Champions League round-up: thriller at the Allianz Arena

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Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea were victorious on the night.

One of the best Champions League games in recent years took place tonight at the Allianz Arena where a resilient Paris Saint-Germain managed to defeat current holders Bayern Munich 3-2 despite being on the back foot for much of the game.

PSG hit the front with just 3 minutes on the clock through who else but Kylian Mbappe. He was played through by another superstar in Neymar and left with plenty of space to get his shot off just outside the 6-yard box. That’s just what he did, firing low into the back of the net to put his team 1-0 ahead. Manuel Neuer, normally so reliable in goals for Bayern Munich, was partly at fault for the goal. He dived early towards the far post thinking that’s where Mbappe was aiming. Instead, Mbappe’s effort went straight down the middle of the goal and through Neuer’s legs as he dived to his right.

Bayern had a number of opportunities afterwards, including clear cut chances for both Leon Goretzka and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting who both failed to make it count, the former’s effort going straight at the ‘keeper and the latter shooting wide.

Their missed opportunities would come back to haunt them as Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead in the 28th minute. Neymar was heavily involved once again, lifting a beautiful ball into the box and catching out the Bayern Munich defence as they attempted to advance up the pitch. Marquinhos was alert to Neymar’s creativity and made a perfectly timed run into the box, took the ball down expertly and finishing with aplomb past Manuel Neuer to make it 2-0.

Bayern Munich were knocking at the door for much of the match and were perhaps slightly unfortunate to be down 2-0. They eventually made their pressure count, though, as they pulled one back in the 37th minute. Benjamin Pavard swung a great cross into the penalty area and Choupo-Moting – replacing the injured Robert Lewandowski – got his head to the ball and diverted his effort past Keylor Navas into the net.

The half-time whistle sounded with Bayern Munich behind 2-1 despite controlling much of the contest. The difference between the two teams being the clinical edge as PSG took the few chances they had.

After such an exhilarating first half, few would have expected the second half to reach the same intensity. However, it proved to be just as entertaining, if not more.

PSG had the first big chance of the half just minutes after it commenced. Mbappe managed to steal the ball off Leroy Sane which led to the ball ending up at Neymar’s feet. The Brazilian shot at goal but Manuel Neuer produced a brilliant save, atoning for his earlier mistake. Di Maria got a shot off on the rebound but Alphonso Davies cleared off the line.

Bayern Munich begun to dominate again after that opportunity and managed to grab their equaliser in the 60th minute. Kimmich, who was quietly controlling the game to that point, lofted a great ball into the box which was met by the head of Thomas Muller and directed into the bottom left corner. 2-2.

Again, Bayern were completely controlling the game. However, they failed to deal with PSG’s counter attacks time and time again. One man that you don’t want running at you on the counter is Kylian Mbappe, but that’s exactly what he did in the 67th minute, charging at the Bayern defence before cutting inside and finishing precisely at the near post to make it 3-2.

The pace of the game slightly slowed down afterwards but Bayern still managed to create a handful of half chances before the full-time whistle. But, as was the story of the night, they failed to capitalise on those chances.

The match finished 3-2 to PSG who came away with a win and 3 vital away goals.

Throughout the 90, Bayern managed 31 shots to PSG’s 6. However, the result is the only thing that matters and Pochettino will be presumably be very happy with the night’s proceedings.

In the other match tonight, Chelsea took on Porto who defeated Juventus over two legs in the last round to book their place in the quarter-finals.

They were unable to overcome Chelsea on the night, though.

Mason Mount scored the first goal in the 32nd minute, turning fantastically before driving his shot low towards the far post and past the Porto ‘keeper.

Ben Chilwell wrapped up the victory in the 85th minute with an equally impressive goal. He charged down the left flank, stole the ball from the Porto defender before advancing towards goal, taking it around the ‘keeper and slotting easily into the net.

The two away goals on the night could prove crucial in the return tie. Porto must score at least 3 goals to guarantee automatic qualification to the semi-finals.

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