Bayern Munich have been crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time after beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the Champions League final.
The Bavarian giants came into the game as overwhelming favourites, and Kingsley Coman’s strike on the hour was enough to down their Ligue 1 adversaries in an enthralling contest in Lisbon.
Success for Bayern lifts them into joint third place in the list of all-time Champions League crowns, adding to their previous five successes in Europe’s premier club competition. The win is their first triumph in the competition for seven years – when they beat Borussia Dortmund at Wembley – and represents their third coronation in the 21st century.
Victory also rounds off another season of unprecedented success for Bayern – who won an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title during 2019/20, as well as lifting a 20th DFB-Pokal title – and concludes a perfect winning record in this season’s Champions League – the first time that’s ever been accomplished. Die Roten netted 43 goals in 11 games, handsomely destroying Chelsea and Barcelona en-route to the final.
As for the game itself, both sides were guilty of displaying nerves early on and struggled to get into the rhythmical strides that we’ve seen throughout the knockout stages.
Manuel Neuer was on hand to deny Neymar and Mbappé in a first half that began to come to the boil as half-time approached, while Keylor Navas – and more importantly, his post – was there to deny Bayern goal-machine Robert Lewandowski, who had netted 55 times during the longest of campaigns prior to kick-off.
Temperatures rose as the second half got underway – with both sides flying into tackles and picking up yellow cards – before the deadlock was broken on the hour mark as Bayern cut PSG’s defence to ribbons with a wonderfully crafted move.
Joshua Kimmich’s release of Serge Gnabry down the right hand side stretched Thomas Tuchel’s defence, and when the ball was played back to him, the versatile German curled a perfectly weighted cross to the back post where Coman – who was allowed to leave PSG in 2016 after failing to break through from the club’s academy – was on hand to steer a confident header past the outstretched hand of Navas.
The goal put Bayern firmly in the ascendancy, and were it not for a fantastic clearance from Prisnel Kimbembe moments later, Lewandowski would almost certainly have doubled Bayern’s lead after Coman flashed a dangerous ball across the six-yard box after getting the better of Thilo Kehrer.
Coman and Gnabry’s withdrawals 25 minutes from time seemed to disrupt Bayern’s flow, and PSG arguably could have had a penalty when Mbappé was felled in the penalty area by Kimmich. Referee Daniele Orsato was unmoved, however, with VAR also deciding that the contact between the pair didn’t constitute a clear and obvious error by the official.
But for all their endeavour and running, Paris Saint-Germain were lacking that killer touch throughout the contest and often their final ball was lacking any real quality. Neymar, Mbappé and Di Maria were all surprisingly flat on the night, perhaps demonstrating the first signs of fatigue from playing such high pressure contests over the space of two short weeks.
They had one final chance in stoppage time, but Neymar’s scuffed effort evaded the outstretched leg of substitute Eric Choupo-Moting – symbolic of how things panned out for PSG on the night.
Bayern, meanwhile, were not at their supreme best, but did what they needed to do – wrapping up a truly memorable campaign for manager Hansi Flick, who finishes his first season in charge with 32 wins out of a possible 35 – and three trophies to boot.