Kingsley Coman was the player that, for all their wealth, Paris St Germain could not keep. Fearing for his pathway as the club recruited increasingly stellar talents, he ran down his contract, and left. And last night that decision came back to haunt them, in the worst way imaginable.
It was Coman who denied his former club their first Champions League trophy, Coman who murdered that dream for another year, who outshone Neymar and Kylian Mbappe with the sweetest, simplest of headers. Coman found the net for Bayern Munich. And that was all it took.
This was not, after all, the all-action thriller many had imagined. It was a decent game, but hardly the finest exhibit of the art of goalscoring. Robert Lewandowski missed a few, Mbappe was tame, Neymar was a creative force but did nothing to define the match, or his status as the world’s most expensive footballer.
Bayern Munich have won the Champions League after a Kingsley Coman header downed Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon
Coman powered an emphatic header beyond Keylor Navas to give the Germans a crucial lead after just under an hour
Leon Goretzka picked out the French winger with a perfect clipped cross and the attacker made no mistake to bury home
Coman wheels away in celebration as the Germans landed a heavy blow in the mammoth showdown on Sunday evening
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago rejoices as Hans Dieter-Flick’s side took the lead in the Champions League final
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe cut dejected figures as the French champions go a goal behind to their German rivals
The superstar pairing were unable to deliver the elusive Champions League title for the Ligue 1 champions in Lisbon
Paris Saint-Germain: Navas; Kehrer, Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat (Kurzawa 80); Marquinhos, Paredes (Verratti 65), Herrera (Draxler 72); Di Maria (Choupo-Moting 80), Mbappe, Neymar
Subs not used: Bakker, Bulka, Dagba, Diallo, Gueye, Icardi, Rico, Sarabia
Bookings: Paredes, Neymar, Silva, Kurzawa
Manager: Thomas Tuchel
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Kimmich, Alaba, Boateng (Sule 25), Davies; Goretzka, Thiago (Tolisso 86); Coman (Coutinho 68), Gnabry (Perisic 68), Muller; Lewandowski
Subs not used: Cuisance, Hernandez, Hoffmann, Martinez, Odriozola, Pavard, Ulrich, Zirkzee
Goals: Coman (59)
Bookings: Davies, Gnabry, Sule
Manager: Hans-Dieter Flick
Referee: Daniele Orsato
Coman, by contrast, had one chance, took it, and delivered Munich a clean sweep of titles for 2019-20. Bundesliga, German Cup, Champion League. Everything they entered, they won. It was a triumph, too, for coach Hansi Flick, who took an ailing team, turned them into a winning machine, and was vindicated in his decision-making to the very last day. Ivan Perisic has been excellent for Munich in this UEFA mini-tournament. For the final, Flick dropped him and replaced him with Coman. It was a bold move. It will not be recalled as little short of inspired.
The goal that secured sixth Champions League or European Cup trophy came in the 59th minute. Good football in the build-up from Bayern, who had the best of the possession even if PSG should perhaps have done more with their chances. The cross from the right, though, from Joshua Kimmich was perfection, struck to the far post and falling perfectly for Coman who had crept in behind full-back Thilo Kehrer. It still needed converting, mind, and Coman’s soft little header was masterful. He steered it past PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas, into the far corner. Flick’s reputation with Germany was as a set-piece specialist and one wonders how much time his players spend on the training field, honing their technique. It certainly looked to have paid off. Coman is a lovely, skilful, player, but any old-fashioned centre-forward would have been proud of that header.
Credit also, to Bayern Munich, back line, with so many predicting a rude awakening against PSG’s forwards. The French have scored in their last 34 Champions League games, equalling a record set by Real Madrid between 2011 and 2014, but could find no way through here. Even once Munich had the lead, PSG did not look like scoring. Munich were fitter, stronger and dictated the pace of the game, steering it to conclusion. PSG, having spent so much money trying to win this trophy, grew increasingly rattled and irritable. Only in injury time when Neymar shot across the face of goal was their a moment when Munich looked threatened.
They have long been acclaimed as the best in Europe this season but this win was accomplished more than overwhelming. As for the deluge of goals, how often do we see that in a game of this magnitude. Teams do not get here by being weak or soft. Eight past Barcelona, three past Lyon and then a gutsy single goal win to clinch the final. That’s how the best team in Europe does it.
Robert Lewandowski attempts to double the Bundesliga champion’s lead but is unable to strike beyond Keylor Navas
PSG captain Thiago Silva fouls the Poland international as he bears down on the French defence in the latter stages
Mbappe takes on Alphonso Davies as the two youngsters do battle with the PSG star looking to rouse a comeback
PSG had the better of the first half as Mbappe wasted a glorious opportunity to put the French side ahead with a tame effort
Kylian Mbappe sees an effort at goal blocked by Leon Goretzka as the French champions attempted to open the scoring
PSG and Brazil star Neymar fires at goal but is unable to break the deadlock in a nip-and-tuck opening 45 minutes in Lisbon
As so often happens in finals, when everybody predicts goals galore, two rather resilient, and no doubt rather insulted, set of defences turned up. So the first half here at Estadio da Luz brought plenty of attacking impetus but nothing that really frightened the horses, despite the wonderful talents on display.
