Paris Saint-Germain are through to the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League as Group B winners but secured top spot in underwhelming fashion, going down 3-1 away at second-placed Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Kylian Mbappe's early second half strike ultimately helped to prevent a Barcelona-esque continental capitulation but goals from Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso (two) ensured that the French capital outfit slipped to a second consecutive defeat across all competitions.
At the end of the day, PSG have finished top of Group B and will theoretically receive a more favourable draw in the round of 16. That was the target when the group stage draw was made and it has been achieved, even if the Bayern loss has taken some of the shine off of an otherwise impressive campaign so far.
Few players could leave the Allianz Arena pitch with their head held high but Mbappe was one of them. The France international regularly menaced the hosts and he took his goal well after Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani combined to tee him up. Had it not been for Sven Ulreich's heroics between the sticks for Bayern, the former AS Monaco man might have had more than his solitary strike.
Verratti was another of the few who could feel more or less satisfied with what they offered individually in Munich. The Italy international laid the foundations for Mbappe to halve the deficit early in the first half and was part of what was essentially a two-man midfield alongside Adrien Rabiot as Julian Draxler struggled.
Plenty. Almost too many to detail individually.
Dani Alves was poor at right-back but most of the blame for such an inept performance must lie with coach Unai Emery. Once again, the Spaniard was found wanting when mid-match tactical changes and substitutions were required. Such was PSG's poor organisation, had Mbappe not scored when he did, Emery would arguably have had to witness the Barcelona capitulation all over again.
Alves' disastrous outing in Germany cannot be blamed on the manager though. The Brazil international had a hand in all three of Bayern's goals and he was particularly guilty for Tolisso's second. Strasbourg included, it was the former Barcelona and Juventus man's worst outing with his new team by far.
Although the stakes were not nearly as high as they were in Barcelona earlier this year, PSG showed that despite the signings of Neymar, Mbappe and Alves, their mental fragility still exists.
Manager rating out of 10
2 -- Abysmal. The former Sevilla coach logically went with his strongest XI from the start but once it was clear that was not working, he had no backup plan to fall back on -- as is so often the case. PSG rallied a little early in the second half but ultimately limped to top spot in Group B. The man from Hondarribia was dealt a tactical lesson by opposite number Jupp Heynckes, one he needs to quickly learn from.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 4 -- The youth academy graduate was given little chance with any of Bayern's three goals. The French shot stopper might have been able to do a bit better on Tolisso's second but overall, the defence must shoulder most of the responsibility. Outside of that, Ulreich in the home net was actually the busier of the two goalkeepers.
DF Dani Alves, 2 -- Catastrophic. The Brazilian was involved in all three of the hosts' goals, which all originated on PSG's right side. The 34-year-old looked geriatric as he tried to stop Parisien youth academy product Kingsley Coman in the build-up to Tolisso's second. Alves' Strasbourg episode was bad enough but this was a shocking 90-minute outing.
DF Marquinhos, 4 -- It was as if the Brazil international was still dazed from the physical beating he took in Strasbourg last Saturday because he contributed towards a shaky defensive performance from the Ligue 1 leaders. Booked in the first half, once Thiago Silva had to go off, the former AS Roma man took over the captain's armband.
DF Thiago Silva, 5 -- Forced off injured 18 minutes from time, the captain will no doubt come in for criticism because of his role amid another show of fragile mentality. However, O Monstro was still arguably the best of a bad bunch at the back and made one particularly important intervention moments after Cavani had been denied what looked like a clear second half penalty.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 3 -- The France international will have been grateful to see Alves getting the flak instead of him but that does not excuse his vanishing act. Aside from the shock value of his questionable new hairstyle, it was easy to forget that the former Monaco man was even on the pitch for long periods of the match.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 5 -- The Frenchman and Verratti were essentially a two-man act in midfield and although the Italian offered more than the homegrown gem on the night, both did more than Draxler.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 -- The Azzurri star was a rare bright light for PSG in Germany and he impressed in the middle, playing a key role in Mbappe's consolation effort.
MF Julian Draxler, 3 -- The Germany international endured a return home to forget and if that was an audition for a potential future Bayern move, he failed it -- at least as a central midfielder. His most memorable act was picking up a late yellow card.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 6 -- Along with Verratti, the 18-year-old impressed most for the capital club. His goal means he is now into double figures in the Champions League, while he has also scored in six consecutive continental matches away from home. Had it not been for an inspired Ulreich, PSG's No. 29 might have scored more than just the one.
FW Edinson Cavani, 5 -- The Uruguay international did not get much of a sniff in front of goal himself but he did still play a decisive role, teeing up Mbappe with a brilliantly technical flick to get his team back into it. El Matador was also denied what looked like a clear penalty in the second half.
FW Neymar, 4 -- Like in Strasbourg, the Brazilian was guilty of being too selfish and saw his chance to score in every single group stage game evaporate into the cold Munich night as he faded in and out of the encounter -- mostly the latter.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, NR -- The youth academy graduate replaced Silva for the final 18 minutes but the damage had already been done by then.
MF Giovani Lo Celso, NR -- Inexplicably, Emery waited until the first minute of three added on to make his first unforced change and it was to replace Draxler with the Argentina international. What was the point at that stage? Lo Celso barely got a chance to touch the ball, let alone do anything constructive with it. A substitution for the sake of it if ever there was one.