Bayern pleased with "positive signs"
The press boxes were overflowing, the atmosphere in the stands was wild, the game was a real treat: Without question, FC Bayern’s match against Paris Saint-Germain was more than a normal Champions League group game. “We need to show that we’re one of the best teams in Europe,” demanded Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before the match – and the Bavarians delivered this perfectly with a deserved 3-1 win.
“In today’s game we emphasised the fact we’re not just competitive, but we’re a strong team and have ambitions,” said a pleased Jupp Heynckes after a game in which his Bayern were “intelligent and tactically very good.” The boss then added, “If you don’t operate together in defence and aren’t compact in the middle you can’t win a game like this. Today we did that superbly.”
“The Bayern everyone knows”
In the first half especially, the defence allowed the opposition very little in the way of chances, keeping the space tight anc countering quickly. “We didn’t want to run forward blindly. It was important to maintain our formation at the back,” explained Sebastian Rudy about the strategy. And up top FCB were clinical: With his 17th goal in the last 16 Champions League games Robert Lewandowski got the Allianz Arena rocking in the eighth minute.
“That was the Bayern everyone knows,” said a delighted Sven Ulreich who was always there when called upon, including the first big PSG chance from Brazilian superstar Neymar in the 34th minute. “Obviously we’re happy to have played like we did,” added the keeper, who emphasised the thoughts of the team: “As a team, it was a really good all-round performance." Not least thanks to his French teammate: Corentin Tolisso scored with a fine header past Alphonse Areola in the 37th minute to make it 2-0 at the break.
No wishes for last-16 opponents
“We had something to prove after the collapse in Paris,” remarked Rudy, who like has teammates, “believed a big victory was possible, especially when it was 2-0. After PSG made it 2-1 it looked less likely.” The Parisians played better in the second half and Mbappe’s 50th-minute goal put the men from Munich under pressure. However, in the 69th minute Tolisso’s second goal after good play from fellow Frenchman Kingsley Coman produced the eventual final score. “The win was a good sign for us,” added Rudy.
In the battle for top spot in Group B, the burden of the 3-0 loss in Paris was too much but FCB aren’t too disheartened with second place. “If you look at who’s in first and second place it doesn’t matter. There are no easy opponents in the last 16,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. “I don’t think it’s too bad to be second,” Sebastian Rudy. “Lots of good teams are second in the other groups.” And Ulreich knows, “We can’t request anyone.”