Super Bayern! The 'We' is key
It was the meeting of two absolute footballing giants in the last 16 of the Champions League. FC Bayern vs. Paris Saint-Germain - the squads are peppered with stars who aim for the stars. But as the chants were ringing out from the stands after the second leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening, it was clear who are the better side this season.
"Super Bayern, super Bayern – hey, hey!" chanted the fans at the top of their voices after the 2-0 win – and the team joined in after the final whistle, dancing arm in arm in front of the south stand. Fans and team - one unit. It was a beautiful picture. It was the picture they all wanted after two top matches.
Now it's confirmed: Mia san quarterfinals!
"The opponents have a brutal quality and it was clear we needed the fans. We played very passionately and performed as a 'We'. That's key against PSG," said coach Julian Nagelsmann.
The key factors for victory
Success was also based on commitment, discipline, determination and the necessary piece of luck or quality. Everyone was willing to support their teammates, to go the extra mile and be there when it mattered. Matthijs de Ligt and his goalline clearancce in the 38th minute provided just one impressive example. It was symptomatic of what made FCB so special: the will to fight and the passion to defend together.
"In a game like this there are always moments where you need luck," emphasised Thomas Müller, adding: "The mentality was right, we fought the tackles and deserved to win." Goalkeeper Yann Sommer thought: "We have a super positive energy on the field. We throw ourselves into everything and love to defend our goal."
If PSG with Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi were dangerous in the first half, Bayern reacted appropriately and completely took charge in the second half.
Choupo continues to be a phenomenon
The goals by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (61') and Serge Gnabry (89') were well-deserved. "In the second half we defended much more patiently. We won the ball well and played much better with the ball. We were clearly better and deserved to win," Nagelsmann declared.
Choupo's marksmanship remains a phenomenon and an asset that will continue to grow. Incidentally, in the Champions League the 33-year-old has scored more often against former club PSG than any other opponent (three times). Overall, it was his fourth UCL goal and 17th competitive goal this season - he has now equalled his personal record from the 2020/21 season.
In terms of assists, Leon Goretzka and João Cancelo are now top of the rankings (4) after their contributions on Wednesday. No other player has set up more goals in the Champions League than those two.
Nevertheless, a goal is a team effort, which was shown by the pressing against Marco Verratti before the opener. Though confident on the ball, the PSG player was put under pressure by Müller and Goretzka. "We knew we could press every now and then. We just nicked it," said Müller, looking back with satisfaction at the goal.
Emotion paired with quality
In PSG, a big obstacle has been cleared on the way to the title - and even if the trophy is still a little far away, there is more and more belief that the quality in the squad meets the highest standards.
"If we pair maximum desire and emotion with the quality that we have, we can achieve anything," declared Nagelsmann, and he must have had the fans' chants in his ears: "Super Bayern, super Bayern – hey, hey!”