PSG look to Kylian Mbappe to keep Champions League hopes alive
Paris Saint-Germain were beaten by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, but Kylian Mbappe’s cameo on his return from injury gave them reason to believe they are still among Europe’s elite clubs. can prevent premature exit. Competition. Mbappe didn’t look like a player who was brought back much earlier than expected after a thigh injury, as his electric pace rattled the Bayern defense when he came on for the final half-hour.
The France superstar could not inspire a comeback as Bayern left the Parc des Princes with a 1-0 win, but only a brave Yann Sommer save and then a minor offside call denied them an equaliser.
“We have only lost 1-0, there are no more away goals, and if we play our attacking game, cause them problems and score once, we will be equal,” Mbappe said. March 8th.
“We are not defeated, not at all. We still have every chance.”
However, Tuesday’s game confirmed the extent to which PSG rely on Mbappe, despite Lionel Messi and Neymar also in attack.
Messi and Neymar struggled to make any real impact on the game in the first 57 minutes before Mbappe came off the bench, by which time Kingsley Coman had put the away side ahead.
The Argentine may have led his country to World Cup glory and Neymar may still be the most expensive footballer in the world, but there was a reason why PSG were so desperate to keep Mbappe last year when it seemed certain. was that he would join Real Madrid.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann admitted, “When he came on Mbappe, the atmosphere in the stadium completely lifted and that brought relief to the other players as well.”
“It is clear that Kylian Mbappe can change any game.”
The 24-year-old, who scored seven goals in six games during the group stage, now has three weeks to return to full fitness and lead PSG into the quarter-finals.
Failure is almost unimaginable for a club that has never won the Champions League despite all the investment from its Qatari owners over the past 12 years, and who have been eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16 in four of the past six seasons.
the emir of qatar is watching
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, was in attendance at the Parc des Princes to watch PSG suffer their third consecutive defeat, the first since the Gulf state’s takeover of the club in 2011.
His appearance came amid intensifying speculation that Qatari investors are looking to buy Manchester United.
Whether such a move could have any effect on PSG remains to be seen, but the French champions need to turn things around in Munich next month should the Qatari project be seriously stalled.
After all, they may be five points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 despite a recent slump but domestic success alone is not enough.
Still, Amir could not fail to notice that neither Messi nor Neymar could make a serious impact on Tuesday’s match – both were rated three out of 10 by sports daily L’Equipe, as That midfield linchpin was Marco Verratti.
Messi and Neymar create another problem – their lack of running and tracking back must be compensated for by their teammates.
According to UEFA, Bayern’s team ran almost eight kilometers more than PSG, almost as if they had an extra player despite the Bundesliga leaders finishing the match after Benjamin Pavard was sent-off.
“Obviously we have identified that problem but we cannot change the characteristics of the players,” admitted Paris coach Christophe Gaultier.
“We’ve got players who like to get the ball on their feet and create. That’s what Ne and Leo like, so we need players who can score when they get the ball.”
Embappé is just that player and the second phase could be very different if he is able to play from the start.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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