Bayern huffed and puffed and probably deserved to win this tie, but without star striker Robert Lewandowski, the German side lacked a cutting edge. Lewa’s absence was the main difference between the two 2020 Champions League finalists; that and the brilliance of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, who would give any defence in the world a splitting headache.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s 40th-minute header gave the defending champions hope, but the second half followed a familiar pattern: Bayern probe and press repeatedly and are then undone by Thomas Muller’s lack of pace or Leroy Sane’s terrible decision-making – not only was Lewandowski missed, but the injured Serge Gnabry also, who would have started instead of Sane.
1 – PSG's elimination of Bayern Munich tonight is the first instance in Champions League history of the previous season's losing finalists eliminating the holders in the knockout stages. Revenge. pic.twitter.com/Q5rc6oQLtu
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 13, 2021
The occasional PSG counter-attack scared Bayern’s defence witless throughout, although they held out tonight; Neymar hit the crossbar with a gorgeous curling shot, and Mbappe had a goal ruled out for offside, but that was as close as the hosts came to scoring. In the end, they didn’t need to.
PSG did not bottle it, then. This is a big win for the French club, and a big win for new manager Mauricio Pochettino. They will now face Man City or Borussia Dortmund in the last four.
For Bayern, this is a wake-up call and perhaps the end of an era. Their squad looks thin and the club’s suits appear to have lost faith in manager Hansi Flick. Losing Lewandowski could not have happened at a worse time.
Man of the match: Angel di Maria (PSG)