Bayern Munich has reached the proverbial mountain top of Europe, winning the 2020 UEFA Champions League final over Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, 1-0. The German giants defeated their French foes in a low-scoring game. But one goal is all you need in a final.
The difference was a Kingsley Coman header in the 59th minute. His domination down the left side was creeping up on PSG all night, and he finally got a chance when Joshua Kimmich whipped in beauty to the unmarked former Parisian, who headed the ball past Keylor Navas.
For Bayern, the win ends a drought of seven years since they last lifted the UCL trophy, and it’s the sixth European title in their club’s history. Perhaps even more notably, they won every match in their Champions League campaign, becoming the first club to ever do so in competition history. For PSG, it’s a disappointing end after a game of wasted chances. But there are still positives to take away from an impressive campaign that took the French side to the Champions League final for the first time in club history.
Kingsley Coman becomes the hero
Of course, we start with the winning goal here. A former member of PSG’s junior squad, Kingsley Coman may have taken an unconventional method to head in Kimmich’s cross into the box — closing your eyes so early isn’t exactly what’s taught — but what matters is ultimately the result that came of it. No one could reach the ball, and it ended up being all Bayern needed to win.
Neuer prevents an early PSG lead
Sure, PSG had their chances to score in the first half of this match, and they squandered them all. But a good amount of credit should go to Neuer, whose goalkeeping was a big reason why the Parisians were kept at bay. Case in point, this incredible heel save from the German keeper, that stopped Neymar from breaking the deadlock.
Neuer’s legs come big again
The German keeper was called upon again in the second half when another great opportunity presented itself to PSG. Marquinhos took a great back pass from Angel Di Maria and had an open chance at goal that perhaps could have been more clinical, but his shot was still good enough to require another great save from the legs of Neuer. It shows that the team’s last line of defense stood tall when it needed to.
Let’s rate some of the notable performances on the day, with one being the worst and 10 being perfection:
Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich
An absolutely stunning save on Neymar early. Confident as can be and made numerous key saves. A hero. RATING: 9
Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich
So, so good. He is so versatile and does everything well. Was a leader at the back to keep the backline organized and had a great assist to Coman. RATING: 9
Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain
Had a golden chance early but was denied by Neuer. Other than that, had very little impact on the game. Bayern’s defense was ready. RATING: 5
Bayern’s plan worked
This game went exactly how Bayern wanted. They limited PSG’s attack by dominating possession, their pressure in the final third resulted in PSG taking a good while to get into the game, and the tackling when it mattered most was superb. Joshua Kimmich put forth a superstar showing, highlighted by an assist and the key tackle on Kylian Mbappe in the second half. Defensively, when Neymar gets just one good look at goal, it’s been a good day.
Neymar tried to do too much, too often
Hard effort from a team’s star player is obviously a difficult thing to criticize, but part of the talent that the world’s best always have is the ability to make proper decisions at the right time. The Brazilian winger played like he did in the second half against Atalanta, where he tried to win the game on his own. It worked to a certain extent against the Italians, but against this German side, it led to a lot of sloppy play and times when he fired the ball instead of making the extra pass. Yes, the defending was stout, but Neymar did not help things with his decision to control too much of the match. It’s an unfortunate reality because he gave so much on the pitch, and he was understandably broken up about the loss after the fact.
Bayern Munich 1, PSG 0 (FINAL)
⚽Bayern: Coman (59′)