Paris Saint-Germain suffered frustration in their first ever Champions League final as Bayern Munich claimed their sixth European crown.about:blankabout:blank
The experience of the German giants paid off as they took their big chance in an end-to-end contest played at a frantic pace in Lisbon.
PSG superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar failed to make their mark as the impressive Kingsley Coman justified his selection and nodded in the winner in the second half.
Hansi Flick’s side grew in confidence after taking the lead whilst Thomas Tuchel’s men became increasingly frustrated and could not work their way back into the game.
PSG settled quicker and crafted the first chance in the 19th minute, but Manuel Neuer crucially blocked Neymar’s left-footed effort.
Perhaps jolted into life by that scare, Bayern went even closer soon after as Lewandowski swivelled in the area and hit the left-hand post, but still PSG looked brighter.
Jerome Boateng’s forced withdrawal through injury made life tougher for Bayern, though Lewandowski again went close just past the half-hour mark when his close-range header forced Keylor Navas into action.
Neuer then had to be alert at the other end on the stroke of half-time, saving Mbappe’s tame attempt after a defensive mix-up.
Although the second half began as a tighter contest, Bayern produced their best move of the match just before the hour and it brought the crucial goal.
Lewandowski laid Serge Gnabry’s cross back to Kimmich just outside the area and his inviting delivery to the back post was headed home by Coman.
PSG had to mount a response and almost levelled when Neuer saved from Marquinhos, while Kimmich’s apparent trip on Mbappe in the Bayern area went unpunished a few moments later.
Neymar then curled just wide – with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting almost getting a crucial touch on it – in stoppage time, but Bayern hung on as PSG fell short.
What does it mean? All-conquering Bayern prolong PSG’s quest for Holy Grail
Ever since PSG’s change of ownership in 2011 took their ambitions to the next level, the Champions League has been their ultimate goal. They are a team that was put together with the sole purpose of becoming European champions.
But, while they have at least reached the final hurdle this time, once again they have ultimately failed, though they had their moments here and will feel hard done by.
As for Bayern, the German champions may not have produced the devastating performance neutrals were hoping for, but they out-scrapped PSG in the end, capping a remarkable achievement for Flick.
Return of the King
A former PSG youth player, Coman left the club as a teenager convinced he would find a better route to first-team football elsewhere. He has gone on to enjoy remarkable success and he was impressive here, his winning goal just the tip of the iceberg.
After Flick handed him a start over Ivan Perisic, he terrorised Thilo Kehrer and had the last laugh against his old club.
Di Maria fades into the background
A couple of brief flashes aside, it was a disappointing outing for Di Maria on the biggest stage. He failed to create a single chance and his solitary shot was a woeful attempt.