Bayern Munich vs PSG
A repeat of last year’s UEFA Champions League final was always going to be a salivating treat and it sure was. Former PSG striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting hit the bar from a corner in the second minute. Great start but it was about to go south! After some good interplay with Angel Di Maria, Neymar was driving at the usual and criminally porous Bayern defense. Niklas Sule kept retreating and this gave Neymar enough space to slip in Kylian Mbappe. The French wonderkid smashed the ball hard and it went through Manuel Neuer who should have done better. 0-1. PSG led.
Bayern upped their tempo, playing at that freakish speed they have used to overwhelm competitors but they lacked the cutting edge. It was obvious why. With hitman Robert Lewandowski out with an injury, Bayern spurned chances. Goretzka forced Keylor Navas to make a point-blank save from another Kimmich corner. Navas also had to prevent a powerful shot from Benjamin Pavard. The Costa Rican goalkeeper was having another exceptional night under European lights.
In the 27th minute, PSG had a corner but it was cleared. But as the Bayern team stepped out of their defensive shape to press, Neymar lofted the ball behind, and PSG captain Marquinhos read it. He controlled the ball and put it past Neuer to make it 0-2. Barely 3 minutes after scoring, Marquinhos was substituted after picking up a knock. Ander Herrera came on as Danilo Pereira dropped back into defense. Leon Goretzka picked up a knock too and was replaced by Alphonso Davies as David Alaba moved into midfield. Not long after, Bayern pulled one back. Choupo-Moting directed a perfect Benjamin Pavard cross beyond Navas. 1-2. Niklas Sule picked up a knock too and had to leave for the departing Jerome Boateng. Half-time.
Mitchel Bakker came in for Abdou Diallo. Kingsley Coman, revitalized since his UEFA Champions League final goal against his academy club, was tearing fellow Frenchman Pavard a new one. He was ragdolling him with skills, speed, and unpredictability. Pavard got into a great position to score but Navas denied him with a brilliant low stop. Bayern had failed to convert crucial chances but then Thomas Muller struck. The Raumdeuter headed a Joshua Kimmich free-kick into the net and celebrated in true Muller style after bringing the scores level. 2-2. Only for a few minutes though as Mbappe lashed home his second and a third for PSG. 2-3. It ended that way. Advantage PSG as they take the lead and 3 away goals to Paris.
FC Porto vs Chelsea
Chelsea gobbled all the possession in the first 10 minutes with Thomas Tuchel’s side probing and searching for the opener. Then Porto began to grow into the game and Chelsea began to wilt. Mateus Uribe caught a volley well and Edouard Mendy could only watch it ripple the top of his net. Moussa Marega was making himself a nuisance for the Chelsea defense and Nigerian left-back Zaidu Sanusi was always available as an outlet. Zaidu skied a great chance to score for Porto when Pepe kept a corner alive for him. Against the run of play, Chelsea took the lead. If you have been watching Mason Mount then you’d know he has a dangerous turn in him but Porto didn’t know that. Jorginho played him in and he turned away from the slack Zaidu to fire past Augustin Marchesin.
Mount then set up Timo Werner with a lovely cross but the German could only head over. Sergio Conceicao was irritated. His side went in 0-1 down at the break despite playing better at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Seville.
Chancel Mbemba put in a terrific ball behind the Chelsea defense as Moussa Marega got in behind Antonio Rudiger. Edouard Mendy made a good save to keep Chelsea in the lead. Luis Diaz fired one just wide of Mendy’s left on 56 as they continued to probe the London side. Christian Pulisic was on for the hapless Werner and crashed a shot onto the bar before Ben Chilwell settled the contest. Mateo Kovacic tried to direct a pass behind but Jesus Corona was in the right position, however, his bad control allowed Chilwell to latch onto the ball, go past Marche and finish into an empty net. 0-2. Advantage Chelsea when they come back to Seville for the second leg next week.