Throwing themselves into every duel
Wed, 14/04/21, 02:00
Boateng and Hernandez with world class performances in Paris
Bayern faced a tough task in the quarterfinal second leg in Paris. They needed goals to make up for the 3-2 defeat in the first leg, but they couldn't concede any at the back either. Lucas Hernández and Jérôme Boateng took this notion and ran with it. The two centre-backs shone with strong positional play, good anticipation, and crunching tackles. In the end, the 1-0 victory against an outstanding Parisian attack saw Bayern keep a clean sheet.
"Jérôme and Lucas played well" said Hansi Flick, praising his central defence. Hernández's performance was in doubt for a long time after he had to pull out early in the first leg with a bruised rib. But he was ready when needed. "Lucas had a few issues, but he battled through it. Mentality-wise, it was outstanding how he went into the game. What he brought to the team was excellent," said his coach enthusiastically.
Impressive 50/50s success rate
Time and time again, the 2018 World Cup winner managed to get a foot between the opponent and the ball and several times was able to take the ball off Neymar & co. at the last moment. More than 71% of 50/50s won is a strong percentage for a central defender. His sidekick, the 2014 World Cup winner, even managed to top this figure, winning an outstanding 83% of all his duels in the game.
"Of course, with such fast strikers, they're always there ready to create chances," Flick said, explaining why PSG still had chances in the game. In those instances, however, Hernández and Boateng could rely on the other World Cup winner at the back. Manuel Neuer made strong saves to support the valiant defensive unit that gave everything to keep up FCB's dreams of reaching the semifinals. Unfortunately, however, the Bavarians were only able to solve part of their difficult task and the clean sheet ultimately did not prove enough to go through to the next round.
Led by Hernández and Boateng, Bayern produced a defiant performance in Paris: