Bayern ready for PSG after passing Stuttgart test
FC Bayern fans could all relate to Thomas Müller's take on the 2-1 win at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday. "It's a good feeling when you see Bayern top of the table at the end of the weekend," he enthused after the game.
Having passed the Stuttgart test, Bayern can now look forward to Wednesday's decisive Champions League Round of 16 second leg at home to Paris Saint-Germain (kick-off: 21:00 CET) with renewed confidence.
Davies and Musiala shine
Although Julian Nagelsmann would have liked his team to maintain focus levels right until the final whistle, it was a pretty dynamic performance that underlined what good shape the Bayern players are in ahead of the PSG game.
Alphonso Davies impressed with his pace and craft on the left-hand side, while Matthijs de Ligt served up a goal to go with his increasingly assured performances at the heart of the defence. "He's come on leaps and bounds," Nagelsmann said of the Dutch centre-back.
Jamal Musiala is no stranger to receiving praise from all quarters, but his dribbling and sensational assist for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to make it 2-0 rammed home just how invaluable the 20-year-old is to the Bayern cause. As for the centre of midfield, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka complimented each other perfectly.
Strength in depth
Choupo is Bayern's main man in attack, and the experienced Müller is as reliable as they come. The fact star attackers Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Sadio Mané were all used as second-half substitutes is testament to the depth of Nagelsmann's squad. Could Bayern - with a 1-0 advantage in the tie - be in any better shape going into the second leg?
There are even positives to be taken from Bayern's late wobble in Stuttgart, after the hosts went within a whisker of equalising. "It was another good test for us," explained Müller. "It'll probably be even tighter on Wednesday."
A deserved win in Stuttgart
Not that Bayern didn't have chances to extend their lead, before Stuttgart reduced the arrears. "At 2-0 up, we failed to make the most of three or four good counter-attacks," Nagelsmann admitted. "When you concede so late the opponent throws everything at you in attack. We deserved to win in the end, though, because we were the better team."
Needless to say, Nagelsmann knows exactly what is required of his team against PSG. "On Wednesday, we have an extremely important game," he warned. "When we combine our quality and intensity, we're one of the best in Europe and very difficult to beat. We're in a slightly better position, but not one where we can afford to sit back."
The players are on the same wavelength. "Our chances of progressing are good, but we only have a one-goal lead. But if we give our all as a team, I'm more optimistic," commented Choupo-Moting.
For now, it's about recuperating, training and dotting the i's and crossing the t's. The tension and excitement ahead of Bayern's latest Champions League blockbuster is palpable.
Read the match report below: