Tennis star Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the London Olympics on Thursday due to injury.

<p>Happy holidays everyone….</p><p>Some questions while mourning the World Cup on Tennis….</p><h3>Mailbag</h3><p><em>Have a question or comment for Jon? Email him at jon_wertheim@yahoo.com or tweet him <a href="https://twitter.com/jon_wertheim" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:@jon_wertheim" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><strong>@jon_wertheim</strong></a>.</em></p><p><strong>Hey Jon.</strong> <strong>Got the bucket list trip to the Aussie Open coming up. I Googled for your annual tips for it, but the most recent one I could find was from 2012. Can you post a few pointers? Thanks &#38; maybe see you there!</strong><br>—<em>Troy</em></p><p>• I’m not sure we’ve ever done tips for the Australian Open. <a href="https://ausopen.com/sites/default/files/2017-12/AO2018_gorunds_map.pdf" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Here’s a site map" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Here’s a site map</a> to get started. Ten off the top of my head:</p><p>1) As with most Slams, go early in the tournament and wander the grounds. Rod Laver Arena is fine, but hardly oozing with flavor and charm. The outer courts are where the action is.</p><p>2) There’s no Grandstand or Bullring money court. But Margaret Court Arena probably comes closest.</p><p>3) Plenty of people never even get to the courts, simply hanging out in the beer garden, the tennis equivalent of tailgating. Don’t be one of them. But do take a break in the area between Laver and Hisense. You can even nap on a beanbag.</p><p>4) All acknowledge the mighty Sol. The heat is no joke, neither is the sun’s intensity. Max sunblock. Water. Caps.</p><p>5) Note the spritz fans all around court 2.</p><p>6) The stars practice indoors (which I believe is closed to the public) but note practice courts 17 and 18.</p><p>7) Keep an eye out for American stars. Phil Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald and John Mayer are among those who have wandered the grounds unchecked.</p><p>8) No cars. Walk or take the take tram from downtown. If you’re staying on the Yarra (at the casino) take the water taxi.</p><p>9) Melbourne is world-class city. We’re talking Vancouver-level. Walk around the downtown. Take the tram to the beach. If nothing else, detour your walk to the courts through Fitzroy Gardens.</p><p>10) With eucalyptus doing the lifting, the Australian Open is by far the best smelling event. Breathe the air.</p><p><strong>2017 saw big records extended at three of the four Slams. In Australia, Serena edged past Steffi to claim her 23rd Open Era major title. At Roland Garros, Rafa took home his 10th title at a single Slam. And at Wimbledon, Roger extended his lead in major titles to 19. Granted, any of these three greats could extend those records further in 2018. But if those records were etched in stone right now, which do you reckon would stand the longest before being equaled or surpassed by different player?</strong></p><p><strong>(I’d put my money on <em>la decima</em>, but I have to admit, it’s hard to see any current or emerging player catching up to Serena either.)</strong><br>—<em>Teddy C in NYC</em></p><p>• Three points:</p><p>a) Start with Serena. It looks as though, barely four months after childbirth, she’ll be back to competition, defending her Australian Open title. This is madness. So is betting against her. By now, she gets all benefits of all doubts. (Aside: yes, Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open as her first Slam after maternity leave. But Clijsters’ daughter was 18 months old. Serena’s is still being charted in weeks!)</p><p>b) The beauty of the Big Four: no matter how the plot breaks, it’s relevant and potentially record setting. If Federer defends, he hits XX and wins at age 36. If Nadal wins, he’ll close the majors gap and the GOAT race will intensify. Djokovic? He’ll be back in business (last year was his first Slam-less season since 2010) and back in the conversation.</p><p>c) Fair warning: I will be repeating this early and often. We, as a community, have not done enough to acknowledge the historical importance of the fifth set of last year’s men’s final. Those 20 minutes or so after Nadal goes up 3-1 will echo throughout tennis history.</p><p><strong>As a fan, I say it would be amazing. But do you think Serena can win the 2018 Australian Open?</strong><br>—<em>Charlie, Cambridge</em></p><p>• Do Germans like compound words? Did Brueghel like peasants? Is <em>Lady Bird</em> the movie of the year? Sure, Serena can win. The WTA field is still largely unsettled. (Quick: who’s your favorite otherwise?) But, beyond that, she has spent an entire career challenging conventional thinking. It’s not simply the cliché sport syntax of “proving the doubters wrong.” Especially at this stage, Serena derives more motivation and competition from chasing history and expanding limits than she does from the players on the opposite side of the net. This challenge will fire her up in a way that beating [insert name] will not.</p><p>Add this, too: pretty perfect conditions for making a return. Low-key environment. An ocean removed from home (and TMZ). With a time change. During the NFL Playoffs. At an event you’ve won seven times before. Hot conditions, but a court under a retractable roof.</p><p><strong>Hey Jon:</strong> <strong>What would you prefer, to beat Federer and Nadal in the same tournament, but lose the final or win the tournament without beating either of those? This question came to mind when thinking who took away more from the year-end championships, Dimitrov or Goffin. </strong><br>—<em>Ben, Queens, NY</em></p><p>• Interesting. For the present—that is, the ranking point and prize money—I&#39;ll take the win. For the future—that is, telling stories to my grandkids and the other oldtimers at the bar—I’ll take beating Federer and Nadal in one week.</p><p><strong>If a Davis Cup falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?</strong><br>—<em>Mike Oelrich, Dunn Loring, Va.</em></p><p>• We try to balance optimism with pragmatism here. And—not unlike Nadal’s triumph at the U.S. Open—it seems uncharitable, if not manifestly unfair, to diminish a tennis achievement by knocking the quality of competition. So let’s take a moment to praise France, a considerable tennis power, who has not produced a bona fide star, but does produce to steady flow of choice players.</p><p>Here’s an amazing statistic that, I believe, I first saw from Chris Clarey: France won the Davis Cup without recording a singles win over a top 40 singles player. That pretty much encapsulates the state of the event.</p><p>Don&#39;t mess with markets. You don’t innovate and either someone else disrupts your business (Laver Cup is Uber to Davis Cup’s taxi medallion) or the customers leave.</p><p><strong>Loved Annacone&#39;s podcast but was surprised at his reference to a modest middle class up-bringing for both Federer and Nadal. Wouldn&#39;t you call their up bringing more privileged than middle class?</strong><br>—<em>Venky, Ann Arbor, Mich.</em></p><p>• I am the accountant for neither family, so I can’t really speak to wealth. I think “middle class” is fair. But I also think this is an interesting dimension to the Federer/Nadal. So often we hear athletes’ origins stories and they involve despair and dire poverty. Sports become salvation and motivation, a way of deliverance from a childhood pocked by deprivation. Yet sometimes, we have the opposite: athletes who thrive in part because they are free of the pressures and burden of playing for family survival. Federer was never the family ATM. Nadal could have quit tennis at 16 and his family still lives comfortably. One imagines this can be liberating. Sometimes pressure makes diamonds. Sometimes natural fertilizer—“do what you enjoy organically; don&#39;t worry about the money”—yields the best harvest. </p><p><strong>I saw the news that Feliciano Lopez will serve as Madrid&#39;s tournament director by 2019. He&#39;s currently ranked well into the top 50 and has always been one of the fittest players so it seems there&#39;s a chance he might still be playing by the time he takes on acting director duties. </strong></p><p><strong>How exactly would this work? Are there conflicts of interest here? The only precedent I see of an active player serving as a tournament director was Tommy Haas who did not compete in the event when he became director. This might be as good a time as any to discuss the role of a tournament director and what types of decisions they make in the short and long term? Even as a pretty ardent tennis fan, I know little about the role. I&#39;d love more information on this.</strong></p><p><strong>On another note, you&#39;ve always promoted the positive globalization of tennis and would probably agree that <a href="http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2017/12/2017-tennis-davis-cup-us-open-wimbledon-french-open-france-ostapenko-tsonga-stephens-goffin-gasquet/70652/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this piece by Steve Tignor" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this piece by Steve Tignor</a> is excellent. </strong><br>—<em>Rohit Sudarshan</em><em>, </em><em>Apia, Samoa</em></p><p>• First, we’ll always happily link a Steve Tignor piece. I was surprised by how many of you picked up on the Feliciano Lopez announcement. Clearly a new position has emerged in tennis, the celebrity “tournament director,” the former pro who becomes the front-facing talent for the event. In a lot of ways this makes sense. Why not have a “name” schmooze with sponsors and attend the hospitality tent? Why not have a former player run the draw ceremony or give the media a grounds tour? Why not have a former player with some currency try and wrangle players? (Who’s going to have more luck getting a star to a sponsor suite, Tommy Haas or some suit?)</p><p> “Tournament director” is a fungible term. In most cases it means “sponsor seeking and relationship upkeeper.” In other cases it means “player recruiter/appearance fee negotiator.” Sometimes it chiefly entails keeping up a relationship with public officials. Depends on the circumstances of the tournament, the ownership and the status of the event.</p><p>One point: at all events, the tours have representatives on site. So if there are disputes or conflicts or questions about scheduling procedures (to wit: Dudi Sela requesting that he not play on Yom Kippur) the tournament director can defer. Are there conflicts of interest having an active player serve as tournament director? Sure. (This, after all, is tennis.) But it’s not as though Lopez is giving Nadal his court assignments. </p><p><strong>Hi Jon. Thought these topics might get covered in last week&#39;s Mailbag but keen to get your thoughts on them. </strong></p><p><strong>1. How worried do you think fans of Any Murray should be, regarding his split with Lendl? Do you think he needs a new supercoach?</strong></p><p><strong>2. Surely this was Nadal&#39;s best chance to win the ATP Finals? How much do you think will it bother him if he never wins it?</strong></p><p><strong>Big fan of the Mailbag.</strong><br>—<em>Alex, London</em></p><p><strong>• </strong>Thanks, Alex.</p><p>1) Lendl deserves mounds (Murray Mounds) of credit here. But I would contend that Lendl also deserves some blame for Murray’s dismal 2017. After playing like mad at the end of 2016 to seize the No. 1 ranking, Murray may well have over-trained last December. The coach bears some responsibility there. I’m not sure Murray needs a supercoach, especially at this stage in his career.</p><p>2) The truth is the Great Ones play for the Slams, especially at this stage in their career. Nadal would rather win than lose. And, yes, it was a pity that he couldn’t consolidate his No. 1 ranking by wining the last event of the year. But overall Nadal is—rightly—thrilled with his 2017. Two majors, multiple TMS titles, the top ranking. If he didn&#39;t craft the perfect ending when he failed to post for an indoor event (his worst surface) in November, after he had already sewn up the No. 1 ranking, so be it.</p><p><strong>As if there was not enough reason to like David Goffin, he goes and parties with the French Davis Cup team after his country’s loss in the final. And he and his girlfriend are going on vacation with Lucas Pouille from the winning French team and his girlfriend. This guy deserves many accolades, not least of which a BIG honorable mention in the tallying for the tennis sportsmanship award.</strong><br>—<em>Tim Johnson, New York, N.Y.</em></p><p>• Agree. We spend too much time trying to find comparisons for David Goffin and not acknowledging him independently. Unfussy, professional, getting max value out of his game. As far as professional reputations go, you could do a lot worse.</p><h3>Shots Miscellany</h3><p>• Savannah Guthrie Admits Her Obsession with Roger Federer</p><p>• Fifteen-year old American Whitney Osuigwe capped a prolific junior tennis season by winning the Orange Bowl Girls&#39; 18s title on Sunday, defeating Ukraine&#39;s Margaryta Bilokin, 6-1, 6-2, at the Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla. Osuigwe, a Bradenton, Fla., native whose father, Desmond, coaches her out of the IMG Academy, finished the year as the No. 1-ranked junior in the world and the ITF World Junior Champion -- the third American girl and fourth American overall to hold those distinctions in the last six years (Taylor Fritz, 2015; CiCi Bellis, 2014; Taylor Townsend, 2012). In junior play, Osuigwe went 57-8 in singles and 34-9 in doubles in 2017, won the French Open girls&#39; singles title and helped lead the U.S. to its fourth 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup title in the last 10 years.</p><p>• The ATP World Tour’s No. 1 Under-21 player and South Korea’s greatest tennis export, Hyeon Chung, has committed to play the inaugural New York Open tournament at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, which takes place Feb. 11-18. Chung will play his first match on Tuesday, February 13 during the evening session.</p><p>• The ITF announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship agreement with NEC Corporation as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the ITF’s year-end wheelchair singles championship, for an additional three-year period from 2018 through 2020. NEC will celebrate 25 years as title sponsor in 2018.</p><p>• For the fourth consecutive year, the BNP Paribas Open—held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden—has been voted the WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the Year, as determined by player vote.</p><p>• Canadian tennis fans will be delighted to learn that nine of the best WTA players have chosen to play the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in 2018. The tournament will be held from August 3-12, 2018 at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal.</p><p><strong>• From Deepak (Seattle): Your readers would appreciate this:</strong></p><p>Pulled the proverbial chord on cable and went completely online through Youtube.TV. The Tennis Channel is included in the base package for $35, and it works like a charm. Since it’s all clouded up, you can store much more than traditional cable allows you to as well. Granted, this is Google&#39;s experiment and its really in &quot;beta&quot; but its one of the perks of living in a tech-hub. You shouldn&#39;t be surprised—if your more tech-savvy audience go this route soon, they&#39;ll be happy to know Google took care of us tennis fans well... </p><p>• Sixteen-year old Long Island natives Cannon Kingsley, of Northport, and Michelle Sorokko, of Little Neck, won the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Indoor Championships singles titles this past weekend, highlighting the return of the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ National Indoor Championships, which were last played in 1999.</p><p>Kingsley, who is coached by Alex Pop-Moldovan, defeated 18-year old Indiana recruit Carson Haskins (Coaches: Mike Miller, Nick Tanurchis), of Ballwin, Mo., 6-3, 6-0, to win the Boys’ 18s title at the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kan. Sorokko, who is coached by her sister, Kathrin, beat 16-year old New Yorker Sonia Tartakovsky, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, to win the Girls’ 18s singles title at the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, Mass.</p>
Mailbag: Will Serena Williams Defend Her Australian Open Title in 2018?

Happy holidays everyone….

Some questions while mourning the World Cup on Tennis….

Mailbag

Have a question or comment for Jon? Email him at jon_wertheim@yahoo.com or tweet him @jon_wertheim.

Hey Jon. Got the bucket list trip to the Aussie Open coming up. I Googled for your annual tips for it, but the most recent one I could find was from 2012. Can you post a few pointers? Thanks & maybe see you there!
Troy

• I’m not sure we’ve ever done tips for the Australian Open. Here’s a site map to get started. Ten off the top of my head:

1) As with most Slams, go early in the tournament and wander the grounds. Rod Laver Arena is fine, but hardly oozing with flavor and charm. The outer courts are where the action is.

2) There’s no Grandstand or Bullring money court. But Margaret Court Arena probably comes closest.

3) Plenty of people never even get to the courts, simply hanging out in the beer garden, the tennis equivalent of tailgating. Don’t be one of them. But do take a break in the area between Laver and Hisense. You can even nap on a beanbag.

4) All acknowledge the mighty Sol. The heat is no joke, neither is the sun’s intensity. Max sunblock. Water. Caps.

5) Note the spritz fans all around court 2.

6) The stars practice indoors (which I believe is closed to the public) but note practice courts 17 and 18.

7) Keep an eye out for American stars. Phil Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald and John Mayer are among those who have wandered the grounds unchecked.

8) No cars. Walk or take the take tram from downtown. If you’re staying on the Yarra (at the casino) take the water taxi.

9) Melbourne is world-class city. We’re talking Vancouver-level. Walk around the downtown. Take the tram to the beach. If nothing else, detour your walk to the courts through Fitzroy Gardens.

10) With eucalyptus doing the lifting, the Australian Open is by far the best smelling event. Breathe the air.

2017 saw big records extended at three of the four Slams. In Australia, Serena edged past Steffi to claim her 23rd Open Era major title. At Roland Garros, Rafa took home his 10th title at a single Slam. And at Wimbledon, Roger extended his lead in major titles to 19. Granted, any of these three greats could extend those records further in 2018. But if those records were etched in stone right now, which do you reckon would stand the longest before being equaled or surpassed by different player?

(I’d put my money on la decima, but I have to admit, it’s hard to see any current or emerging player catching up to Serena either.)
Teddy C in NYC

• Three points:

a) Start with Serena. It looks as though, barely four months after childbirth, she’ll be back to competition, defending her Australian Open title. This is madness. So is betting against her. By now, she gets all benefits of all doubts. (Aside: yes, Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open as her first Slam after maternity leave. But Clijsters’ daughter was 18 months old. Serena’s is still being charted in weeks!)

b) The beauty of the Big Four: no matter how the plot breaks, it’s relevant and potentially record setting. If Federer defends, he hits XX and wins at age 36. If Nadal wins, he’ll close the majors gap and the GOAT race will intensify. Djokovic? He’ll be back in business (last year was his first Slam-less season since 2010) and back in the conversation.

c) Fair warning: I will be repeating this early and often. We, as a community, have not done enough to acknowledge the historical importance of the fifth set of last year’s men’s final. Those 20 minutes or so after Nadal goes up 3-1 will echo throughout tennis history.

As a fan, I say it would be amazing. But do you think Serena can win the 2018 Australian Open?
Charlie, Cambridge

• Do Germans like compound words? Did Brueghel like peasants? Is Lady Bird the movie of the year? Sure, Serena can win. The WTA field is still largely unsettled. (Quick: who’s your favorite otherwise?) But, beyond that, she has spent an entire career challenging conventional thinking. It’s not simply the cliché sport syntax of “proving the doubters wrong.” Especially at this stage, Serena derives more motivation and competition from chasing history and expanding limits than she does from the players on the opposite side of the net. This challenge will fire her up in a way that beating [insert name] will not.

Add this, too: pretty perfect conditions for making a return. Low-key environment. An ocean removed from home (and TMZ). With a time change. During the NFL Playoffs. At an event you’ve won seven times before. Hot conditions, but a court under a retractable roof.

Hey Jon: What would you prefer, to beat Federer and Nadal in the same tournament, but lose the final or win the tournament without beating either of those? This question came to mind when thinking who took away more from the year-end championships, Dimitrov or Goffin.
Ben, Queens, NY

• Interesting. For the present—that is, the ranking point and prize money—I'll take the win. For the future—that is, telling stories to my grandkids and the other oldtimers at the bar—I’ll take beating Federer and Nadal in one week.

If a Davis Cup falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
Mike Oelrich, Dunn Loring, Va.

• We try to balance optimism with pragmatism here. And—not unlike Nadal’s triumph at the U.S. Open—it seems uncharitable, if not manifestly unfair, to diminish a tennis achievement by knocking the quality of competition. So let’s take a moment to praise France, a considerable tennis power, who has not produced a bona fide star, but does produce to steady flow of choice players.

Here’s an amazing statistic that, I believe, I first saw from Chris Clarey: France won the Davis Cup without recording a singles win over a top 40 singles player. That pretty much encapsulates the state of the event.

Don't mess with markets. You don’t innovate and either someone else disrupts your business (Laver Cup is Uber to Davis Cup’s taxi medallion) or the customers leave.

Loved Annacone's podcast but was surprised at his reference to a modest middle class up-bringing for both Federer and Nadal. Wouldn't you call their up bringing more privileged than middle class?
Venky, Ann Arbor, Mich.

• I am the accountant for neither family, so I can’t really speak to wealth. I think “middle class” is fair. But I also think this is an interesting dimension to the Federer/Nadal. So often we hear athletes’ origins stories and they involve despair and dire poverty. Sports become salvation and motivation, a way of deliverance from a childhood pocked by deprivation. Yet sometimes, we have the opposite: athletes who thrive in part because they are free of the pressures and burden of playing for family survival. Federer was never the family ATM. Nadal could have quit tennis at 16 and his family still lives comfortably. One imagines this can be liberating. Sometimes pressure makes diamonds. Sometimes natural fertilizer—“do what you enjoy organically; don't worry about the money”—yields the best harvest.

I saw the news that Feliciano Lopez will serve as Madrid's tournament director by 2019. He's currently ranked well into the top 50 and has always been one of the fittest players so it seems there's a chance he might still be playing by the time he takes on acting director duties.

How exactly would this work? Are there conflicts of interest here? The only precedent I see of an active player serving as a tournament director was Tommy Haas who did not compete in the event when he became director. This might be as good a time as any to discuss the role of a tournament director and what types of decisions they make in the short and long term? Even as a pretty ardent tennis fan, I know little about the role. I'd love more information on this.

On another note, you've always promoted the positive globalization of tennis and would probably agree that this piece by Steve Tignor is excellent.
Rohit Sudarshan, Apia, Samoa

• First, we’ll always happily link a Steve Tignor piece. I was surprised by how many of you picked up on the Feliciano Lopez announcement. Clearly a new position has emerged in tennis, the celebrity “tournament director,” the former pro who becomes the front-facing talent for the event. In a lot of ways this makes sense. Why not have a “name” schmooze with sponsors and attend the hospitality tent? Why not have a former player run the draw ceremony or give the media a grounds tour? Why not have a former player with some currency try and wrangle players? (Who’s going to have more luck getting a star to a sponsor suite, Tommy Haas or some suit?)

“Tournament director” is a fungible term. In most cases it means “sponsor seeking and relationship upkeeper.” In other cases it means “player recruiter/appearance fee negotiator.” Sometimes it chiefly entails keeping up a relationship with public officials. Depends on the circumstances of the tournament, the ownership and the status of the event.

One point: at all events, the tours have representatives on site. So if there are disputes or conflicts or questions about scheduling procedures (to wit: Dudi Sela requesting that he not play on Yom Kippur) the tournament director can defer. Are there conflicts of interest having an active player serve as tournament director? Sure. (This, after all, is tennis.) But it’s not as though Lopez is giving Nadal his court assignments.

Hi Jon. Thought these topics might get covered in last week's Mailbag but keen to get your thoughts on them.

1. How worried do you think fans of Any Murray should be, regarding his split with Lendl? Do you think he needs a new supercoach?

2. Surely this was Nadal's best chance to win the ATP Finals? How much do you think will it bother him if he never wins it?

Big fan of the Mailbag.
Alex, London

Thanks, Alex.

1) Lendl deserves mounds (Murray Mounds) of credit here. But I would contend that Lendl also deserves some blame for Murray’s dismal 2017. After playing like mad at the end of 2016 to seize the No. 1 ranking, Murray may well have over-trained last December. The coach bears some responsibility there. I’m not sure Murray needs a supercoach, especially at this stage in his career.

2) The truth is the Great Ones play for the Slams, especially at this stage in their career. Nadal would rather win than lose. And, yes, it was a pity that he couldn’t consolidate his No. 1 ranking by wining the last event of the year. But overall Nadal is—rightly—thrilled with his 2017. Two majors, multiple TMS titles, the top ranking. If he didn't craft the perfect ending when he failed to post for an indoor event (his worst surface) in November, after he had already sewn up the No. 1 ranking, so be it.

