FC Bayern: Win or lose in centimeters | Sports

It was minute 38 of the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 when Vitinha, PSG’s number 17, was going to hit (now someone will tell him that he should have stopped it) the ball that Yann Sommer, Bayern goalkeeper —but with the number 27—, he had lost inside his area. Nobody in the goal, almost a simple pass to the net to execute and celebrate. One of those shots that, I say, must have a goal percentage of over 90%. It was the millisecond in which it seemed that, at last, that leprechaun that illuminates the illustrious of the old European Cup was going to appear to PSG, something like a return of that lost ball a year ago at the Bernabéu for his goalkeeper Donnarumma, PSG’s 99, as if football were circular and wanted to compensate the Parisians for what they lost in the midst of the madridista epic.

Except that De Ligt -he does wear a classic number for a central defender, such as 4- decided that it was as important to save a ball on the line as it was to mark it, so he launched himself as a goalkeeper (without gloves) and took out that ball that It had 1 printed on the PSG scoreboard. Everything continued as at the beginning of the game, 0-1 for Bayern in the first leg and PSG needed to come back. To keep rowing.

All of us learned a football in which you attacked with the ball and defended when you didn’t have it with the idea of ​​recovering it, securing it and thus being able to attack again. But football times are so changing that currently teams like Bayern attack when their rival has the ball, an excellent response to possession if you forget that it must be accompanied by position. If you want an example of this change, another, of paradigm, remember the goal with which the Bavarians opened the scoring.

A ball that belonged to PSG, a ball that needed to be treated as if it were an explosive about to explode —that is, get it out as quickly as possible— and that a player as expert as Verratti ended up turning it into a decisive play for Bayern opened the scoring, it was sent by Choupo-Moting into the net and unleashed that auf wiedersehen (goodbye, in this case to PSG) with which the German public celebrates the classification of their teams and which I have had to listen to more than once in my sports career.

Bayern’s second goal after the loss, once again, of Verratti —although this time 80 meters from his goal, but 80 meters where only a couple of Parisian shirts were running— finished certifying that the round of 16 is an almost insurmountable barrier for the club of Mbappé, Messi and Neymar. What can you expect from the mystique of this competition if you have enrolled a miracle worker like Sergio Ramos, who patented that header into the back of the net in the nineties —2014, Lisbon, with Atlético as a rival— and when he achieves it with a white shirt, but with a shield with the Eiffel Tower, the only thing that gets is negation.

Sommer, the goalkeeper with the 27 on his back, dressed in the superhero suit and made up for that mistake at 38 with a decisive save at 64, when everything was turning dark for PSG’s aspirations, and to whom that goal would have returned the goal. pulse, conviction and even faith and inspiration to achieve what a couple of minutes earlier, just after Verratti lost his first ball, had become an impossible adventure.

If it is that even when Leo Messi, cunningly crouching, managed to steal a ball to go on the counterattack with Mbappé, the play was invalidated because before the ball had touched the referee and the ball returned to Munich’s possession. And it is that, as they say Felipe II expressed and Galtier, PSG coach, would think, he had not sent his boys to fight against the elements. Again.

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