The 2019/20 is finally, mercifully over, after Bayern Munich edged out PSG in a surprisingly cagey Champions League final to lift the trophy for a sixth time.
Every pundit who had confidently assured us this one would not finish 0-0 was left sweating when, as the half-time whistle blew, it was 0-0. It had been a decent, even game, contested at a high tempo, but neither side looked clinical as Neymar, Robert Lewandowski and Kylian Mbappé spurned great chances.
The second half started with much of the same, until all of a sudden, Bayern remembered they were in a Champions League final. Joshua Kimmich picked out Kingsley Coman at the back post, and the French winger headed in the most important goal of his career to date.
Bayern seized the initiative after the goal and though the scoreline remained 1-0, they never looked like throwing away the lead – certainly not with Manuel Neuer at his very best between the sticks.
More on that as we get into some player ratings!
Keylor Navas (GK) – 7/10 – One or two outstanding stops and his steady, calming presence at the back was vital given what was on the line.
Thilo Kehrer (RB) – 5/10 -Marshalling a Bayern left flank which boasted Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies, he was always going to have his work cut out for him. Generally did an OK job but positioning was suspect for the opener.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 6/10 – His last game for PSG was a disappointing one but he didn’t do too much wrong. Goal-line clearance shortly after the opener prevented the scoreline deteriorating for his side.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 7/10 – Was targeted at times by Lewandowski who didn’t fancy a go at Silva but handled it capably for the most part.
Juan Bernat (LB) – 6/10 – Turned in a shift up against Serge Gnabry but gave as good as he got. Decent enough game but that will come as no consolation.
Ander Herrera (CM) – 5/10 – If ‘meh’ was a performance, this was it. Didn’t do anything in particular to merit criticism but the game passed him by. Somehow lasted 72 minutes before being replaced by Draxler.
Marquinhos (CDM) – 6/10 – Played a little more advanced than normal, more concerned with acting as a midfield nucleus than an extra defender when out of possession. Didn’t quite suit him, but he did a reasonable job of breaking up play between the lines and stifling Bayern.
Leandro Paredes (CM) – 4/10 – Came in after a strong semi-final but looked sloppy in possession and struggled to impose himself on a strong Bayern midfield. Hooked with half an hour to go as PSG chased the game.
Angel Di Maria (RW) – 6/10 – Probably the most lively of the starting front three but struggled against a Bayern team who knew how to get tight and nullify him.
Neymar (CF) – 5/10 – Unusually quiet with Bayern cutting off the supply line to him. Grew visibly frustrated, summarised by a wild foul on Robert Lewandowski that earned him a deserved booking.
Kylian Mbappe (LW) – 5/10 – Having already won Ligue 1 and the World Cup, the Champions League was the last of the holy trinity for the youngster but he unfortunately fluffed his lines. Spurned a great chance in the first half when he found a yard of space passed one tamely into Neuer’s gloves.
Marco Verratti – 5/10
Julian Draxler – 5/10
Layvin Kurzawa – 4/10
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – 4/10
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 8/10 – Typically vocal and encouraging, he gave his defence a steady platform to build on while coming up with a couple of magical saves when required. A massive presence that Bayern simply could not do without.
Joshua Kimmich (RB) – 8/10 – Typically bright and creative, inverted runs caused several problems for PSG and he made the first goal with a perfectly-weighted cross .
Jerome Boateng (CB) – 4/10 – Didn’t really settle into the game before injury forced him off midway through the first half.
David Alaba (CB) – 6/10 – Looked nervy to begin with but grew into things after Sule’s introduction and was solid, if unremarkable.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 6/10 – Not at his best, seemed to let the occasion get to him at times, but understandable given his age. Early booking lead to a nervy performance and he struggled to get up and down the flank, though that was perhaps a function of system rather than an individual flaw.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 6/10 – Decent industrial performance that contributed to Bayern’s cause without hitting the heights he’s capable of.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – 8/10 – Floated about the pitch with his characteristic fluidity and positional intelligence. Never hid and was integral to Bayern’s control of possession, in what is likely to be his farewell appearance. Not a bad way to say goodbye.
Thomas Muller (CAM) – 7/10 – Another steady, reliably performance from the most under-appreciated player in football. Creativity was stifled in a strangely cagey game but his movement was influential in progressing the ball.
Serge Gnabry (RW) – 6/10 – Let Neymar know he was there on two occasions and was booked after causing some mild handbags early in the second half. Electric pace was ever-present, if not properly utilised, before he was subbed as a precaution.
Robert Lewandowski (CF) – 7/10 – Lacked his usual clinical streak but occupied the centre-backs with his movement and tested Navas on occasion.
Kingsley Coman (LW) – 7/10 – Justified his selection with an excellent header that opened the scoring. Offered his side a consistent out-ball and was unlucky to be subbed with 20 minutes remaining.
Niklas Sule – 6/10
Philippe Coutinho – 6/10
Ivan Perisic – 5/10
Corentin Tolisso – 5/10