As if there was not enough reason to like David Goffin, he goes and parties with the French Davis Cup team after his country’s loss in the final. And he and his girlfriend are going on vacation with Lucas Pouille from the winning French team and his girlfriend. This guy deserves many accolades, not least of which a BIG honorable mention in the tallying for the tennis sportsmanship award.
Tim Johnson, New York, N.Y.

• Agree. We spend too much time trying to find comparisons for David Goffin and not acknowledging him independently. Unfussy, professional, getting max value out of his game. As far as professional reputations go, you could do a lot worse.

Shots Miscellany

• Savannah Guthrie Admits Her Obsession with Roger Federer

• Fifteen-year old American Whitney Osuigwe capped a prolific junior tennis season by winning the Orange Bowl Girls' 18s title on Sunday, defeating Ukraine's Margaryta Bilokin, 6-1, 6-2, at the Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla. Osuigwe, a Bradenton, Fla., native whose father, Desmond, coaches her out of the IMG Academy, finished the year as the No. 1-ranked junior in the world and the ITF World Junior Champion -- the third American girl and fourth American overall to hold those distinctions in the last six years (Taylor Fritz, 2015; CiCi Bellis, 2014; Taylor Townsend, 2012). In junior play, Osuigwe went 57-8 in singles and 34-9 in doubles in 2017, won the French Open girls' singles title and helped lead the U.S. to its fourth 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup title in the last 10 years.

• The ATP World Tour’s No. 1 Under-21 player and South Korea’s greatest tennis export, Hyeon Chung, has committed to play the inaugural New York Open tournament at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, which takes place Feb. 11-18. Chung will play his first match on Tuesday, February 13 during the evening session.

• The ITF announced today that it has renewed its sponsorship agreement with NEC Corporation as title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, the ITF’s year-end wheelchair singles championship, for an additional three-year period from 2018 through 2020. NEC will celebrate 25 years as title sponsor in 2018.

• For the fourth consecutive year, the BNP Paribas Open—held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden—has been voted the WTA Premier Mandatory Tournament of the Year, as determined by player vote.

• Canadian tennis fans will be delighted to learn that nine of the best WTA players have chosen to play the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in 2018. The tournament will be held from August 3-12, 2018 at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal.

• From Deepak (Seattle): Your readers would appreciate this:

Pulled the proverbial chord on cable and went completely online through Youtube.TV. The Tennis Channel is included in the base package for $35, and it works like a charm. Since it’s all clouded up, you can store much more than traditional cable allows you to as well. Granted, this is Google's experiment and its really in "beta" but its one of the perks of living in a tech-hub. You shouldn't be surprised—if your more tech-savvy audience go this route soon, they'll be happy to know Google took care of us tennis fans well...

• Sixteen-year old Long Island natives Cannon Kingsley, of Northport, and Michelle Sorokko, of Little Neck, won the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Indoor Championships singles titles this past weekend, highlighting the return of the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ National Indoor Championships, which were last played in 1999.

Kingsley, who is coached by Alex Pop-Moldovan, defeated 18-year old Indiana recruit Carson Haskins (Coaches: Mike Miller, Nick Tanurchis), of Ballwin, Mo., 6-3, 6-0, to win the Boys’ 18s title at the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kan. Sorokko, who is coached by her sister, Kathrin, beat 16-year old New Yorker Sonia Tartakovsky, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, to win the Girls’ 18s singles title at the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, Mass.

Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Federer and Nadal best players of all time - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Federer and Nadal best players of all time - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Federer and Nadal best players of all time - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero says Federer and Nadal are the best players of all time.
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
Federer and Nadal comebacks very impressive - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
Federer and Nadal comebacks very impressive - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
Federer and Nadal comebacks very impressive - Ferrero
Juan Carlos Ferrero expresses amazement at Federer and Nadal comebacks.
2017 AP YEAR END PHOTOS - Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after beating Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, to win the men&#39;s singles final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sept. 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
2017 AP YEAR END PHOTOS - Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after beating Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, to win the men's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sept. 10, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 file photo, Rafael Nadal of Spain returns to David Goffin of Belgium during their singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London. Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation&#39;s player of the year awards, it was announced on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 file photo, Rafael Nadal of Spain returns to David Goffin of Belgium during their singles tennis match at the ATP World Finals at the O2 Arena in London. Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation's player of the year awards, it was announced on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, Garbine Muguruza of Spain returns a shot to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their second round match of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo. Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation&#39;s player of the year awards, it was announced on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, file)
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, Garbine Muguruza of Spain returns a shot to Monica Puig of Puerto Rico during their second round match of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo. Rafael Nadal and fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation's player of the year awards, it was announced on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, file)
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
Nadal and Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards
A fine year for Spanish tennis has ended with Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza being honoured by the ITF.
Viva Espana! Nadal and Muguruza named ITF world champions
A fine year for Spanish tennis has ended with Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza being honoured by the ITF.
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017 Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium&#39;s David Goffin Action Images via Reuters/Tony O&#39;Brien
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017 Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium's David Goffin Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017 Spain&#39;s Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium&#39;s David Goffin Action Images via Reuters/Tony O&#39;Brien
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals
Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 13, 2017 Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his group stage match against Belgium's David Goffin Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal&#39;s annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Olazabal and Nadal Invitational 2017
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal's annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal&#39;s annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Olazabal and Nadal Invitational 2017
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal's annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal's annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Olazabal and Nadal Invitational 2017
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal's annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal&#39;s annual fundraiser in Mallorca
Olazabal and Nadal Invitational 2017
Behind the scenes at the 2017 edition of the Olazabal and Nadal Invitational, two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal's annual fundraiser in Mallorca
<p>Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually &#39;tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it&#39;s probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.</p><p>Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it&#39;s easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being &quot;alpha&quot; with such class.</p><p>For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture&#39;s current left/right, black/white, I&#39;m-right/you&#39;re-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men&#39;s final.</p><p>Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or &quot;balls,&quot; as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.</p><p>&quot;And here we stand in the finals,&quot; Federer said to Nadal. &quot;I&#39;m happy for you. I would&#39;ve been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there&#39;s no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa.&quot;</p><p>The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added &quot;Really.&quot; We&#39;ve long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase &quot;that son of a bitch,&quot; Bjorn Borg, &quot;to the ends of the earth.&quot; And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.</p><p>&quot;Everyone seemed like an adversary,&quot; McEnroe says. &quot;That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone.&quot;</p><p>It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova&#39;s coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, &quot;taught Martina to hate me.&quot; Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi&#39;s head.</p><p>Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. &quot;This rivalry is intense, man!&quot; Federer hollered crosscourt. &quot;I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something.&quot;</p><p>But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. &quot;I&#39;ve seen it 50 times,&quot; says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to &#39;13.</p><p>This year, though, Federer and Nadal&#39;s mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that&#39;s because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in &#39;16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.</p><p>In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they&#39;ve created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the &quot;Fedal&quot; rivalry&#39;s most lasting legacy.</p><p>&quot;As a parent, I look at them and think, That&#39;s kind of what I&#39;d like my children to be,&quot; Annacone says. &quot;Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one&#39;s self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It&#39;s so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we&#39;re like, Don&#39;t they really hate each other, deep down?&quot;</p><p>In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old&#39;s relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal&#39;s Uncle Toni—&quot;You all right, Toni?&quot;—for coaching from the stands.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I caught him in the act,&quot; Federer said after. &quot;Not the first time.&quot;</p><p>Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer&#39;s friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, &quot;He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses.&quot;</p><p>Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other&#39;s triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal&#39;s home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.</p><p>Still, Federer was the sport&#39;s undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal&#39;s only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer&#39;s shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, &quot;you&#39;re going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!&quot;</p><p>Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. &quot;The guy proved everybody wrong,&quot; Becker says. &quot;His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none.&quot;</p><p>Federer&#39;s efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a &quot;Shut up!&quot; to the crowd here, a &quot;Be quiet&quot; to the player&#39;s box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed&#39;s head. In January 2009, Nadal&#39;s record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.</p><p>Federer opened that year&#39;s Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he&#39;s so dominated by his archrival? &quot;God,&quot; Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, &quot;it&#39;s killing me.&quot;</p><p>Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed&#39;s weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.</p><p>After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn&#39;t ignore Federer&#39;s tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent&#39;s shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, &quot;First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure.&quot;</p><p>The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it&#39;s true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer&#39;s inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.</p><p>Then again, it could be the ease in Federer&#39;s game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in &#39;12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal&#39;s vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.</p><p>&quot;Maybe he has got a super body and he&#39;ll finish his career like a rose,&quot; Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We&#39;re not like him, where it&#39;s effortless to play. All of us, it&#39;s a battle.&quot;</p><p>At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he&#39;d finally won his French Open, in &#39;09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.</p><p>&quot;We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them,&quot; he said that night at the All England Club. &quot;If he does beat my record, it almost doesn&#39;t matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do.&quot;</p><p>By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer&#39;s lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the &#39;16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since &#39;04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season&#39;s final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal&#39;s tennis academy on Majorca, called him &quot;the great man&quot;—and made an unprecedented admission.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players,&quot; Federer said, &quot;but you&#39;ve been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you&#39;re lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely.&quot;</p><p>Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer&#39;s decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal&#39;s tenacity.</p><p>In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn&#39;t matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, &quot;kept his foot on the pedal,&quot; says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, &quot;no matter what.&quot;</p><p>Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. &quot;First time I&#39;ve ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets,&quot; Annacone says.</p><p>Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport&#39;s greatest late-career run. &quot;I&#39;ve watched tennis for 40, 50 years,&quot; McEnroe said. &quot;I&#39;ve never seen anything like this.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal&#39;s head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. &quot;Roger&#39;s the greatest person ever to play the game,&quot; says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. &quot;In my mind he&#39;s head and shoulders above anybody on the tour.&quot;</p><p>Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport&#39;s gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal&#39;s territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer&#39;s home surfaces. This year? Federer&#39;s decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. &quot;Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay,&quot; Federer said after Shanghai, &quot;has helped.&quot;</p><p>Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer&#39;s 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the &quot;better&quot; year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.</p><p>&quot;Is so important, winning on hard court again,&quot; Nadal said after the U.S. Open. &quot;That&#39;s a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?&quot;</p><p>Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal&#39;s return this year a storybook. The tour&#39;s injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?&quot; Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer&#39;s charity, image, completeness and passion.</p><p>That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to &quot;finish this son of a bitch off!&quot; There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, &quot;Uh ... no.&quot;</p><p>And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you&#39;d expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer&#39;s head off in the process. (&quot;We were wondering, Who&#39;s the alpha?&quot; said the play-by-play man. &quot;Maybe it&#39;s Rafa.&quot;) But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.</p><p>&quot;To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege,&quot; Nadal said after.</p><p>&quot;For me personally was a great moment too,&quot; Federer said. &quot;After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special.&quot;</p><p>It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.</p><p>&quot;Why can&#39;t it always be like that?&quot; Annacone says. &quot;You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It&#39;s kind of how life should be. They do what you&#39;re supposed to do.&quot;</p><p>And the best part? It&#39;s not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year&#39;s string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa&#39;s head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it&#39;s now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re about to find out,&quot; Courier says. &quot;I hope.&quot;</p>
Partners In Prime: Simultaneous Comebacks of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Were a 2017 Highlight

Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually 'tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it's probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.

Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it's easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being "alpha" with such class.

For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture's current left/right, black/white, I'm-right/you're-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men's final.

Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or "balls," as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.

"And here we stand in the finals," Federer said to Nadal. "I'm happy for you. I would've been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there's no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa."

The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added "Really." We've long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase "that son of a bitch," Bjorn Borg, "to the ends of the earth." And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.

"Everyone seemed like an adversary," McEnroe says. "That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone."

It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova's coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, "taught Martina to hate me." Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi's head.

Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. "This rivalry is intense, man!" Federer hollered crosscourt. "I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something."

But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. "I've seen it 50 times," says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to '13.

This year, though, Federer and Nadal's mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that's because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in '16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.

In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they've created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the "Fedal" rivalry's most lasting legacy.

"As a parent, I look at them and think, That's kind of what I'd like my children to be," Annacone says. "Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one's self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It's so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we're like, Don't they really hate each other, deep down?"

In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old's relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal's Uncle Toni—"You all right, Toni?"—for coaching from the stands.

"Yeah, I caught him in the act," Federer said after. "Not the first time."

Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer's friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, "He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses."

Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other's triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal's home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.

Still, Federer was the sport's undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal's only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer's shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, "you're going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!"

Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. "The guy proved everybody wrong," Becker says. "His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none."

Federer's efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a "Shut up!" to the crowd here, a "Be quiet" to the player's box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed's head. In January 2009, Nadal's record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.

Federer opened that year's Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he's so dominated by his archrival? "God," Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, "it's killing me."

Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed's weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.

After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn't ignore Federer's tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent's shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, "First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure."

The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it's true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer's inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.

Then again, it could be the ease in Federer's game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in '12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal's vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.

"Maybe he has got a super body and he'll finish his career like a rose," Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We're not like him, where it's effortless to play. All of us, it's a battle."

At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he'd finally won his French Open, in '09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.

"We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them," he said that night at the All England Club. "If he does beat my record, it almost doesn't matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do."

By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer's lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the '16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since '04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season's final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal's tennis academy on Majorca, called him "the great man"—and made an unprecedented admission.

"I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players," Federer said, "but you've been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you're lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely."

Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer's decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal's tenacity.

In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn't matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, "kept his foot on the pedal," says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, "no matter what."

Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. "First time I've ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets," Annacone says.

Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport's greatest late-career run. "I've watched tennis for 40, 50 years," McEnroe said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal's head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. "Roger's the greatest person ever to play the game," says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. "In my mind he's head and shoulders above anybody on the tour."

Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport's gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal's territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer's home surfaces. This year? Federer's decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. "Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay," Federer said after Shanghai, "has helped."

Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer's 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the "better" year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.

"Is so important, winning on hard court again," Nadal said after the U.S. Open. "That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?"

Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal's return this year a storybook. The tour's injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.

"I don't want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?" Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer's charity, image, completeness and passion.

That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to "finish this son of a bitch off!" There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, "Uh ... no."

And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you'd expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer's head off in the process. ("We were wondering, Who's the alpha?" said the play-by-play man. "Maybe it's Rafa.") But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.

"To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege," Nadal said after.

"For me personally was a great moment too," Federer said. "After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special."

It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.

"Why can't it always be like that?" Annacone says. "You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It's kind of how life should be. They do what you're supposed to do."

And the best part? It's not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year's string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa's head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it's now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?

"We're about to find out," Courier says. "I hope."

<p>Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually &#39;tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it&#39;s probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.</p><p>Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it&#39;s easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being &quot;alpha&quot; with such class.</p><p>For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture&#39;s current left/right, black/white, I&#39;m-right/you&#39;re-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men&#39;s final.</p><p>Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or &quot;balls,&quot; as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.</p><p>&quot;And here we stand in the finals,&quot; Federer said to Nadal. &quot;I&#39;m happy for you. I would&#39;ve been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there&#39;s no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa.&quot;</p><p>The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added &quot;Really.&quot; We&#39;ve long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase &quot;that son of a bitch,&quot; Bjorn Borg, &quot;to the ends of the earth.&quot; And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.</p><p>&quot;Everyone seemed like an adversary,&quot; McEnroe says. &quot;That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone.&quot;</p><p>It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova&#39;s coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, &quot;taught Martina to hate me.&quot; Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi&#39;s head.</p><p>Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. &quot;This rivalry is intense, man!&quot; Federer hollered crosscourt. &quot;I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something.&quot;</p><p>But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. &quot;I&#39;ve seen it 50 times,&quot; says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to &#39;13.</p><p>This year, though, Federer and Nadal&#39;s mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that&#39;s because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in &#39;16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.</p><p>In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they&#39;ve created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the &quot;Fedal&quot; rivalry&#39;s most lasting legacy.</p><p>&quot;As a parent, I look at them and think, That&#39;s kind of what I&#39;d like my children to be,&quot; Annacone says. &quot;Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one&#39;s self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It&#39;s so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we&#39;re like, Don&#39;t they really hate each other, deep down?&quot;</p><p>In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old&#39;s relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal&#39;s Uncle Toni—&quot;You all right, Toni?&quot;—for coaching from the stands.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I caught him in the act,&quot; Federer said after. &quot;Not the first time.&quot;</p><p>Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer&#39;s friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, &quot;He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses.&quot;</p><p>Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other&#39;s triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal&#39;s home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.</p><p>Still, Federer was the sport&#39;s undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal&#39;s only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer&#39;s shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, &quot;you&#39;re going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!&quot;</p><p>Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. &quot;The guy proved everybody wrong,&quot; Becker says. &quot;His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none.&quot;</p><p>Federer&#39;s efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a &quot;Shut up!&quot; to the crowd here, a &quot;Be quiet&quot; to the player&#39;s box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed&#39;s head. In January 2009, Nadal&#39;s record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.</p><p>Federer opened that year&#39;s Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he&#39;s so dominated by his archrival? &quot;God,&quot; Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, &quot;it&#39;s killing me.&quot;</p><p>Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed&#39;s weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.</p><p>After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn&#39;t ignore Federer&#39;s tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent&#39;s shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, &quot;First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure.&quot;</p><p>The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it&#39;s true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer&#39;s inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.</p><p>Then again, it could be the ease in Federer&#39;s game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in &#39;12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal&#39;s vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.</p><p>&quot;Maybe he has got a super body and he&#39;ll finish his career like a rose,&quot; Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We&#39;re not like him, where it&#39;s effortless to play. All of us, it&#39;s a battle.&quot;</p><p>At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he&#39;d finally won his French Open, in &#39;09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.</p><p>&quot;We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them,&quot; he said that night at the All England Club. &quot;If he does beat my record, it almost doesn&#39;t matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do.&quot;</p><p>By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer&#39;s lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the &#39;16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since &#39;04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season&#39;s final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal&#39;s tennis academy on Majorca, called him &quot;the great man&quot;—and made an unprecedented admission.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players,&quot; Federer said, &quot;but you&#39;ve been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you&#39;re lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely.&quot;</p><p>Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer&#39;s decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal&#39;s tenacity.</p><p>In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn&#39;t matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, &quot;kept his foot on the pedal,&quot; says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, &quot;no matter what.&quot;</p><p>Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. &quot;First time I&#39;ve ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets,&quot; Annacone says.</p><p>Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport&#39;s greatest late-career run. &quot;I&#39;ve watched tennis for 40, 50 years,&quot; McEnroe said. &quot;I&#39;ve never seen anything like this.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal&#39;s head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. &quot;Roger&#39;s the greatest person ever to play the game,&quot; says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. &quot;In my mind he&#39;s head and shoulders above anybody on the tour.&quot;</p><p>Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport&#39;s gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal&#39;s territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer&#39;s home surfaces. This year? Federer&#39;s decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. &quot;Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay,&quot; Federer said after Shanghai, &quot;has helped.&quot;</p><p>Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer&#39;s 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the &quot;better&quot; year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.</p><p>&quot;Is so important, winning on hard court again,&quot; Nadal said after the U.S. Open. &quot;That&#39;s a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?&quot;</p><p>Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal&#39;s return this year a storybook. The tour&#39;s injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?&quot; Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer&#39;s charity, image, completeness and passion.</p><p>That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to &quot;finish this son of a bitch off!&quot; There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, &quot;Uh ... no.&quot;</p><p>And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you&#39;d expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer&#39;s head off in the process. (&quot;We were wondering, Who&#39;s the alpha?&quot; said the play-by-play man. &quot;Maybe it&#39;s Rafa.&quot;) But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.</p><p>&quot;To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege,&quot; Nadal said after.</p><p>&quot;For me personally was a great moment too,&quot; Federer said. &quot;After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special.&quot;</p><p>It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.</p><p>&quot;Why can&#39;t it always be like that?&quot; Annacone says. &quot;You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It&#39;s kind of how life should be. They do what you&#39;re supposed to do.&quot;</p><p>And the best part? It&#39;s not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year&#39;s string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa&#39;s head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it&#39;s now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re about to find out,&quot; Courier says. &quot;I hope.&quot;</p>
Partners In Prime: Simultaneous Comebacks of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Were a 2017 Highlight

Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually 'tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it's probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.

Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it's easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being "alpha" with such class.

For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture's current left/right, black/white, I'm-right/you're-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men's final.

Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or "balls," as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.

"And here we stand in the finals," Federer said to Nadal. "I'm happy for you. I would've been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there's no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa."

The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added "Really." We've long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase "that son of a bitch," Bjorn Borg, "to the ends of the earth." And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.

"Everyone seemed like an adversary," McEnroe says. "That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone."

It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova's coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, "taught Martina to hate me." Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi's head.

Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. "This rivalry is intense, man!" Federer hollered crosscourt. "I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something."

But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. "I've seen it 50 times," says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to '13.

This year, though, Federer and Nadal's mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that's because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in '16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.

In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they've created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the "Fedal" rivalry's most lasting legacy.

"As a parent, I look at them and think, That's kind of what I'd like my children to be," Annacone says. "Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one's self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It's so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we're like, Don't they really hate each other, deep down?"

In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old's relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal's Uncle Toni—"You all right, Toni?"—for coaching from the stands.

"Yeah, I caught him in the act," Federer said after. "Not the first time."

Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer's friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, "He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses."

Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other's triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal's home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.

Still, Federer was the sport's undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal's only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer's shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, "you're going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!"

Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. "The guy proved everybody wrong," Becker says. "His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none."

Federer's efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a "Shut up!" to the crowd here, a "Be quiet" to the player's box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed's head. In January 2009, Nadal's record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.

Federer opened that year's Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he's so dominated by his archrival? "God," Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, "it's killing me."

Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed's weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.

After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn't ignore Federer's tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent's shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, "First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure."

The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it's true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer's inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.

Then again, it could be the ease in Federer's game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in '12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal's vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.

"Maybe he has got a super body and he'll finish his career like a rose," Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We're not like him, where it's effortless to play. All of us, it's a battle."

At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he'd finally won his French Open, in '09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.

"We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them," he said that night at the All England Club. "If he does beat my record, it almost doesn't matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do."

By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer's lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the '16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since '04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season's final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal's tennis academy on Majorca, called him "the great man"—and made an unprecedented admission.

"I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players," Federer said, "but you've been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you're lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely."

Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer's decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal's tenacity.

In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn't matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, "kept his foot on the pedal," says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, "no matter what."

Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. "First time I've ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets," Annacone says.

Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport's greatest late-career run. "I've watched tennis for 40, 50 years," McEnroe said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal's head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. "Roger's the greatest person ever to play the game," says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. "In my mind he's head and shoulders above anybody on the tour."

Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport's gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal's territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer's home surfaces. This year? Federer's decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. "Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay," Federer said after Shanghai, "has helped."

Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer's 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the "better" year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.

"Is so important, winning on hard court again," Nadal said after the U.S. Open. "That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?"

Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal's return this year a storybook. The tour's injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.

"I don't want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?" Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer's charity, image, completeness and passion.

That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to "finish this son of a bitch off!" There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, "Uh ... no."

And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you'd expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer's head off in the process. ("We were wondering, Who's the alpha?" said the play-by-play man. "Maybe it's Rafa.") But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.

"To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege," Nadal said after.

"For me personally was a great moment too," Federer said. "After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special."

It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.

"Why can't it always be like that?" Annacone says. "You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It's kind of how life should be. They do what you're supposed to do."

And the best part? It's not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year's string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa's head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it's now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?

"We're about to find out," Courier says. "I hope."

<p>Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually &#39;tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it&#39;s probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.</p><p>Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it&#39;s easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being &quot;alpha&quot; with such class.</p><p>For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture&#39;s current left/right, black/white, I&#39;m-right/you&#39;re-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men&#39;s final.</p><p>Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or &quot;balls,&quot; as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.</p><p>&quot;And here we stand in the finals,&quot; Federer said to Nadal. &quot;I&#39;m happy for you. I would&#39;ve been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there&#39;s no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa.&quot;</p><p>The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added &quot;Really.&quot; We&#39;ve long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase &quot;that son of a bitch,&quot; Bjorn Borg, &quot;to the ends of the earth.&quot; And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.</p><p>&quot;Everyone seemed like an adversary,&quot; McEnroe says. &quot;That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone.&quot;</p><p>It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova&#39;s coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, &quot;taught Martina to hate me.&quot; Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi&#39;s head.</p><p>Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. &quot;This rivalry is intense, man!&quot; Federer hollered crosscourt. &quot;I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something.&quot;</p><p>But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. &quot;I&#39;ve seen it 50 times,&quot; says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to &#39;13.</p><p>This year, though, Federer and Nadal&#39;s mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that&#39;s because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in &#39;16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.</p><p>In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they&#39;ve created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the &quot;Fedal&quot; rivalry&#39;s most lasting legacy.</p><p>&quot;As a parent, I look at them and think, That&#39;s kind of what I&#39;d like my children to be,&quot; Annacone says. &quot;Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one&#39;s self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It&#39;s so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we&#39;re like, Don&#39;t they really hate each other, deep down?&quot;</p><p>In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old&#39;s relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal&#39;s Uncle Toni—&quot;You all right, Toni?&quot;—for coaching from the stands.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I caught him in the act,&quot; Federer said after. &quot;Not the first time.&quot;</p><p>Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer&#39;s friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, &quot;He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses.&quot;</p><p>Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other&#39;s triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal&#39;s home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.</p><p>Still, Federer was the sport&#39;s undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal&#39;s only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer&#39;s shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, &quot;you&#39;re going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!&quot;</p><p>Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. &quot;The guy proved everybody wrong,&quot; Becker says. &quot;His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none.&quot;</p><p>Federer&#39;s efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a &quot;Shut up!&quot; to the crowd here, a &quot;Be quiet&quot; to the player&#39;s box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed&#39;s head. In January 2009, Nadal&#39;s record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.</p><p>Federer opened that year&#39;s Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he&#39;s so dominated by his archrival? &quot;God,&quot; Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, &quot;it&#39;s killing me.&quot;</p><p>Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed&#39;s weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.</p><p>After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn&#39;t ignore Federer&#39;s tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent&#39;s shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, &quot;First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure.&quot;</p><p>The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it&#39;s true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer&#39;s inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.</p><p>Then again, it could be the ease in Federer&#39;s game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in &#39;12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal&#39;s vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.</p><p>&quot;Maybe he has got a super body and he&#39;ll finish his career like a rose,&quot; Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We&#39;re not like him, where it&#39;s effortless to play. All of us, it&#39;s a battle.&quot;</p><p>At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he&#39;d finally won his French Open, in &#39;09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.</p><p>&quot;We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them,&quot; he said that night at the All England Club. &quot;If he does beat my record, it almost doesn&#39;t matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do.&quot;</p><p>By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer&#39;s lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the &#39;16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since &#39;04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season&#39;s final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal&#39;s tennis academy on Majorca, called him &quot;the great man&quot;—and made an unprecedented admission.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players,&quot; Federer said, &quot;but you&#39;ve been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you&#39;re lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely.&quot;</p><p>Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer&#39;s decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal&#39;s tenacity.</p><p>In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn&#39;t matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, &quot;kept his foot on the pedal,&quot; says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, &quot;no matter what.&quot;</p><p>Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. &quot;First time I&#39;ve ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets,&quot; Annacone says.</p><p>Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport&#39;s greatest late-career run. &quot;I&#39;ve watched tennis for 40, 50 years,&quot; McEnroe said. &quot;I&#39;ve never seen anything like this.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal&#39;s head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. &quot;Roger&#39;s the greatest person ever to play the game,&quot; says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. &quot;In my mind he&#39;s head and shoulders above anybody on the tour.&quot;</p><p>Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport&#39;s gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal&#39;s territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer&#39;s home surfaces. This year? Federer&#39;s decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. &quot;Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay,&quot; Federer said after Shanghai, &quot;has helped.&quot;</p><p>Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer&#39;s 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the &quot;better&quot; year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.</p><p>&quot;Is so important, winning on hard court again,&quot; Nadal said after the U.S. Open. &quot;That&#39;s a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?&quot;</p><p>Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal&#39;s return this year a storybook. The tour&#39;s injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?&quot; Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer&#39;s charity, image, completeness and passion.</p><p>That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to &quot;finish this son of a bitch off!&quot; There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, &quot;Uh ... no.&quot;</p><p>And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you&#39;d expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer&#39;s head off in the process. (&quot;We were wondering, Who&#39;s the alpha?&quot; said the play-by-play man. &quot;Maybe it&#39;s Rafa.&quot;) But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.</p><p>&quot;To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege,&quot; Nadal said after.</p><p>&quot;For me personally was a great moment too,&quot; Federer said. &quot;After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special.&quot;</p><p>It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.</p><p>&quot;Why can&#39;t it always be like that?&quot; Annacone says. &quot;You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It&#39;s kind of how life should be. They do what you&#39;re supposed to do.&quot;</p><p>And the best part? It&#39;s not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year&#39;s string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa&#39;s head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it&#39;s now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re about to find out,&quot; Courier says. &quot;I hope.&quot;</p>
Partners In Prime: Simultaneous Comebacks of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Were a 2017 Highlight

Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually 'tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it's probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.

Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it's easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being "alpha" with such class.

For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture's current left/right, black/white, I'm-right/you're-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men's final.

Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or "balls," as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.

"And here we stand in the finals," Federer said to Nadal. "I'm happy for you. I would've been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there's no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa."

The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added "Really." We've long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase "that son of a bitch," Bjorn Borg, "to the ends of the earth." And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.

"Everyone seemed like an adversary," McEnroe says. "That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone."

It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova's coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, "taught Martina to hate me." Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi's head.

Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. "This rivalry is intense, man!" Federer hollered crosscourt. "I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something."

But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. "I've seen it 50 times," says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to '13.

This year, though, Federer and Nadal's mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that's because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in '16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.

In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they've created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the "Fedal" rivalry's most lasting legacy.

"As a parent, I look at them and think, That's kind of what I'd like my children to be," Annacone says. "Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one's self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It's so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we're like, Don't they really hate each other, deep down?"

In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old's relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal's Uncle Toni—"You all right, Toni?"—for coaching from the stands.

"Yeah, I caught him in the act," Federer said after. "Not the first time."

Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer's friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, "He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses."

Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other's triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal's home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.

Still, Federer was the sport's undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal's only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer's shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, "you're going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!"

Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. "The guy proved everybody wrong," Becker says. "His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none."

Federer's efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a "Shut up!" to the crowd here, a "Be quiet" to the player's box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed's head. In January 2009, Nadal's record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.

Federer opened that year's Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he's so dominated by his archrival? "God," Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, "it's killing me."

Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed's weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.

After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn't ignore Federer's tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent's shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, "First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure."

The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it's true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer's inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.

Then again, it could be the ease in Federer's game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in '12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal's vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.

"Maybe he has got a super body and he'll finish his career like a rose," Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We're not like him, where it's effortless to play. All of us, it's a battle."

At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he'd finally won his French Open, in '09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.

"We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them," he said that night at the All England Club. "If he does beat my record, it almost doesn't matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do."

By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer's lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the '16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since '04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season's final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal's tennis academy on Majorca, called him "the great man"—and made an unprecedented admission.

"I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players," Federer said, "but you've been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you're lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely."

Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer's decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal's tenacity.

In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn't matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, "kept his foot on the pedal," says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, "no matter what."

Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. "First time I've ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets," Annacone says.

Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport's greatest late-career run. "I've watched tennis for 40, 50 years," McEnroe said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal's head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. "Roger's the greatest person ever to play the game," says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. "In my mind he's head and shoulders above anybody on the tour."

Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport's gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal's territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer's home surfaces. This year? Federer's decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. "Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay," Federer said after Shanghai, "has helped."

Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer's 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the "better" year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.

"Is so important, winning on hard court again," Nadal said after the U.S. Open. "That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?"

Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal's return this year a storybook. The tour's injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.

"I don't want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?" Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer's charity, image, completeness and passion.

That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to "finish this son of a bitch off!" There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, "Uh ... no."

And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you'd expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer's head off in the process. ("We were wondering, Who's the alpha?" said the play-by-play man. "Maybe it's Rafa.") But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.

"To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege," Nadal said after.

"For me personally was a great moment too," Federer said. "After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special."

It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.

"Why can't it always be like that?" Annacone says. "You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It's kind of how life should be. They do what you're supposed to do."

And the best part? It's not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year's string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa's head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it's now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?

"We're about to find out," Courier says. "I hope."

<p>Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually &#39;tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it&#39;s probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.</p><p>Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it&#39;s easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being &quot;alpha&quot; with such class.</p><p>For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture&#39;s current left/right, black/white, I&#39;m-right/you&#39;re-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men&#39;s final.</p><p>Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or &quot;balls,&quot; as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.</p><p>&quot;And here we stand in the finals,&quot; Federer said to Nadal. &quot;I&#39;m happy for you. I would&#39;ve been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there&#39;s no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa.&quot;</p><p>The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added &quot;Really.&quot; We&#39;ve long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase &quot;that son of a bitch,&quot; Bjorn Borg, &quot;to the ends of the earth.&quot; And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.</p><p>&quot;Everyone seemed like an adversary,&quot; McEnroe says. &quot;That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone.&quot;</p><p>It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova&#39;s coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, &quot;taught Martina to hate me.&quot; Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi&#39;s head.</p><p>Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. &quot;This rivalry is intense, man!&quot; Federer hollered crosscourt. &quot;I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something.&quot;</p><p>But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. &quot;I&#39;ve seen it 50 times,&quot; says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to &#39;13.</p><p>This year, though, Federer and Nadal&#39;s mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that&#39;s because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in &#39;16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.</p><p>In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they&#39;ve created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the &quot;Fedal&quot; rivalry&#39;s most lasting legacy.</p><p>&quot;As a parent, I look at them and think, That&#39;s kind of what I&#39;d like my children to be,&quot; Annacone says. &quot;Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one&#39;s self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It&#39;s so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we&#39;re like, Don&#39;t they really hate each other, deep down?&quot;</p><p>In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old&#39;s relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal&#39;s Uncle Toni—&quot;You all right, Toni?&quot;—for coaching from the stands.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I caught him in the act,&quot; Federer said after. &quot;Not the first time.&quot;</p><p>Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer&#39;s friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, &quot;He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses.&quot;</p><p>Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other&#39;s triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal&#39;s home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.</p><p>Still, Federer was the sport&#39;s undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal&#39;s only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer&#39;s shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, &quot;you&#39;re going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!&quot;</p><p>Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. &quot;The guy proved everybody wrong,&quot; Becker says. &quot;His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none.&quot;</p><p>Federer&#39;s efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a &quot;Shut up!&quot; to the crowd here, a &quot;Be quiet&quot; to the player&#39;s box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed&#39;s head. In January 2009, Nadal&#39;s record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.</p><p>Federer opened that year&#39;s Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he&#39;s so dominated by his archrival? &quot;God,&quot; Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, &quot;it&#39;s killing me.&quot;</p><p>Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed&#39;s weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.</p><p>After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn&#39;t ignore Federer&#39;s tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent&#39;s shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, &quot;First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure.&quot;</p><p>The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it&#39;s true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer&#39;s inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.</p><p>Then again, it could be the ease in Federer&#39;s game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in &#39;12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal&#39;s vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.</p><p>&quot;Maybe he has got a super body and he&#39;ll finish his career like a rose,&quot; Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We&#39;re not like him, where it&#39;s effortless to play. All of us, it&#39;s a battle.&quot;</p><p>At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he&#39;d finally won his French Open, in &#39;09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.</p><p>&quot;We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them,&quot; he said that night at the All England Club. &quot;If he does beat my record, it almost doesn&#39;t matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do.&quot;</p><p>By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer&#39;s lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the &#39;16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since &#39;04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season&#39;s final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal&#39;s tennis academy on Majorca, called him &quot;the great man&quot;—and made an unprecedented admission.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players,&quot; Federer said, &quot;but you&#39;ve been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you&#39;re lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely.&quot;</p><p>Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer&#39;s decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal&#39;s tenacity.</p><p>In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn&#39;t matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, &quot;kept his foot on the pedal,&quot; says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, &quot;no matter what.&quot;</p><p>Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. &quot;First time I&#39;ve ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets,&quot; Annacone says.</p><p>Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport&#39;s greatest late-career run. &quot;I&#39;ve watched tennis for 40, 50 years,&quot; McEnroe said. &quot;I&#39;ve never seen anything like this.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal&#39;s head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. &quot;Roger&#39;s the greatest person ever to play the game,&quot; says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. &quot;In my mind he&#39;s head and shoulders above anybody on the tour.&quot;</p><p>Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport&#39;s gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal&#39;s territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer&#39;s home surfaces. This year? Federer&#39;s decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. &quot;Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay,&quot; Federer said after Shanghai, &quot;has helped.&quot;</p><p>Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer&#39;s 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the &quot;better&quot; year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.</p><p>&quot;Is so important, winning on hard court again,&quot; Nadal said after the U.S. Open. &quot;That&#39;s a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?&quot;</p><p>Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal&#39;s return this year a storybook. The tour&#39;s injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?&quot; Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer&#39;s charity, image, completeness and passion.</p><p>That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to &quot;finish this son of a bitch off!&quot; There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, &quot;Uh ... no.&quot;</p><p>And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you&#39;d expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer&#39;s head off in the process. (&quot;We were wondering, Who&#39;s the alpha?&quot; said the play-by-play man. &quot;Maybe it&#39;s Rafa.&quot;) But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.</p><p>&quot;To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege,&quot; Nadal said after.</p><p>&quot;For me personally was a great moment too,&quot; Federer said. &quot;After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special.&quot;</p><p>It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.</p><p>&quot;Why can&#39;t it always be like that?&quot; Annacone says. &quot;You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It&#39;s kind of how life should be. They do what you&#39;re supposed to do.&quot;</p><p>And the best part? It&#39;s not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year&#39;s string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa&#39;s head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it&#39;s now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re about to find out,&quot; Courier says. &quot;I hope.&quot;</p>
Partners In Prime: Simultaneous Comebacks of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer Were a 2017 Highlight

Pity your favorite editorial cartoonist. Usually 'tis the season when that weary wretch can, for a day, get away with a dashed-off Father Time: geezer, sickle, four numerals to note the passing year. But how to capture 2017? Bald and bearded hardly sums up its dispiritingly nasty tone. And it's probably best to avoid using a berobed male to symbolize anything, much less the culture at large, unless you can depict predation, cluelessness and the appalling abuse of position and power.

Indeed, with the revelatory parade of odious men from the media, film, sports and political realms marking this annus as particularly horribilis, it's easy to forget the exceptions. Yet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, simultaneously crafting the most astonishing comebacks of their careers, together conducted a global tutorial in how to compete, win, project strength and earn millions without embarrassing themselves, bullying subordinates or belittling opponents. Few athletes, this year, proved more dominant. Fewer males, anywhere, handled being "alpha" with such class.

For the first example of this, you had to travel in January to the bottom of the planet, Melbourne—a place about as far as possible from our culture's current left/right, black/white, I'm-right/you're-crazy divide. Sure, it seems odd that a pro sports championship, with its stark delineation of winners and losers, could provide a lesson in how not to approach every argument or game as zero-sum. Yet that was the feeling at the 2017 Australian Open men's final.

Consider: Federer, 35, had every reason to exult after stampeding the 30-year-old Nadal 6-3 in the fifth set, overcoming not just a 1-3 deficit but also a decade of gibes about his lack of guts (or "balls," as seven-time major champ Mats Wilander once put it) when facing his implacable foe. Standing in the same spot where, eight years before, yet another collapse against Nadal had left him weeping, Federer spoke of how, just three months earlier, the two had been nursing injuries that suggested nearly any future but this.

"And here we stand in the finals," Federer said to Nadal. "I'm happy for you. I would've been happy to lose to you, to be honest. Tennis is a tough sport; there's no draws. But if there was going to be one, I would be very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa."

The crowd gasped so loudly—Happy to lose?—that Federer added "Really." We've long been taught to expect personal animus at the top of tennis, ever since Jimmy Connors approached each match as a street fight and vowed to chase "that son of a bitch," Bjorn Borg, "to the ends of the earth." And Connors respected Borg. Connors and John McEnroe viscerally despised each other, with a loathing of Ivan Lendl their sole common bond.

"Everyone seemed like an adversary," McEnroe says. "That was sort of the way I grew up; I watched Connors and some of these other guys, and you had to watch out for everyone."

It metastasized from there: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were doubles partners until their rivalry heated up and Navratilova's coach, as Evert told the New York Post in 2002, "taught Martina to hate me." Steffi Graf and Monica Seles maintained a stony silence until a deranged Graf fan stabbed Seles in 1993. Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi? In 2010, eight years after their final match, the two faced each other in a charity doubles exhibition: Agassi taunted Sampras for being a tightwad; Sampras blasted a serve at Agassi's head.

Their partners that evening—Federer and Nadal—were visibly unnerved. "This rivalry is intense, man!" Federer hollered crosscourt. "I mean, Rafa ... start! Do something."

But the Rafa-Fed rivalry—which for quality already surpassed anything produced by Sampras-Agassi—had nowhere near that kind of sizzle. They had been playing each other for six years, and Nadal was on a roll, winning five of their previous six (highly civil) meetings, including the French Open, Wimbledon and that tear-stained Aussie Open. Anyone suspecting hidden enmity all but gave up a few months later, when Federer and Nadal turned a promotional video for a charity match into a 14-minute gigglefest. The clip went viral, and some 11 million YouTube views later, it remains one of the more delightful byplays in sports history. "I've seen it 50 times," says Paul Annacone, who coached Federer from 2010 to '13.

This year, though, Federer and Nadal's mutual regard stood out like never before. Perhaps that's because, though long paired in the public mind, their careers had never before tracked so closely. Entering 2017 both were experiencing their longest Grand Slam droughts, five years for Federer and three for Nadal; both had finished just two majors in '16 because of injury; both were considered essentially done as title contenders. Yet each roared back to win two majors apiece and, stunningly, answered the lone niggling doubt about his greatness in the process.

In short, the tennis year belonged to both men—but also to this third entity, invisible but always present, that they've created together. Call it civility or respect or the understanding that genius is only truly understood by genius: It may well end up being the "Fedal" rivalry's most lasting legacy.

"As a parent, I look at them and think, That's kind of what I'd like my children to be," Annacone says. "Not in terms of accomplishment. In terms of sense of one's self, their sense of appreciation for what they get to do. They just get it. It's so rare in sports to see two rivals who are able to approach their careers in that fashion—purely—that it catches all of us off guard. Because we're like, Don't they really hate each other, deep down?"

In truth, it was easy to wonder that early on. Neither Federer nor Nadal sports the flamboyant neuroses that made the early Open era such a circus, but ego and competitiveness did produce some friction. When they met in the 2006 Italian Open final, Federer, then 24, trailed 1-4 in their series and seemed utterly confounded by the 19-year-old's relentlessness and high, spinning southpaw forehands. His frustration boiled over during the ensuing five-set epic, when he snapped at Nadal's Uncle Toni—"You all right, Toni?"—for coaching from the stands.

"Yeah, I caught him in the act," Federer said after. "Not the first time."

Not the first time, either, that he had seized a seemingly commanding lead in the fifth (4-1) and wilted. Nadal ignored Federer's friendly pat on the gut at net and, still smarting from the implication of cheating, the next day said, "He has to learn to be a gentleman even when he loses."

Despite their language barrier and age gap, the two shared some core traits: A grounded family, a drive based more on achievement than conquest, a dislike of media-fueled sniping. With temperatures rising and fans slavering for a heated rivalry, ground-level ATP officials urged them to meet and talk. A few weeks later, at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, Federer and Nadal sat at a table separated only by Princess Elena of Spain, broke bread and cheered each other's triumphs. The following year Federer flew to Nadal's home island of Majorca to play a goofy half-grass/half-clay exhibition, and the two had a warm dinner, seemingly at peace with divvying up, like spheres of influence, the tennis world.

Still, Federer was the sport's undisputed king then, winner of 10 majors, supreme on hard court and grass, while Nadal's only two Grand Slams had come at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had all the marks of a clay-court specialist—except in his own ambitious mind. Armed with great wheels and wondrous hands, aided by a slowing of court surfaces and by string technology that lent his shots astounding torque, Nadal pounded away at Federer's shaky high backhand, lost to him in back-to-back Wimbledon finals, and suddenly, says Boris Becker, "you're going, Holy s---! This guy is the full packet!"

Nadal completed his coup in 2008, beating Federer in a five-set epic at the All England Club—9-7 in the fifth, as darkness fell—that was instantly hailed as the greatest match ever. "The guy proved everybody wrong," Becker says. "His sheer determination to overcome obstacles must be second to none."

Federer's efforts against Nadal on clay, meanwhile, kept falling short. He seemed uncharacteristically cowed in their matches but, against other challengers, began to snap: a "Shut up!" to the crowd here, a "Be quiet" to the player's box there. Critics declared that Rafa had burrowed inside Fed's head. In January 2009, Nadal's record against Federer stood at 12-6 ... and he just kept coming.

Federer opened that year's Australian Open final hoping to tie his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 14th Grand Slam title; instead, Nadal seized his first hard-court major by rolling him in the fifth set, 6-2. The Federer Paradox took hold: How can a player be termed the greatest if he's so dominated by his archrival? "God," Federer said, crying as he tried to give his runner-up speech, "it's killing me."

Much has been made of that moment. No No. 1 has ever had more poise; Federer always carried himself like a jock dreamed up by Ian Fleming. But in Australia, all suavity vanished. Nadal, the first to expose Fed's weakness, now made him reveal how much losing hurt. Far less has been made of what happened next.

After raising the trophy high, Nadal didn't ignore Federer's tears or stare at the ground, but walked back, threw an arm around his opponent's shoulders and leaned in with the gentlest of head butts. Then he took the mike and said, "First of all, Roger, sorry for today. I really know how you feel right now is really tough, but remember, you are a great champion. You are one of the best of history. You are going to improve on the 14 of Sampras, for sure."

The spontaneity of his response undercut any suspicion of gamesmanship—though it's true Nadal had arranged some cozy psychological cushioning by insisting for years that he was Federer's inferior, even as he was kicking his ass. With that mind-set each loss is justifiable, every win gravy.

Then again, it could be the ease in Federer's game that Nadal so admires, and slightly resents. For by then his own disturbing pattern had begun to emerge. Though Nadal finished 2008 at No. 1 for the first time, the toll exacted by his furious style was becoming clear; his record, riddled with withdrawals because of foot and knee injuries, would nearly always dip after June, and few expected his body to hold up long. Early in '12, with Federer the president of the ATP Player Council and Nadal the vice president, the two clashed over a number of issues, including Nadal's vocal support of a two-year ranking system to protect injured players.

"Maybe he has got a super body and he'll finish his career like a rose," Nadal said of Federer. “Neither myself, nor [Andy] Murray, nor [Novak] Djokovic are going to finish our careers like a rose.... We're not like him, where it's effortless to play. All of us, it's a battle."

At that point the Nadal-Federer divide consumed fans, with numbers (Federer, 17-11 in the Grand Slam count; Nadal, 18-10 head-to-head) deployed in what felt, at core, like a matter of persona. And how do you compare warrior to artist? Sun Tzu to Michelangelo? By the time he won his seventh Wimbledon, in 2012, Federer seemed resigned to ambiguity; yes, he'd finally won his French Open, in '09 (without facing Nadal), but the greatest-of-all-time debate figured to rage on, forever.

"We have two such separate lives and worlds and things we do and the way we do them," he said that night at the All England Club. "If he does beat my record, it almost doesn't matter. Because I did things he can never do. He did things that I can never do."

By October 2016, Nadal had won three more majors to cut Federer's lead to three, but both men seemed on the edge of valedictory. Nadal pulled out of the '16 French Open in tears with a left wrist injury, missed Wimbledon, failed to reach a Slam quarterfinal for the first time since '04 and finished the year ranked ninth. Back trouble and left-knee surgery knocked Federer out of the season's final four months and out of the Top 10 for the first time in 14 years. He attended the October opening of Nadal's tennis academy on Majorca, called him "the great man"—and made an unprecedented admission.

"I've seen a lot of hard workers and inspiring players," Federer said, "but you've been the one who has been the most inspiring and most influential and made me the player I am today. Because you're lefthanded, because of your spin, because of the intensity you bring to the court, I had to reinvent and rework my game entirely."

Neither, surely, suspected that the reinventing was far from over. Indeed, Federer's decision in 2014 to switch to a bigger racket—from 90 inches to 97—had paid minimal dividends until last winter, when he paired it with a tactical shift. Urged on by coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic, who as a player wielded a punishing one-handed backhand, the 16th-ranked Federer returned in January bent on sustained assault. It was hardly a new idea, but previous bids had always, after a set or two, dissolved in the face of Nadal's tenacity.

In Australia, Federer decided it wouldn't matter if he had a lead or if errors began to mount. Hugging the baseline, taking the ball early, flattening out his backhand—especially on returns—he survived three Top 10 opponents to make the final. Waiting was Nadal, uninjured but hardly pain-free. Of course it went five sets. Federer found himself down a break at 3-1 but, this time, "kept his foot on the pedal," says former world No. 1 Jim Courier, "no matter what."

Five games later, Federer had beaten Nadal in a major for the first time in a decade. "First time I've ever seen Roger play the right way against Rafa for five sets," Annacone says.

Then something strange happened. Federer kept it up. He beat Nadal again at Indian Wells, then at Miami—both in straight sets—won his eighth Wimbledon without losing a set and, in October, now 36, crushed Nadal again in Shanghai. He would finish the year No. 2, with seven titles and a 52-5 record: without doubt, the sport's greatest late-career run. "I've watched tennis for 40, 50 years," McEnroe said. "I've never seen anything like this."

Perhaps even more important, Federer has beaten Nadal a career-high five straight to reclaim, at last, his hard-court dominion. Nadal's head-to-head lead is now a less overwhelming 23-15, with 13 wins on clay—an imbalance notable enough to allow Fed fans to claim victory. "Roger's the greatest person ever to play the game," says Rod Laver, the only winner of two calendar-year Grand Slams. "In my mind he's head and shoulders above anybody on the tour."

Yet the vexing truth about this rivalry is that it can never be quite that cut-and-dried. Grand Slam count has only recently become the sport's gold standard, after all, and it matters that Federer has just one major win in Nadal's territory, Roland Garros, while Nadal has won six, including two over Federer, on Federer's home surfaces. This year? Federer's decision to skip the clay-court season was brilliant for many reasons, not least because it allowed him to face Nadal only on his own terms. "Clearly avoiding him—not playing him on clay," Federer said after Shanghai, "has helped."

Such cherry-picking, of course, makes it easier—even with Federer's 4-0 record against him in 2017—to claim that Nadal had the "better" year. He won a historic 10th French Open and his third U.S. Open—arguably the two most punishing majors. He went 67-10, claimed six titles, and at 31 became the oldest man ever to finish the year No. 1. Most important, Nadal managed body and schedule well enough to post the kind of second half long thought past him, all the way until his knees gave out in November.

"Is so important, winning on hard court again," Nadal said after the U.S. Open. "That's a lot of positive energy for me. Being healthy, you see everything more possible, no?"

Including the gift given tennis fans throughout 2017. Call it Kismet: Everything conspired to make Federer and Nadal's return this year a storybook. The tour's injury plague cleared the draw of their most worrying threats: Federer won Wimbledon and Nadal the U.S. Open without facing Djokovic, Murray—or each other. Their warm relationship, meanwhile, made everyone a bit giddy. No press conference could pass without a question about their mutual admiration.

"I don't want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?" Nadal said after his Open quarterfinal, before—again—enumerating Federer's charity, image, completeness and passion.

That was just a few weeks before both men jetted to Prague for the Laver Cup, a Federer-created exhibition pitting Europe versus the World, with Borg and McEnroe coaching. The newfangled format placed cameras in the locker room and on the sidelines, allowing a riveting glimpse of Federer and Nadal talking strategy together, and the contrast between rivals then and now. There was McEnroe, urging Jack Sock of the U.S. during his singles match with Nadal to "finish this son of a bitch off!" There was Borg, being asked if he could imagine playing doubles with Connors or McEnroe, and saying, "Uh ... no."

And there, at last, were Federer and Nadal together for the first time, playing doubles against Sock and countryman Sam Querrey, lined up with their Hall of Fame forehands covering the alleys. And it went off as you'd expect, Fedal winning 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 with just one tiny hiccup: a high ball that Federer called for but Nadal intercepted, nearly taking Federer's head off in the process. ("We were wondering, Who's the alpha?" said the play-by-play man. "Maybe it's Rafa.") But both players laughed and sat close and jabbered during breaks, and hugged when it was done.

"To have Roger next to me is a huge privilege," Nadal said after.

"For me personally was a great moment too," Federer said. "After this we will be rivals again, thank God—or unfortunately, however you want to see it. But this was something very special."

It was. We live in an era when rivalry, like so much else in the culture, too often becomes poisonous. The way Federer and Nadal have learned to interact poses a compelling question.

"Why can't it always be like that?" Annacone says. "You look at these guys and see that you can be a helluva competitor, work your ass off, spill your guts and then praise the person on the other side. It's kind of how life should be. They do what you're supposed to do."

And the best part? It's not over. Federer holds a 19-16 lead in majors, but this year's string of wins has, for the first time in 13 years, fundamentally changed their dynamic. Roger has climbed inside Rafa's head. The eternal challenger has been pushed back on his heels, and it's now down to him to muster a response. Keep altering serve patterns? Double down on attacking the backhand? Does Nadal have enough left to push this glorious scrap to yet another level?

"We're about to find out," Courier says. "I hope."

Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt is confident veterans Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are capable of dominating tennis next year.
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men&#39;s game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men&#39;s game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men&#39;s game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Federer and Nadal can still dominate men's game - Hewitt
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez&#39;s cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern&#39;s lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso&#39;s second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side&#39;s pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There&#39;s a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar&#39;s cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that&#39;s a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of &#39;sweeper keeping&#39;. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69&#39;) Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it&#39;s PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50&#39;) What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of &#39;headers and volleys&#39;. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We&#39;re back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it&#39;s this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG&#39;s vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they&#39;ve done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it&#39;s so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that&#39;s easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it&#39;s Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe&#39;s dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar&#39;s speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it&#39;s all kicking off! There&#39;s mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37&#39;) Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It&#39;s on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It&#39;s a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can&#39;t really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James&#39; corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn&#39;t booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola&#39;s grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian&#39;s cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it&#39;s Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8&#39;) Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez&#39;s cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski&#39;s feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman&#39;s left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said &#39;my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much&#39;. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa&#39;s cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We&#39;re under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG&#39;s goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery&#39;s side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They&#39;re pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what&#39;s at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. &quot;It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris,&quot; Ulreich said. &quot;We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. &quot;The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we&#39;re training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody.&quot; &quot;It&#39;s nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe,&quot; added midfielder Kingsley Coman. &quot;We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders.&quot; 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG&#39;s Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here&#39;s the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight&#39;s heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment&#39;s Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight&#39;s match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight&#39;s game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich&#39;s head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the &#39;Holy Trinity&#39; up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We&#39;ll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani
Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1: Corentin Tolisso double not enough to secure top spot for the hosts
Bayern Munich won 3-1 on Tuesday to deal Paris Saint-Germain its biggest defeat of the season but still had to settle for second place behind the French team in their Champions League group. Bayern lost the previous meeting 3-0 in Paris - a defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job as manager - and needed to beat PSG by four goals to finish top of Group B. Both sides were already assured of progress to the last 16. Robert Lewandowski got Bayern off to a flying start after Kingsley Coman headed James Rodriguez's cross towards goal. The Poland striker needed no second invitation for his third goal of the campaign. The home side assumed control, though Kylian Mbappe and Neymar showed glimpses of their considerable talent. The Brazilian should have done better when Mbappe sent him through with a brilliant pass. James crossed for Corentin Tolisso to double Bayern's lead before the break. Corentin Tolisso scored twice on the night Credit: AFP Bayern needed just two more in the second half to top the group, but Mbappe dented those hopes soon after the break when Edinson Cavani lifted the ball for the 18-year-old to head past Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal. Coman burst through to set up Tolisso's second goal midway through the half. It was enough to restore the home side's pride, albeit not enough to top the group. Both sides finished with 15 points, well ahead of Celtic and Anderlecht, both on three. Anderlecht won 1-0 in Glasgow but Celtic finished third to take the Europa League place. 9:40PM Full-time There's a late scramble as Cavani and then Neymar try and bundle the ball him. Moments later Mbappe is denied by a brilliant Ulreich save as he looks to convert Neymar's cross from close range. Lewandowski then makes a mess of a one on one as he mistakenly tries to chip Areola and ends up sky-ing the chance. But the final whistle goes, and it finishes Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1. PSG top Group B on the head to head rule. Corentin Tolisso makes it 3-1 Credit: Getty Images 9:36PM 90 min PSG make a change - Lo Celso on for Draxler, who has impressed with his industry tonight. Three minutes of time added on. 9:34PM 88 min Bayern spring PSG on the break, but Rafinha waits and waits and in the end his pull-back from the left is blocked for a corner. Eventually the visitors get the ball clear. 9:31PM 85 min Bayern sub: Rafinha, who has a similarly bleached bob as Lewandowski, replaces Alaba. 9:28PM 83 min Bayern sub: James, who has been outstanding, is replaced by Vidal. James Rodriguez Credit: Getty Images 9:27PM 82 min Draxler picks up a yellow for chopping down Lewandowski. 9:27PM 81 min Mbappe has a shot deflected wide from the edge of the box by Sule before Marquinhos attempts a bicycle kick from the resulting corner that's a few yards over. 9:24PM 78 min Ulreich channels the man he is deputising for and comes charging off his line to head the ball away with Neymar bearing fown on him. Even Manuel Neuer himself would have been proud of that bit of 'sweeper keeping'. 9:21PM 76 min Marquinhos could easily pick up a second booking for blocking off Coman, but he gets away with a quiet word. Corentin Tolisso celebrates scoring for Bayern Credit: AFP 9:19PM 73 min Bayern hoping for a penalty but Tolisso instantly admits there was nothing in it after he goes down anticipating a challenge that never comes from Areola. 9:18PM 72 min For that penalty shout by the way, it looks as though Cavani did slip and the referee made the right call. And now another blow for PSG...their captain Silva is limping off with a calf injury to be replaced by Kimpembe. 9:16PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 3 PSG 1 (Tolisso 69') Brilliant work down the left from Coman, who skins Alves and then pulls the ball back perfectly for the onrushing Tolisso to stroke home his second of the night. Bayern need two goals again to top Group B. FC Bayern 3 - 1 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 69 min) 9:12PM 66 min Huge decision from the referee Cuneyt Cakır as Cavani goes down in the area under challenge from Hummels. Cakır adjudges Cavani to have slipped, and says no penalty. That looks to be the correct call but for some reason no replay is being shown. The outstanding Ribery, who is only recently back from injury, is replaced by Muller. 9:07PM 62 min Big chance PSG! Neymar slaloms his way past a few limp Bayern tackles, and eventually the ball works its way to Draxler, whose shot is tame and straight at Ulreich. Mbappe then smashes a volley from the edge of the area that the Bayern keeper paws to safety. Bayern on the brink here. Attempt Saved: FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 61 min) 9:04PM 59 min All of a sudden it's PSG who are snapping into challenges, and looking the hiungrier side. Coman is crowded out for Bayern, and the visitors get on the front foot again. 9:01PM 56 min Nearly the equaliser for PSG. Neymar threads a sensational pass through to Mbappe, who just overruns the ball and then fails to pick out Cavani and Kurzawa. Kylian Mbappe pulls one back for PSG Credit: AFP 8:59PM 54 min Rudy picks up a deserved booking for cynically body-checking Rabiot as the Frenchman tries to break clear around the half-way line. I quite fancy PSG to get something from this game now. 8:56PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 1 (Mbappe 50') What a goal that is. Verratti clips a pass to Cavani, who despite being in the area has the time to kill the ball and then scoop a pass for Mbappe to run onto and head home. Wow, that was like something from a game of 'headers and volleys'. Bayern need three goals now to top Group B. FC Bayern 2 - 1 Paris SG (Kylian Mbappe, 50 min) 8:52PM 47 min Neymar has an absolute shocker as he cuts inside Sule and then shanks his shot so far wide it almost hits the corner flag. 8:50PM 46 min We're back under way in Munich. 8:39PM First-half summary It looked like the impossible job before the start of the match, but it could yet be on. At half-time, Bayern are halfway towards their target of winning by four goals to top Group B. And if anyone can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, it's this PSG team. Seven months ago of course, even a 4-0 first leg lead was not enough to see them home against Barcelona. Tonight, Bayern have been superb. James and Ribery have ran the show, while Rudy, Tolisso and Kimmich have eclipsed PSG's vaunted central midfield pairing of Rabiot and Verratti. PSG meanwhile have been leaden-footed and sluggish, with that Neymar chance the only thing of note they've done all game. With him, Mbappe and Cavani in the team they are always liable to score, but at present it's so far, so good for the hosts. FC Bayern vs Paris SG shots on goal 8:33PM Half-time The half ends with Draxler having a pop from 25 yards that's easily saved by Ulreich. After 45 minutes it's Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0. 8:32PM 45 min Superb defending from the captain Ribery, who tracks back all the way into his own box and heads away Mbappe's dangerous cross. Leading by example. 8:30PM 43 min Nervy moment for the Bayern goalkeeper Ulreich as he fumbles Neymar's speculative shot from the edge of the box. Thankfully for the keeper, the ball dribbles wide of goal. 8:29PM 41 min And now it's all kicking off! There's mayhem in the PSG box as the ball is looped into the air from a James cross. Tolisso brushes Dani Alves to the ground, which Marquinhos takes exception to. In the end Tolisso and Marquinhos get pretty soft bookings. Not a lot in all that. 8:25PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 2 PSG 0 (Tolisso 37') Oh that is an absolutely stunning cross from Rodriguez. The Colombian whips a ball in from the left that hangs up perfectly for Tolisso to stride onto and bury a header home from about eight yards out. It's on! Just two more goals needed now for Bayern to top the group. FC Bayern 2 - 0 Paris SG (Corentin Tolisso, 37 min) 8:22PM 35 min So close for PSG! What a pass that was from Mbappe! The teenager threads a pass through the eye of a needle to set up Neymar for a one-one-one. Neymar goes for the Thierry Henry style right-footed pass into the opposite corner from the inside-left channel, but Ulreich makes the save. That would have been one of the assists of the season. 8:20PM 33 min It's a sign of how much PSG are being pushed back that Cavani just found himself in the right-back position having to make a tackle on Ribery, 8:18PM 31 min PSG can't really get a foothold in the match, with Bayern monopolising possession in the last few minutes. James and Ribery meanwhile been excellent for the hosts. 8:15PM 28 min Great chance Bayern, but Sule puts his close-range header from James' corner straight at the scrum of PSG defenders in front of him. More good pressure for the hosts. 8:13PM 26 min James was actually disputing the fact that Verratti wasn't booked for that tackle a few minutes ago. Either way, a deserved yellow. 8:11PM 24 min Kimmich picks up the first booking of the night for impeding Neymar on the edge of the box as the Brazilian raced towards goal. James also gets a yellow for disputing the decision. Neymar knocks the resulting free kick over from 25 yards out. 8:08PM 21 min Brilliant again from Coman, who has Kurzawa on toast. The Frenchman wriggles away from Kurzawa down the Bayern right and powers in a low cross that is deflected by Silva into his goalkeeper Areola's grateful arms. Robert Lewandowski puts Bayern in front Credit: REUTERS 8:06PM 19 min Verratti lucky to escape a booking after scything down James near the left touchline. From the resulting free-kick, no-one in red can get on the end of the Colombian's cross. 8:03PM 15 min PSG have settled in the last few minutes, but still it's Bayern who look the sharper and more energised side. 7:59PM 11 min Lewandowski has another sight of goal, but Marquinhos gets across to make a smart block. 7:55PM GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 PSG 0 (Lewandowski 8') Bayern take the lead! Everyone stops and waits for the offside flag, but the goal is correctly given. Rodriguez's cross is headed into the air by Coman and lands at Lewandowski's feet about six yards in front of goal. He strokes the ball home left-footed and looks over to the linesman but the flag stays down, with Dani Alves playing him onside from inside his own six yard box. Dream start for Bayern - just the three more needed top the group! FC Bayern 1 - 0 Paris SG (Robert Lewandowski, 8 min) 7:54PM 7 min Safe hands from Areola as he gets down low to his right to get in the way of Coman's left-footed shot from the edge of the box. Great work from Coman to cut inside Kurzawa and get the shot away. 7:52PM 6 min Don Hutchison just said 'my six-year-old son asked me why I love Rabiot so much'. Quite high-brow football chat from a Primary schooler. 7:51PM 4 min Nearly an early goal for PSG as Mbappe skins Alaba and fizzes in a shot down the inside-right channel. Ulreich though makes a good stop with his right hand. Cavani is then inches away from getting his head on Kurzawa's cross. 7:49PM 3 min Bayern are quickly out the traps, and Alaba and Ribery link up nicely down the left. The hosts remember need to win by four goals tonight to top Group B. 7:47PM Kick-off We're under way in Munich. 7:45PM Nearly there The teams are now out, with Franck Ribery captaining Bayern. And a reminder of the starting line-ups and subs tonight. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Silva , Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore 7:43PM Prologue The players are waiting to come onto the pitch on a huge white staircase with mood music humming around them. 7:37PM PSG's goal difference is ridiculous In five Champions League matches this season, Unai Emery's side have scored 24 and conceded just one! They're pretty much averaging five goals a game. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar 7:27PM How Bayern can top the group The permutations for tonight are pretty simple: Bayern need to win by a margin of more than three goals to leapfrog PSG at the top of Group B. You can read a full breakdown of what's at stake across the different groups here. 7:06PM A dish best served cold Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich admitted in an interview with German magazine Kicker this week that he wants to inflict revenge on PSG for that humiliating defeat in September. "It was a very depressing evening for us in Paris," Ulreich said. "We want to show that our performance then was a one-off. We want revenge. "The atmosphere in the squad is amazing, we're training really well, and have so much experience that nobody should underestimate us. We are scared of nobody." "It's nothing personal against PSG, but we do want revenge, and we want to send a message to the rest of Europe," added midfielder Kingsley Coman. "We have to show ourselves and Europe that we can win big games and we are still title contenders." 6:55PM Full line-ups and formations So much attacking talent on display tonight, and some star names on both benches including Vidal, Muller, Di Maria and Pastore. Bayern (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba; Rudy, Tolisso; Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery; Coman, Lewandowski Subs: Starke, Martínez, Rafinha, Boateng, Vidal, Müller, Friedl Here we go! The #FCBayern team to face @PSG_English tonight! ����⚪️ #FCBPSG#MiaSanMia#packmaspic.twitter.com/vzjAvxwqGR— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 5, 2017 PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. Subs: Trapp, Kimpembe, Di María, Meunier, Berchiche, Lo Celso, Pastore LINEUP CONFIRMED: Here is PSG's Starting XI �� @FCBayernEN with first place on the line! �� #FCBPSG ⚡️ #FinishFirstpic.twitter.com/V6wwJ5WALW— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 5, 2017 6:42PM And here's the PSG team Areola, Silva, Marquinhos, Kurzawa, Alves, Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani. 6:40PM Team news The Bayern team news is in, and it is as follow: Ulreich, Sule, Hummels, Rudy, Alaba, Rudy, Tolisso, Kimmich, Rodriguez, Ribery, Coman, Lewandowski 6:04PM Preamble Evening all, Welcome to tonight's heavyweight Champions League clash between the establishment's Bayern Munich and the nouveau riche Paris Saint-Germain. PSG you may recall thumped Bayern 3-0 in September so the Germans will be out for revenge tonight at the Allianz Arena. There is also the issue of who tops Group B to be settled, with Bayern needing to win by a margin of greater than three goals to claim top spot. Slightly ridiculously both teams have won every other of their Champions League matches this season, with Group B resembling one of those grand slam draws where neither Rafael Nadal nor Roger Federer drops a set before meeting in the final. So, what can we expect from tonight's match? Well, firstly Bayern are unlikely to show anything like the same ineptitude as they did in Paris when their performance was so bad that manager Carlo Ancelotti was sacked the very next day. Since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Ancelotti, Bayern have rediscovered their verve and come into tonight's game comfortably top of the Bundesliga having won 10 of their 11 games under their new (slash old) manager. Bayern Munich's head coach Jupp Heynckes has turned things around at the club Credit: AP PSG meanwhile are enjoying a stellar season, with the 'Holy Trinity' up front of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe terrifying opposition defences. The French side are nine points clear at the top of Ligue 1, though they did suffer a first defeat of the season on Saturday at Strasbourg. We'll have the team news at around 6.45 but the probable line-ups are below: Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Martinez, Vidal; Coman, James, Muller; Lewandowski PSG (4-3-3): Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva, Kurzawa; Verratti, Rabiot, Draxler; Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani

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