BY: MUZAN OSMAN / STAFF REPORTER
Kicking off the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday were Paris Saint-Germain v. Bayern Munich and AC. Milan v. Tottenham Hotspurs. Hoping not to add to their four losses collected over the start of the new year was PSG, while Bayern were hoping to maintain their long standing win-streak dating back to mid-september.
Luck never seems to be on PSG’s side, after 15 years and 77 matches won PSG has never once taken home the Champions League title. On the other hand Bayern Munich hold six Champions League titles, tied at fourth place with Liverpool for the most titles won.
The first half was undoubtedly dominated by Bayern Munich, playing aggressively on PSG’s half of the field. They maintained their lead throughout the match ending with 56 percent of ball possession and a total of 16 shots taken to PSG’s nine.
Kingsley Conan’s 53rd minute goal solidified Bayerns win. But unfortunately the french winger was unable to fully celebrate his goal. It was definitely a bittersweet moment for him since he developed his football skills in PSG.
“It was a bit strange. I grew up at this club, in this city, I was born here, so it was difficult to celebrate but in the end we are really pleased with the victory," he says.
The flames of passion were maintained by Munich as a whole but French defender Benjamin Pavard was distinctly fueling the fire. Earning himself a yellow card with a foul on brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. at the 25 minute mark and another yellow on his aggressive, and what many called a “leg breaking tackle” on the beloved Lionel Messi. Pavard was sent off the field after his aggressive tackle at the 90+2 minute mark of the game.
PSG’s last hope at a tie was Mbappe, but to their dismay his goal was disallowed after VAR review showed he was offside. With many debates arising as to whether VAR is helping or harming the future of how football is evaluated Mbappe does not seem to mind that his goal was not counted.
“That’s how it is, it’s the new football. There is the VAR, if there was offside, it means there was offside so there is no problem and you have to switch quickly. Quickly move on, keep the positives and really go out there to qualify.” He states, having a positive outlook is the only way to bounce back from a match like this.
A gloomy start in the round of 16 for Paris Saint-Germain after taking a home loss to Bayern Munich. Like Sisyphus repenting for his crimes against Hades, making it to the quarter finals has PSG fighting a turbulent uphill battle. Overcoming the 1-goal deficit will be their biggest challenge.
"We tried everything, we worked day and night, we managed to have a match, it was not what I wanted. I always want to play but sometimes you have to be content with what you can do and today I could only do that." Says Mbappe who still holds out hope for his club's future. PSG fans can only hope that when they return next match their win is by a landslide.