Bayern, reigning European champions, failed on Wednesday the test of facing Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the first leg of the Champions League without their great star, Robert Lewandowski, out due to a stretch in his knee ligaments right, an injury he suffered during Poland-Andorra and that will leave him inactive for four weeks. The absence of the Polish star did not prevent Bayern from winning last Saturday at Leipzig (0-1) and leaving the Bundesliga almost sentenced, but it did take its toll on PSG in Munich (2-3 for Mauricio Pochettino’s). But there are statistics that speak of another meeting, despite the defeat of the Germans.
Lewandowski’s injury comes to Bayern coach Hansi Flick at the worst moment, at the decisive hour of the season. And not only the defending champion was weighed by the absence of the Polish striker in the first round against PSG, but he will also not be able to play in the Parc des Princes next Tuesday. Both teams starred in the last Champions League final, in which Bayern won 1-0 in Lisbon.
Bayern, who face Union Berlin this Saturday, have a 7-point advantage over Leipzig, 2nd, in the Bundesliga, but the Champions League defense has become difficult for them. And yet, nobody can consider eliminated the Munich team, which had 19 games without losing in the Champions League.
And, despite having been outmatched in defense by the Mbappé-Neymar duo, despite Manuel Neuer’s mistake in the French star’s first goal, despite having wasted many chances, figures in hand Bayern had 61 percent possession and shot 31 times to goal (absolute record in this edition of the Champions League, 12 of them between the 3 sticks. Keylor Navas, PSG goalkeeper, was forced to make at least 10 saves.
According to Opta data, PSG had never conceded so many shots on goal in the Champions League, at least since the creation of these statistics in 2003. “We played impressive football. But we weren’t as effective going to the finish line as we usually are, ”said Flick.