Kingsley Coman haunted former club Paris Saint-Germain as his second-half header guided Bayern Munich to a 1-0 victory in the Champions League final in Lisbon.
The Frenchman was Bayern’s only pre-match change from the semi-final victory over Lyon and vindicated his inclusion on the hour when he headed the winner as the champions of Germany overcame their French counterparts to clinch a sixth European crown.
It was a moment to savour for Bayern and manager Hansi Flick, who having been installed as interim boss last November, won the trophy he came so close winning as a player in 1987 to complete a Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League treble for only the second time in the club’s history.
And an 11th consecutive Champions League victory further underlined Bayern’s dominant campaign as they became the first team in European Cup history to win every match en route to lifting the trophy.
For Thomas Tuchel and PSG, it was agonising failure at the final hurdle as the expensive stars brought to the club to win this very competition – Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – spurned chances and failed to replicate the French champions’ domestic dominance on European football’s biggest stage.
The conclusion of the 2020 Champions League saw two domestic champions – of France and Germany – compete in the final for the first time since 1998, and while it was played out in front of an empty stadium due to coronavirus restrictions, it lived up to expectation in an engrossing, if somewhat cagey, showpiece in Lisbon.
The first chance fell to PSG on 18 minutes as Mbappe, who had two early attempts blocked, turned provider for strike-partner Neymar, but a fine Manuel Neuer double stop thwarted the Brazilian’s initial effort before his attempt to square the rebound the Angel di Maria was cut out by the Bayern captain.
Bayern responded through talisman Robert Lewandowski, who brought Alphonso Davies’ cross under control in the area before swivelling brilliantly to get a shot away, only to be denied by the post after his shot into the turf evaded the scrambling dive of Keylor Navas.
Di Maria, on his unfavoured right foot, flashed a shot over at the end of a promising PSG counter before Ander Hererra, the architect of Di Maria’s earlier chance, saw a crisp, goal-bound half volley take a crucial deflection wide off Leon Goretzka after a clearance fell to the Spaniard on the edge of the area.
The chances kept surfacing at a rapid rate, with Navas drawn into a save at point-blank range on 31 minutes from Lewandowski, who improvised brilliantly to get his head on Muller’s cross after it had taken a late deflection off Presnel Kimpembe.
A flurry of activity on the stroke of half-time saw Mbappe fire a glorious chance straight at Neuer after Bayern played themselves into trouble at the back, before Bayern had strong appeals for a penalty turned down after Coman went to ground under Thilo Kehrer’s challenge.
Bayern shifted through the gears shortly before the hour and made the telling breakthrough as Joshua Kimmich’s sumptuous cross found Coman unmarked at the back post, and the former PSG winger headed home into the far corner.
Bayern were denied a quick-fire second when Coman’s inch-perfect cross was headed clear by Kimpembe before it could reach Lewandowski, and moments later Thiago Silva was forced into a goal-line clearance after Coman lashed Muller’s floated cross towards the PSG goal.
Just as Bayern looked set to run away with the final, PSG mounted a late surge that saw Marquinhos maraud into the area and force another save from Neuer, before Neymar whipped past the angle of post and bar from 20 yards.
But that was all PSG could muster as Bayern saw out yet another Champions League victory and produced the perfect ending to a perfect European campaign as Neuer raised the trophy aloft
Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick: “I am proud of this team. When I started in November, I read the headlines: ‘No need to fear or respect Bayern Munich anymore’, ‘The team is awful’, but the development of my team since then has been sensational.
“We made maximum use of everything. It is not easy to win three titles. It was hard work. You could see during winter how much determination we have in this team, which is obviously something you wish for as a coach.
“Every player developed this season in such a way so as to win three titles. This only happens as a team. The team is always in the foreground. When you see how we worked until the 96th minute tonight in defence then it is a superb team spirit.”
PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel: “It was a big fight between two strong sides and it was very equal. There was a bit more confidence from them on the ball and possession, and they were very dangerous. We had two very good opportunities to score and it proved decisive.
“We talked about it before that the first goal would decide the match. It’s a pity we couldn’t do it because it would’ve been a big obstacle and a challenge for them to turn it around. We needed the boost for a 1-0 to feel free to show our quality.
“I thought we showed an unbelievable fight and for me it’s absolutely possible to play the same game again and win the game 1-0. It’s like this and you have to accept that Manuel Neuer showed his quality in the Bayern goal.”
Coman was not even expected to be in the starting line-up against the club where he spent most of his youth career, but his inclusion proved to be an inspired decision after his telling contribution.
The winger was a threat all evening down Bayern’s left and could have won a penalty off Thilo Kehrer on the stroke of half-time before crucially losing the PSG right-back to head home Joshua Kimmich’s cross for Bayern’s winner.
It was surprising to see Coman withdrawn with 22 minutes remaining, but he had already inflicted the damage on PSG and written his name into Bayern Munich and Champions League folklore.