Statement victories

Ancelotti booted out as Neymar and Co run riot

Record signing Neymar celebrating his goal and PSG's third against Bayern Munich with Dani Alves and Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday. The German giants had no answer to PSG's much-vaunted "MCN" attacking trident.
Record signing Neymar celebrating his goal and PSG's third against Bayern Munich with Dani Alves and Kylian Mbappe at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday. The German giants had no answer to PSG's much-vaunted "MCN" attacking trident.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Paris Saint-Germain

PARIS • Paris Saint-Germain tore apart Bayern Munich to win 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday as the French club's expensively assembled attack made another devastating statement of their potency.

Dani Alves, Edinson Cavani and Neymar found the net, with Kylian Mbappe also making his mark with two assists, to put PSG top of Group B with a maximum six points.

Five-time European champions Bayern are second on three points after their worst group-stage defeat in the Champions League in 21 years. And coach Carlo Ancelotti paid the price for a poor start to the season by the club's standards after he was sacked by the German giants yesterday.

Ancelotti might have dismissed questions from the German media over his decision to leave Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mats Hummels on the bench at kick-off, but he had no answer to his counterpart Unai Emery's tactics.

Bayern fell behind after just two minutes when Neymar danced past defenders on the left edge of the box before crossing low for his compatriot Alves to fire past Bayern goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl.

With Bayern searching for an equaliser, PSG were even more dangerous on the break and Mbappe's speed proved devastating. The France forward broke into the area, turned and found Cavani, whose strike flew into the top corner in the 31st minute.

In the 63rd minute, Mbappe snaked his way through the Bayern defence and found Neymar, who tapped in.

STANDARDS TO UPHOLD

The match in Paris showed we had to take immediate action... we had to take a professional decision in the interests of FC Bayern.

KARL-HEINZ RUMMENIGGE, Bayern Munich chairman, on the German champions having been left with no choice but to sack Carlo Ancelotti.

The "MCN" attack comprising Mbappe, Cavani and Neymar have now scored 18 goals between them this season. They have also made PSG more adaptable, able to transform into a side that soaks up pressure before destroying opponents on the break.

"The new players, Kylian and Neymar, have helped us take another step up," PSG captain Thiago Silva told Canal Plus.

The duo cost the Qatar-backed club around €400 million (S$640 million) and their impact has been immediate.

"I thought before the game that they were very strong, very dangerous. We prepared to have good control and we did, but we didn't have the necessary balance and that was the key," admitted Ancelotti, who added that he had "no regrets" over his team selection.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described the humbling loss at the Parc des Princes as "very painful" and Ancelotti was duly dismissed after a meeting with the club's board yesterday.

Said Rummenigge, in an official statement on Bayern's website: "Our team's performances since the start of the season have not met our expectations. The match in Paris clearly showed we had to take immediate action... I'm sorry about the way it has developed... but we had to take a professional decision in the interests of FC Bayern.

"I expect the team to produce a positive response and show absolute determination to achieve our targets for the season ."

Ancelotti joined Bayern last season and won the Bundesliga title in his debut campaign. But they have a haul of just 13 points from six Bundesliga games this term, leaving them third behind Borussia Dortmund (16) and Hoffenheim (14).

His assistant Willy Sagnol, former Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel and Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann are among the early favourites to succeed him, with Sagnol taking temporary charge for the trip to face Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2017, with the headline 'Ancelotti booted out as Neymar and Co run riot'. Print Edition | Subscribe