Always keep going! Strong showing gives FCB courage going into return leg
It's pointless to think how this Champions League evening would have gone if Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting had converted his first attempt. Less than two minutes were on the clock in the quarterfinal first leg against Paris Saint-Germain when the tall striker's header cracked against the crossbar. It wasn't Bayern's opener - and the visitors soon capitalised via their swift counter-attacking tactics.
Bayern toil, PSG stay ice cold
The goal was the prelude to a real fireworks display of opportunities, but the German record champion were unable to capitalise on enough of them. "We didn't score enough goals and conceded too many. On another day, we score five or six. That's tough to take," said Choupo-Moting, annoyed after the game. The attacker was able to make up for his miss in the opening minutes and overcame PSG keeper Keylor Navas in the 37th minute, but at that point it was only to make the score 2-1 to PSG.
The visitors from Paris had previously shown to be ice-cold in front of goal, and sat deep before taking the lead through what was their only shots on goal of the game for a long time, with Kylian Mbappé (3') and Marquinhos (28') taking PSG's lead to 2-0. However, Hansi Flick's team did not let those setbacks faze them and, after a number of other excellent scoring chances, still managed to equalise after an hour through Thomas Müller (60'). "The team fought for 90 minutes on the pitch, never gave up. Compliments to the team for that," said the Bayern coach, praising the team's fight to catch up.
31-6 shot count shows FCB's dominance
Everything looked as if the Munich team would now pick up a deserved home victory, but the script veered off unexpectedly: in the middle of a wave of Bayern attacks, Mbappé (68') scored again to make it 3-2, the scoreline that the game eventually finished as. "We missed a lot of chances today. We need to score a lot more goals. If it ends 5-3, 6-3, no one complains," Müller concluded. "If we show the killer instinct that we often show, everything would be different. We don't need to have a discussion about the goals we conceded. We play attacking football. Today, we left far too much to be desired," the Bavarian continued.
A look at the match data underscores Müller's evaluation: After 90 minutes, statistics counted an incredible 31-6 shots on goal, 15-1 corners and 64% possession in favour of the home side. And it is precisely these numbers that give Bayern a lot of courage going into the second leg in six days time. "It's not over yet. In a week, we'll have the chance to set the record straight. We played a good game and dominated," explained Choupo-Moting, getting corroborating support from his coach.
Flick remains convinced of progress
"The way we played was impressive," surmised p Flick, who was impressed with his team's fighting spirit. "We have to convert that energy and have it at 100% on Tuesday. We are in good shape and a good frame of mind to turn the game around. We will try everything to get to the semifinals."
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