Bayern Munich could not deal with Kylian Mbappe on Wednesday night in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
The lightning-quick striker tormented the German side’s defence on the counter in the Allianz Arena, scoring two goals in a memorable 3-2 win.
Mbappe’s pace was simply too much for Bayern to handle and Hansi Flick’s side have now been left with a sizeable mountain to climb next week in the French capital.
To be honest, there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in being bested by Mbappe, a world-class player who will one day win the coveted Ballon d’Or award.
The Frenchman’s speed with the ball at his feet is almost superhuman as well and many of the world’s finest defenders have failed to get anywhere near him over the past few years.
Well, apart from Virgil van Dijk…
This video needs to be on repeat in the Bayern dressing room before next Tuesday’s clash in Paris!
That is world-class defending from Van Dijk.
Instead of committing and handing Mbappe space to drive into, the Dutchman stands the striker up, which slows him down and then allows the centre-back to win the ball at the last second.
It’s a snippet of pragmatic genius from Van Dijk and, of course, repeating his victory over a counter-attacking Mbappe is an incredibly difficult task.
But the feat is far from impossible to achieve and it’s not as if Bayern’s centre-backs are lacking in quality either.
Niklas Sule, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez are all top-class defenders who are also capable of recording impressive numbers on the speedometer.
Just do your Van Dijk homework ahead of the trip to the Parc des Princes, lads.