A reality check for PSG after Bayern humbling

PSG's Edinson Cavani congratulating team-mate Kylian Mbappe after the Frenchman pulled a goal back against Bayern Munich. The Group B winners need to play better in the last 16.
PSG's Edinson Cavani congratulating team-mate Kylian Mbappe after the Frenchman pulled a goal back against Bayern Munich. The Group B winners need to play better in the last 16.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MUNICH • Paris Saint-Germain chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi has called for the French giants to "wake up" after they lost 1-3 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

PSG still finished as group winners on 15 points with a better head-to-head record over Bayern, but Al-Khelaifi expects Unai Emery's men to learn from their failure in their first big away test this season.

"We really have a great team, some top players and our objective here was to win. We lost 3-1 and I hope that this defeat will ultimately help us in the Champions League because it is very important to us," the Qatari told BeIn Sports France after PSG's hopes of a 100 per cent group-stage run ended. "If we wake up now, it is not too late."

It was the big-spending side's second straight defeat following a 1-2 loss at Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Saturday, having started the season with a 21-match unbeaten run in all competitions after bringing in Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record €222 million (S$353 million) fee, and Kylian Mbappe.

Bayern raced into a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals by Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso. Mbappe halved the deficit just after the break before Tolisso scored again at the Allianz Arena, where Neymar had a quiet night.

Defensive midfielder Adrien Rabiot agreed that PSG must improve as they go in search of their first Champions League title.

"It's true that we have work to do because we need to play better in this type of match," he said.

"We did some good things, but there's quite a lot we have to correct. We played too much as individuals and not enough as a team."

The French league leaders outplayed Bayern in a 3-0 win in September which led to Carlo Ancelotti's dismissal. But the German champions have looked a different side under Jupp Heynckes since.

"The game shows we are getting better, that we believe in ourselves," Heynckes said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2017, with the headline 'A reality check for PSG after Bayern humbling'. Print Edition | Subscribe