Kylian Mbappe has repeatedly been criticised for some sub-par performances this season but the France striker has also proved his worth with a number of sublime performances in the Champions League knockout ties.
The 22-year-old bagged a double in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win at Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final clash, after he netted a hat-trick in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Barcelona in February.
Although he has resembled a pale shadow of his brilliant self in several matches, notably in last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat against Lille in Ligue 1 and with Les Bleus in World Cup qualifiers, Mbappe has scored 32 goals from 38 competitive games, also setting up nine so far in 2020-21.
“I like this kind of games,” Mbappe said after beating Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer twice on Wednesday, almost eight months after failing to score in the final against the German champions. “I haven’t always succeeded in these games and maybe in the future I won’t always be successful but I don’t want to hide. I love being decisive.”
Mbappe said he felt no pressure in facing one of the world’s best keepers in Neuer. “I love to play against the best player in the world and Manuel Neuer is one of the best keepers in the history of the game,” Mbappe said. “I don’t have any pressure.”
“We played in the final against him (Neuer) and didn’t score but now I scored two goals,” added Mbappe. “I will play one (more) time against him so I hope to score again.”
Mbappe also scored in the return leg against Barcelona in a 1-1 draw that sent the French champions through despite a shaky performance at the Parc des Princes — hence he has scored six goals in three Champions League knockout games this season.
PSG, however, were far from perfect and it took Keylor Navas’s 10 stops to keep them in contention as Mbappe and Marquinhos also proved brutally efficient at the other end of the pitch. “We did a very good job, but it’s not over yet, it was only the first half, there is the second half to play at home at the Parc des Princes next week,” said PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi.
“We will want to win too, it is very important for us. We have more and more experience in this competition, our players like to play these matches, we showed that we are a great team. I am very proud of the players and the staff, because they played a great game. But we do not forget that there is still the second leg to play,” he added.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Man City set up PSG semi with 2-1 win at Dortmund
Al Sadd fights back to hold Foolad in opener
Qatar seeks to enhance women's participation in Peace Processes
Sheikh Mohamed’s Sahran, Al Shaqab’s Almajar lead sweeps in respective wins in France
Duhail face Shorta, seek early lift in tough group
Evans eager to get vaccinated ahead of Wimbledon
Djoko, Nadal off the mark in Monte Carlo
Kamara ‘vindicated’ after Kudela handed 10-match ban for racism
Flick mulls future at Bayern Munich