— #UCLfinal (@ChampionsLeague) August 23, 2020
“It’s difficult to come to terms with this feeling of joy at full time. It’s a dream for us all. We weren’t so relaxed in our build-up play; perhaps we lacked a little confidence from everyone. I’ve never had so much fun playing with a team,” Bayern Munich’s captain Manuel Neuer told Sky Sports after 90 minutes in Lisbon.
When you hear a statement like this from the German skipper, it means that Bayern Munich won the match and the trophy.
It has been a thrilling season for the German side, winning all their matches in the Champions League campaign is a record added to the season’s treble. Bayern had already won the German Bundesliga and domestic cup earlier.
Former PSG player, Kingsley Coman headed in the winner in the 59th minute to separate the two sides. It was Bayern’s sixth Champions League trophy.
“I’m very happy, it’s an unbelievable night – not just for the club, but for all the fans. Obviously, I wanted to have a good game, not because of Paris, but because I’m 100% Bayern and I was determined to win. I feel sorry for Paris because I came from the city,” Coman, who emerged man of the match, said after the game.
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) came into the Champions League final for the first time with a high hope, the French side has been thirsty for the trophy since its owner, Qatar Sports investment took over in 2011.
Over the past nine years, more than $1 billion has been spent on the purchase of players to fulfill the Champions League dream. Though the Parisians got closer than ever before this time, the dream was shattered.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were unable to find the back of the net of Bayern, and Paris has to live with the pain of the disappointment. Neymar and Mbappe were on the shoulders of Bayern defenders waiting for a breakthrough, but Neuer was standing like a rock on the goal post. He denied Neymar a chance to put PSG ahead with a superb save as Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski got the same treatment from the woodwork.
“All we lacked was the first goal. We had chances and they got the first goal. I’m convinced that if we’d got the first goal, we would have won that same game 1-0. We had very strong moments and others where we had to suffer. We weren’t clinical enough. We want Kylian and Ney to always score, but you can’t ask for that,” Thomas Tuchel, PSG coach said after the match.
“That was my last match for Paris. I’m sad, I apologize to the supporters and thank all the fans for their love,” PSG captain Thiago Sylva said.
Bayern coach Hansi said his team made life difficult for PSG by their pattern of play.
“When you think how we worked defensively until the 92nd minute – Lewandowski was chasing after the ball, that was incredible. It was a complete team performance.
“So many people deserve credit for this victory. You saw during winter how much determination we have in this team, which is obviously something you wish for as a coach,” he said.
The first half ended in a goalless draw, heightening the suspense that has followed the match from the beginning. But the second half changed the story with Coman’s header giving the German side the lead and eventually, the win.
“Winning the trophy today is the best thing that could happen to us. We worked incredibly hard and in the end it came through to be the best team in Europe,” Bayern winger Serge Gnabry tols BT Sports after the game. “It’s the final, Paris came out wanting to win and so did we. Nobody is going to give up easily but we came through.
“As long as it was 0-0, it was always going to be open for us. Of course, they were going to have chances. It was lucky they didn’t score and lucky we did score.”
The Champions League season has been marred by COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the matches to be played behind closed doors, denying the fans the thrills of live spectatorship. The knock-out games had been played in Lisbon with one tie only replacing the two-leg tradition.
Nevertheless, it has been a great season for Bayern Munich, winning 11 Champions League matches and scoring 43 goals. Though prolific striker Lewandowski didn’t score at the final, he has had a great individual season, scoring 15 goals in a single Champions League campaign, only two goals from equaling Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17.
Despite the disappointment, French president Emmanuel Macron and the Paris fans show their undying support for PSG.
“Congratulations to Bayern for their sixth Champions League title and to Paris for their exceptional run. The hour of victory will come for French football,” Macron said.