Champions League Final for the Ages

Champions League Final for the ages

  • Alphonso Davies
  • Bayern Munich
  • Champions League
  • Champions League Final
  • Kingsley Coman
  • Kylian Mbappe
  • Neymar
  • PSG
  • Robert Lewandowski
By Nick Holz August 24, 2020 0 Comment

What a season its been. So strange, so difficult, so long. Many questioned whether or not we’d even get to this point. Luckily, soccer has returned around the world. Sunday’s Champions League final put a fantastic bow-tie on an unprecedented season.

A Champions League Final between European football giants Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich was always going to produce fireworks. Pitting the flash and flair of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe versus the stoic brilliance of an experienced Bayern team. Despite the bizarre experience of a Final with no fans, the match-up did not disappoint.

PSG v Bayern

The high line employed by the Bavarian defense allowed several PSG chances. The triumvirate of Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria caused Bayern problems from the jump. The French prodigy utilized his speed to create chances.

Just before the half, Mbappe was handed a golden opportunity to take the lead but shot straight at the goalkeeper. Neither of Paris’ superstars were able to create that one shining moment the world was waiting for.

In extra time of the first half, Bayern speedster Kingsley Coman was hauled down from behind by Paris’ defender Thilo Kehrer. The German defender was lucky to get away without giving up a penalty. Coman had clearly beaten his man and appeared to be impeded by the defender in the box.

It was ultimately the Frenchman who drew first blood in this clash of titans. The former PSG man found himself alone at the far corner and thumped in a lovely Joshua Kimmich cross for the lead. That 59th-minute marker would stand as the game-winner.

Strength of Bayern shines through

Veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer delivered when called upon in this final. The World Cup winner made a monumental double save on Neymar in the 18th minute. Germany’s veteran shot-stopper stifled the Paris attack time and time again.

Mbappe had perhaps the best chance of the night but fired straight into Neuer’s stomach. A second Champions League trophy will only cement Neuer’s status as an All-Time great.

With Bayern’s sixth Champions League victory, the fairy tale is complete for Alphonso Davies. The 19-year old Canadian enjoyed a meteoric rise to the very top of the soccer world this season.

Davies moved to Canada as a youngster, having been born in a Liberian refugee camp. He enjoyed success as a youth in Edmonton, before the Vancouver Whitecaps snapped him up. From there, Davies became one of the most exciting young stars in MLS as a 17-year-old.

He joined Bayern for a then-record MLS transfer fee in January of 2019. Davies’ dazzling combination of speed and skill led him to become a talisman for the strongest side in Europe. Oh, Canada!

From Paris, with love

Ultimately, it was a Parisian who scored the winning goal. The man of the match, Kingsley Coman, born and bred in Paris, doomed his former club. Coman shot arrows into the hearts of many in France with his 59th-minute goal. Proving that spending outrageous sums of money on players doesn’t always lead to success.

Instead of keeping Coman, Paris shelled out 222 million Euros for Neymar in August of 2017, with the Champions League trophy as their number one goal.

Much was expected of the most expensive player in the world heading into this final. However, Neymar and PSG were second best all night. The Brazilian looked particularly tired and defeated in the second half, giving the ball away on multiple occasions.

In the end, the individual brilliance of Neymar and Mbappe was not enough to overtake the much more organized Bayern squad. The magic simply ran out in Lisbon.

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