Things are getting better for Bayern Munich with each passing week. After a slow start to 2023, the Bavarian club is getting back to their best. They made it four wins in a row across all competitions on Tuesday. The victory on Tuesday was sweet as it came against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Kingsley Coman scored early in the second half on Tuesday to help Die Roten clinch a 1-0 win against PSG in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. Before turning our attention to the weekend’s game against Borussia Monchengladbach, let us look at key takeaways from Paris.
Julian Nagelsmann successfully stifles Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr
Paris Saint-Germain was not able to start the game with Kylian Mbappe since he was not fit to play 90 minutes. The French club still had Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi in the starting lineup. The South American duo is capable of causing havoc in the final third, but Julian Nagelsmann managed to stifle them for most of the 90 minutes.
Nagelsmann decided to use a back three to give Yann Sommer maximum protection. He also decided to drop Thomas Muller to solidify the midfield by using Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the center of the park. Messi and Neymar found little space in the center of the pitch to create chances for their teammates. The German coach will be pleased with the way his team handled Messi and Neymar on Tuesday, but he will have to come up with an even better plan in March when Mbappe will be fit enough to play the entire 90 minutes.
Benjamin Pavard will be missed badly in the second leg
The game against PSG presented another opportunity for Benjamin Pavard to play in his favoured position. The French defender started on the right side of the back three, while Joao Cancelo operated in the wing-back role on the same side. Pavard’s performance at Parc des Princes showed why he is confident of having a good long-term future in the center-back position.
Pavard was very good on the ball, completing 94% of the passes he attempted on the night. He also made crucial blocks to deny clear-cut goalscoring opportunities. The former Stuttgart defender also came close to scoring the second goal for Bayern. The French defender was unfortunate to get the second yellow late in the game, but it was a very solid performance from him in his favoured position. Pavard will be sorely missed in the second leg if Nagelsmann decides to stick with a three-man defense. (Stats courtesy: FotMob)
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Kingsley Coman continues to excel in wing-back role
Kingsley Coman once again started in the wing-back role on Tuesday. The French winger was playing on the left flank in the first half. He was Die Roten’s best player on the pitch during the first half. Coman caused problems for Achraf Hakimi and consistently delivered dangerous crosses in the box.
The French international helped in stretching PSG by providing width throughout the first half. He was equally better in the second half when Nagelsmann moved him to the right flank. Coman showed great technique to volley the cross from Alphonso Davies to give Die Roten much needed advantage in the tie. The 26-year-old has excelled in the wing-back role under Nagelsmann. The German coach will be hoping that Coman’s injury is not serious since he is becoming a vital player for him in this system.