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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Colin Millar

Kylian Mbappe's brutally honest PSG admission highlights Champions League desperation

Kylian Mbappe has admitted he was “not supposed to play” any part of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Mbappe limped off the pitch in his side's Ligue 1 victory at Montpellier earlier this month with PSG subsequently confirmed that the striker was set for a three-week layoff. However, the clash against Bayern came just two weeks after that injury – and the strike made an appearance from the bench.

The French superstar was forced to sit out several matches for his club including their Coupe de France exit against Marseille and their limp 3-1 Ligue 1 loss at Monaco at the weekend. The loss to Bayern was the first time PSG had lost three successive matches since 2011.

Mbappe’s introduction against PSG just before the hour mark helped transform his side from what had been a flat, one-paced performance into a genuine attacking threat. Mbappe forced Yann Sommer into a good save from a one-on-one situation while he also netted an offside goal.

Mbappe has endured a frustrating few months for club and country. Despite his World Cup final treble and scoring his penalty in the shootout, his side were edged out by Argentina and his return to PSG has not been smooth.

Presnel Kimpembe confirmed he was “not made aware” of the striker replacing him as the club's vice-captain at the start of the season, as fresh fractures emerged in the Parc des Princes locker room. Mbappe is now number two to club captain Marquinhos with the striker’s increased status at the club following his new three-year contract penned last May.

Kylian Mbappe had to watch the first hour of the match vs Bayern from the bench (Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

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The side’s fortunes in the Champions League – a competition which PSG have never won – is likely to define their season and it is little surprise that the club hurried his return so that he could participate in the first leg. It was a show of their desperation to lift the trophy this season.

“I was not supposed to play,” Mbappe explained to Canal+ on French TV after the match. “But I wanted to help the lads and bring some energy.

“We tried everything and worked day and night. We managed to play a part of the game. It wasn’t what I wanted. I always want to play. But sometimes you have to make do with what you can do. Today, I could only do that.”

PSG will travel to Munich for the return leg on 8 March when Mbappe is anticipated to be at full fitness as Christophe Galtier’s side hope to launch a comeback victory against the Bundesliga leaders.

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