Paris preserve the essentials
THE MATCH : PARIS CHASING THE GAME
The Allianz Arena was the place to be on Tuesday as two giants collided. From the start, there was a false alarm as Kylian Mbappé charged clear of David Alaba before seeing Sven Ulreich palm out his shot (3'). At the opposite end, Paris were picked off. When James Rodriguez's cross arrived in the penalty area, the Paris defence thought Robert Lewandowski was offside. He wasn't, and the Poland international did not miss (1-0, 8'). Neymar Jr and Mbappé sought to restore parity and the Brazilian's arcing effort brought another stop from Ulreich (34'). He did so again shortly afterwards (43') but by that time Bayern had already struck again: Corentin Tolisso heading home to double the hosts' advantage at the break (2-0, 37').
Their pride pricked, Unai Emery's men returned to the pitch with their tails up. Picked out on the right by Marco Verratti, Edinson Cavani produced the moment of the evening when he scooped the ball up and into the path of Mbappé, who reduced Paris' arrears with a powerful header (2-1, 50'). A fourth of the campaign for the France international striker that owed much to his Uruguayan team-mate. Revived, Paris came close to turning the game round completely, but Julian Draxler (60') and Mbappé (61') both found Ulreich immovable. Thiago Silva's injury (67') and a Bayern third, made by Kingsley Coman and finished by Tolisso (3-1, 69') meant the night ended in disappointment...Mbappé might still have brought a final smile, but for - once again - Ulreich (90+2').
THE IMAGE: MBAPPÉ TRIED EVERYTHING
From A to Z, Mbappé was the main menace to Bayern. Alaba and Sebastian Rudy were both troubled by his pace, and must have been happy to see Ulreich in such good form, bookending the game with stops from the Paris forward (3', 90+3'). But even the Bayern goalkeeper's quick hands could not keep out Mbappé's bullet header (50'). At 18 years and 11 months, the France international became the youngest player to reach ten UEFA Champions League goals (in 15 games). That augurs well for the future.
So there was no Grand Slam for Paris, who end the group stage on a bit of a low note. Only a bit of a one though because despite their first loss in the competition, the Parisians have finished top of Group B and will be among the top seeds in Monday's Last 16 draw. There's only one thing left to say: Bring on the spring!