their assault on the trophy they crave most after such lavish investment – but they were unable to break down the Bayern Munich barrier.
The pair had chances, especially in the first half, but their finishing was not at its best and the imposing figure of Neuer denied them, with Mbappe’s bad miss at the end of the opening period proving a pivotal moment.
This has been PSG’s best Champions League campaign but this will not ease the pain of this defeat for the players or coach Thomas Tuchel, who must now revamp his side as experienced captain and defensive pivot Thiago Silva leaves the club.
Neymar and Mbappe will remain the big hopes for a club of huge ambition but they will know a huge opportunity to break this final frontier was missed in Lisbon, especially as their big rivals will come back stronger next season.
Bayern the first team to win every Champions League game – stats
- Bayern have won the European Cup/Champions League for a sixth time (level with Liverpool) and for the first time since 2012-13. Only Real Madrid (13) and AC Milan (7) have been crowned champions on more occasions.
- PSG failed to score in a game in a major European competition for the first time in 35 matches, last failing to do so in a 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in April 2016.
- Each of the past seven teams competing in their first European Cup/Champions League final have all lost, with the last first-time winners being Borussia Dortmund in 1997 against Juventus.
- On only four previous occasions has a manager older than Bayern boss Hansi Flick (55y 181d) won the Champions League (Goethals with Marseille in 1993 – 71, Heynckes with Bayern Munich in 2013 – 68 and Alex Ferguson with Man Utd in 1999 and 2008 – 57 and 66).
- Bayern became just the third side in Champions League history to hit the 500-goal mark in the competition (500 goals in total), after Barcelona (517) and Real Madrid (567).
- Bayern attacker Kingsley Coman became the fifth Frenchman to score in a Champions League final (Benzema 2018, Zidane 2002, Desailly 1994 and Boli 1993).
- PSG’s Keylor Navas is the third goalkeeper to appear in a Champions League final with two different teams, after Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen) and Edwin van der Sar (Man Utd and Ajax).
- Thiago Silva is the first Brazilian to start a European Cup/Champions League final as captain.