Football News

Kaka-esque Musiala shines as Bayern edge Champions League last 16 first leg vs PSG

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:55, 14 February 2023

Bayern Munich’s in-form man Kingsley Coman put his former side Paris Saint-Germain to the sword once again in the Champions League.

One of the highlights of the last 16, Bayern Munich travelled to Paris perfect in the Champions League, winning all six of their group stage matches. The last time they did that, Bayern won all of their games in the Champions League in 2019/20, en route to winning the trophy.

In that Champions League campaign, PSG were the opponents in the final and it was a Coman goal which won it just before the hour mark. A product of PSG’s academy, Coman made just three appearances for the first team and had to move elsewhere to develop as a professional, first joining Juventus before thriving at Bayern Munich.

Fast forward two and a half years and Coman was hitting his former club again, this time scoring inside 10 minutes of the second half with a well-taken finish. PSG were poor on the night and gave Alphonso Davies far too much time on the left to whip a ball into the box.

The Canadian went to the back post where Coman was lurking, again unwatched by the PSG defence, and the Frenchman beat Gianluigi Donnarumma with a cool finish — though the goalkeeper probably should have done better. Coman has now scored in three consecutive games for Bayern Munich, just the second time he has recorded such a run.

However, as the game went on the show was stolen by Jamal Musiala. The German teenager started just behind Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as one of the two No.10s alongside Leroy Sane, with Thomas Muller watching on from the bench.

There were glimpses of his quality in the first half but he truly thrived as the game opened up after half-time. In 85 minutes on the pitch, Musiala had five touches in the opposition box, the joint-most of any Bayern player alongside Choupo-Moting and created two chances.

“Probably one of the best young players in the world,” Owen Hargreaves said of Jamal Musiala before the game.

“In terms of goals, assists, probably their best dribbler in terms of the ball. Plays as a No.10.

“Kingsley Coman will play off the left, he’s probably been their most in form player but if you look at their top scorers this season, Musiala he’s top. Obviously no Lewandowski so other people have had to step up, Choupo-Moting has done that but Bayern’s star player so far this season has been Musiala.

“He’s absolutely outrageous.”

Quick with the ball at his feet, Musiala also completed six take-ons, level with PSG’s Nuno Mendes across both sides and two more than Neymar and Lionel Messi. He won more duels than any other Bayern Munich player, and won possession in the final third three times, again level alongside Choupo-Moting.

“I said it the first time I saw him, he reminds me of Kaka,” Hargreaves added.

“I couldn’t give him any better praise than that because Kaka in our time was probably the greatest No.10 in the game. But he’s just an effortless dribbler, in these little tight spaces, he shouldn’t get out of those little areas he does.

“He’s got speed, he’s got side, he’s a good finisher. In tight spaces he works it better than anyone.”