Robert Lewandowski, chasing Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for goalscoring in a Champions League season, had two good chances in front of goal, but could not convert. Neymar made a pair of wonderful breaks through the heart of Bayern Munich’s midfield, but nothing came of them, save an aggravation of the muscle injury that had threatened Jerome Boateng’s participation in the game. As for Kylian Mbappe, he should have done better. He got into the best positions, but seemed almost reluctant to take advantage. The biggest stages can intimidate even the greatest players and while this famous arena was largely empty of sound and fury, there was little doubt what was at stake with the prize so conspiculously positioned.
And it was entirely without noise, either. Both clubs were allowed 25 additional guests for the final, as well as squad players, backroom staff, owners and directors, and Munich’s at least were in good voice. No match for the cacophony of the Allianz Arena, obviously, but not a bad attempt for a bunch of suits. They even had a crack at singing.
Robert Lewandowski puffs out his cheeks as he sees an effort comfortably saved by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas
Poland international Lewandowski goes close to scoring but his header is directed straight at the PSG goalkeeper
Manuel Neuer tips an Angel di Maria effort over his crossbar as PSG put the pressure on the Bundesliga champions
The Argentine puts his hands to his head as he sees his effort parried by the Bayern Munich captain and World Cup winner
Robert Lewandowski sets his sights on goal but is unable to find the back of the net for the Germans in Lisbon on Sunday
Not that there was much to sing about in the first 20 minutes for Bayern. They had decent position but little cutting edge, and the early chances fell to Paris St Germain. In the 14th minute, Julian Bernat had a cross cut back from the left which fell to Mbappe, the first of several opportunities that were crowned with an underwhelming finish. This one was simply blocked.
Then, four minutes later, Neymar came down the same flank forcing a double save from Manuel Neuer. The first blocked his shot, the second cut out his attempt to clip the loose ball back to another blue shirt. The idea that Munich were a cut above every other team in Europe was quickly being exposed as fantasy. They’re good; they’re not so good that nobody can live with them.
Certainly, PSG are an hugely competent team and in the 23 rd minute they forced the best chance of the half with its best move. Neymar was the architect sprinting through the middle, defenders and sentries in his wake, not least Boateng who was a pre-match doubt with a muscle injury. Neymar released the ball to Angel Di Maria, who played a lovely one-two with Ander Herrera, before firing a shot that flew narrowly over the bar. Boateng fell to the floor, and played no further part in the game, replaced by Niklas Sule. It was difficult for Bayern at the back. Soon after Alphonso Davies was booked for a foul on Thilo Kehrer, putting him in jeopardy for the remaining hour, at least. Serge Gnabry was booked in the second-half for a nasty little challenge on Neymar, proving he may have picked up something from Tony Pulis after all. Leandro Paredes of PSG also went into the book for the pushing and shoving it inspired.
Di Maria asks for a free kick as Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka look to get the ball moving during the showpiece finale
Gnabry and Paredes square up to one another after the German fouled Neymar. Both players were booked for the altercation
Players from both teams interject to separate the two players during a fierce moment in the Champions League final
Paris Saint-Germain defender Thilo Kehrer shrugs off Kingsley Coman to regain possession for the French outfit
Bayern Munich attacker Serge Gnabry evades the challenge of Leandro Paredes as the Germans pushed forward
Another decent chance went awry in the minute before half-time when shoddiness in the Munich defence set up Herrera, feeding the ball to Mbappe. He should have shot but gave it back to Herrera, who returned the favour, Mbappe then hitting a very tame on straight at Neuer. Poor.
At the other end, Lewandowski was faring little better. In the 22nd minute, he failed to get a proper connection on a cross from Davies, and although the ball hit a post, it was bobbling and scruffy, causing goalkeeper Keylor Navas as more difficulties because of that than its aim. Then, after 31 minutes a flick from Leon Goretzka, found Lewandowski again, his header producing an excellent reflex save from Navas, before gathering at the second attempt.
Paredes releases the ball as former Arsenal youngster Gnabry pressures the Argentine in the opening stages of the game
Coman is surrounded by Marquinhos, Ander Herrera and Kehrer as the Bayern Munich winger looked to wriggle free
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe holds off Joshua Kimmich at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Sunday evening
Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boetang was forced to make an early exit and was replaced by Nicolas Sule
Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva goes down with a knock in his final appearance for the Ligue 1 champions
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel looks away in anguish as his side fell at the final hurdle in heartbreaking fashion in Lisbon
Bayern Munich manager Hans-Dieter Flick looks on intently as his side looked to defend their lead in the second half