2-0 Victory Over PSG Could Be A Season Defining Moment

Bayern Munich has convincingly beaten Paris Saint-Germain. The German record champions won the game 2-0 thanks to goals by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (61’) and Serge Gnabry (89’). And you could tell it was a potentially season-defining moment for Julian Nagelsmann and his staff.

The Champions League is, after all, the holy grail for Bayern Munich this season. And their performances this year underline it. The Rekordmeister has won all eight games this season, beating the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan, and PSG twice without conceding. In fact, the only club that did manage to score against Bayern this season has been tiny Viktoria Plzen from the Czech Republic.

It is an astonishing record when contrasted to the Bundesliga, where Bayern has at times shown deficiencies and where they are deeply entrenched in a title race with Borussia Dortmund. The two German giants are currently even on points at the top of the table.

Dortmund was, of course, eliminated yesterday by Chelsea. That could be an advantage for the Black and Yellows in the long run as they will now entirely focus on the Bundesliga. Because for Bayern, there is no doubt that they now want to go all the way in the Champions League.

“If we combine maximum desire and emotionality together with the quality we have, we can achieve anything,” Nagelsmann said after the game when asked about the possibility of winning the treble this season. “When we combine these things, we are incredibly good and can beat anyone.”

Anyone who has watched Bayern throughout the season will undoubtedly admit that that is correct. But the truth is also that Bayern has been a horse that only jumps as high as it needs to at times.

Against PSG, that barrier was, of course, very high, and Bayern took it without trepidation. Perhaps the most remarkable part of the performance was the convincing fashion in which it took place. Bayern really only made one mistake during the entire game when goalkeeper Yann Sommer attempted to dribble the ball out of his own end and lost the ball to a PSG forward—defender Mathijs de Ligt had to come up with a massive goalline clearance.

“I looked at Stanišić; he was marked—and then all of a sudden, I didn’t have a solution anymore. What Matthijs did was incredible,” Sommer would say about the mistake after the game. “If that had gone wrong, the game would’ve been different.”

From that moment onwards, it was smooth sailing. In fact, Bayern’s young stars Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies dictated the first half. Then the second half, it was the veterans Thomas Müller—he was voted player of the match—and former PSG striker Choupo-Moting that dictated the attack.

“In a game like that, there are always moments when you need to suffer and create a little luck,” Müller said. “We were more controlled in our defending in the second half. We played the better game and ultimately deserved to win.”

The naked stats, in the meantime, paint a different picture. PSG controlled 55% of the possession and made more passes, 556 to 453. But much like Dortmund against Chelsea yesterday, the Parisians did not have the ball in meaningful areas,, and Bayern won the xG 1.50 to 1.14. And most importantly, Bayern completely eliminated PSG stars Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi, who were invisible throughout the 90 minutes.

“In the first half, we didn’t do what we had spoken about before very well,” Nagelsmann said after the game. “There was too much space. We defended better in the second half and were dangerous on the ball. In the end, we deserved to win.”

The win will be big for Nagelsmann as it will give him space to work and prep his team for the upcoming difficult tasks in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. The latter, in particular, will be the big priority this year, which might be the best news for Bundesliga fans hoping for a tight title race this season.

Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/manuelveth/2023/03/08/bayern-munich-2-0-victory-over-psg-could-be-a-season-defining-moment/