FC Bayern lost 3-0 away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday night. Dani Alves put the hosts in front following a fine Neymar dribble with just over a minute played. Bayern enjoyed a spell in command after the opener, but Edinson Cavani doubled the lead on the break after the half-hour, Neymar closing out the meeting on the hour mark.
The German record champions started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Javi Martinez and David Alaba in a back four. Arturo Vidal, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago took up station in midfield, with Thomas Müller, James Rodriguez and striker Robert Lewandowski featuring in a potent attacking trident.
Carlo Ancelotti comprehensively shuffled his deck, making six changes to the XI that drew against Wolfsburg on Friday. Süle, Martínez and Alaba came in for Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and Rafinha in defence. Tolisso and Thiago replaced Sebastian Rudy and Arjen Robben, with James taking over from Franck Ribéry.
- First-half blues
The night began with a shock for the Bavarians. Barely 100 seconds had been played when recent PSG arrival Neymar wriggled clear near the Bayern box, setting up the charging Dani Alves following a mazy dribble. The Brazilian was confronted by space rather than opponents, and even though his first touch let him down, Alves had time to crash the ball past Ulreich.
Slowly but surely Bayern got a grip on the match, although PSG forwards Kylian Mbappé, Cavani and Neymar were a devastating menace throughout due to their pace and ruthlessness in front of goal. Müller miscued a header before Paris netminder Alphonse Aréola proved equal to Martínez' fine 20-yarder. Alaba and Lewandowski shone, setting up a combination in the hosts' half, but the Poland captain's cross evaded Alaba by inches.
Paris were looking to strike on the break, Cavani firing just wide of the far post, but the home side doubled the lead when Mbappé raced clear down the right, his cut-back inviting the unmarked Cavani to make it two. Five minutes later Cavani had only Ulreich to beat once more, but this time the FCB netminder proved equal to the Uruguayan's effort, before match official Antonio Mateu Lopez blew for half-time.
- Neymar crowns his display
Ancelotti brought on Coman and Rudy for James and Tolisso in an effort to raise the momentum. Martínez almost pulled one back shortly after the restart, but his header was scrambled off the line. PSG did not hesitate to launch another counter, Mbappé and Neymar charging down the field, the latter then miscuing his finish.
PSG twisted the knife after the hour mark, when Mbappé weaved his way down the right and evaded a number of Bayern defenders. Neymar crashed home from point-blank range following a mix-up in the box. Bayern soon had the ball in the back of the net when Vidal connected with a Lewandowski header, but the offside flag stifled any cheers or hope. Robben came on for Müller, but the Frenchmen dominated proceedings now, Cavani muscuing a free-kick before Lewandowski's set-piece shaved the post, and Lahoz blew for full-time.
The result means Bayern lie second in the Group B table, level on points with Celtic. The Reds are back in action on Sunday, when they travel to face Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.
- Match stats:
Paris Saint-Germain: Areola - Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa - Verratti (89' Draxler), Motta (86' Lo Celso), Rabiot - Mbappé (79' Di Maria), Cavani, Neymar
FC Bayern: Ulreich - Kimmich, Süle, Martínez, Alaba - Vidal, Tolisso (46' Rudy), Thiago - Müller (69' Robben), James (46' Coman) - Lewandowski
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz (Spanien)
Goals: 1-0 Dani Alves (2’); 2-0 Cavani (31’)
Bookings: Verratti / Kimmich, Vidal, Thiago, Rudy
- Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen