Bayern Munich ruined Paris St Germain’s perfect Champions League record this season with a 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday but their rousing win could not stop the French side advancing as Group B winners.
With both teams already qualified for the knockout stages, Corentin Tolisso’s double and another goal from Robert Lewandowski gave Bayern hope of pulling off the improbable win by a four-goal margin that would see them top the group.
Yet PSG, who had thumped Bayern 3-0 in Paris, always looked likely to avoid that indignity in a high-quality contest once Kylian Mbappe scored just after halftime when they were 2-0 down.
The top-of-the-table clash proved far from a ‘dead rubber’ with both sides determined to demonstrate the qualities that make them among the favourites to lift the title this season.
The German champions started hungrily, Lewandowski having time to turn and score in the eighth minute after being played onside by a careless Dani Alves, before Tolisso headed home James Rodriguez’s cross in the 37th minute.
With the home crowd sensing an extraordinary story, Mbappe ruined the script when heading in from Edinson Cavani’s neat chipped cross five minutes after the break.
Still, the French midfielder Tolisso kept the pressure on, finishing clinically in the 69th minute after David Alaba’s storming run and cross down the left flank.
While PSG and Bayern ended on 15 points each, Celtic took third place, guaranteeing Europa League football, despite losing 1-0 at home to Anderlecht, whose second-half winner came from a Jozo Simunovic own goal.
The win represented the Belgian side’s first success of the competition after five straight defeats but Celtic’s previous 3-0 win at Anderlecht ensured they had the better head-to-head record.