Kingsley Coman came back to haunt Paris St Germain again as he earned Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.
Born in Paris and raised at PSG, Coman scored the only goal when Bayern beat the French side in the 2020 Champions League final and he was again the sole scorer as the German champions put one foot into the quarter-finals.
PSG, who have now lost five games in all competitions in 2023, held firm in the opening half but were eventually subdued and failed to fight back despite finishing the game with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi all on the pitch.
Christophe Galtier’s side now face the prospect of a second elimination in a row in the last 16 on March 8 in Munich, although Mbappe’s high-octane display as a second-half substitute will have given them hope.
“We played really well in the first 25 minutes and the best team on the night won. It’s an important victory but there’s a second leg coming,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said.
“We were dominant and aggressive in the beginning. Then they started to find some depth when Mbappe came on.”
“We had a tough hour against a team who enjoyed possession and pressed high,” said Galtier. “Conceding that goal before Kylian came on was a pity but they deserved to score.”
Mbappe returns from injury
The stadium came to the boil when Mbappe replaced Carlos Soler, raising hopes that the France forward would bail out PSG on his comeback from a two-week injury layoff.
Before that, Eric Choupo-Moting had come close to doubling the tally for Bayern on two occasions, before Gianluigi Donnarumma fully stretched to parry Benjamin Pavard’s header in the 64th.
Mbappe had little to offer until the 74th, when he was denied from close range by Yann Sommer and had a goal ruled out for offside.
He found the back of the net again seven minutes from time but again was denied the equaliser for an offside position.
With Mbappe initially on the bench but Messi and Marco Verratti back in the starting line-up following injuries, the 16-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery, on the right wing of a 4-4-2 designed to strengthen the midfield, became the youngest player to start a Champions League knockout game.
PSG took the first punches but threatened on the break in an intense, yet uneventful, first half, and simply waited for some Neymar or Messi magic.
Bayern were far from impressive either, with their only clear chance coming in the 43rd minute when Joshua Kimmich’s 20-metre attempt was blocked by Donnarumma.
Bayern scored eight minutes into the second half when Coman latched on to a cross from Alphonso Davies, giving the visitors a deserved advantage.
They held on, despite losing Pavard to a red card in stoppage time, to hand PSG their first defeat in the competition this season.