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30th of July 2018

Javi Martínez begins the Kovac Era with goal and win over PSG (3-1)

Javi Martínez begins the Kovac Era with goal and win over PSG (3-1)

FC Bayern beat French champions Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 on Saturday, handing new coach Niko Kovac a successful debut. Timothy Weah put PSG in front after the half-hour, but Javi Martínez, Renato Sanches and Joshua Zirkzee turned the tide in the second half.

The German record champions started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Rafinha, Josip Stanisic, Martínez and Juan Bernat in a back four. Paul Will, Sanches and Oliver Batista-Meier took up station in midfield. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry started out wide, looking to serve lone striker Sandro Wagner. Niko Kovac opted for a 4-3-3 formation, handing a chance to clutch of youngsters like Stanisic, Will and Bastista-Meier.

The 22,200 crowd in Klagenfurt saw PSG's Adrien Rabiot test Ulreich before Batista-Meier drew a save from Gianluigi Buffon in a high-octane encounter, Weah handing the Frenchmen the lead when he latched onto a through-ball and slotted past Ulreich.

Reds rewarded for fightback
Kovac comprehensively shuffled his deck in the second half. Bayern upped the pressure after the interval, Wagner missing a number of chances, Nkunku failing to double Paris' lead at the other end. Martínez' powerful header levelled the scores on the hour, Sanches handing FCB the lead with a fine free-kick before recent arrical Serge Gnabry invited Zirkzee to put the game to bed.

The Bavarians will set off for the Audi Summer Tour to the US on Monday, taking on Juventus in Philadelhia on Wednesday evening local time.


- Match stats:

FC Bayern: Ulreich – Rafinha (71' Johansson), Stanisic (46' Alaba), Martínez (62' Richards), Bernat (62' Gnabry) - Will, Sanches (70' Zylla), Batista-Meier (46' Shabani) - Robben (62' Meier), Wagner (62' Zirkzee), Ribéry (46' Coman)

Paris Saint-Germain: Buffon (66' Deschamps) - Dagba (84' Georgen), Rimane, Mbe Soh, Nsoki - Bernede, Rabiot (72' Postolachi), Diarra (72' Rodríguez), Toufiqui (84' Fressange), Nkunku (72' Zagre) - Weah

Referee: Alexander Harkam (Graz)

Attendance: 22.300

Goals: 0-1 Weah (31'), 1-1 Martínez (60'), 2-1 Sanches (67'), 3-1 Zirkzee (78')

Bookings: - / -

- Match report by

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