Kylian Mbappe has shrugged off his two disallowed goals that could have given Paris Saint-Germain the victory in their first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 match against Bayern Munich.
Mbappe started on the bench after picking up a knock a few weeks back but came on to great effect against the visiting Bavarians at Parc De Princes. The French champions looked more threatening with the 2022 FIFA World Cup silver boot winner and the Germans were carved open on two occasions, but his goals were ruled out for offside.
While one of those calls was a clear one, the other was a very controversial call, leading to debates about the actual merits of the VAR system.
PSG fullback Nuno Mendes was ruled to be offside by a very tight margin in the build up to his second goal, which could have drawn both teams level in preparation for the second leg in Germany.
It left the whole team disappointed, but Mbappe, the man who was on the end of both calls, shrugged it off and firmly stated that PSG have set their sights on the return leg at Allianz Arena on March 8, 2023.
Speaking to journalists after the game, the 2018 Kopa trophy winner said: “That’s how it is, it’s the new football. There is the VAR, if there was offside, it means there was offside so there is no problem and you have to switch quickly.
“Quickly move on, keep the positives and really go out there to qualify because from what I’ve seen, there’s room.”
Mbappe, along with Lionel Messi, was a doubt for the game but both superstars recovered just in time to be included in the matchday squad. While Messi started the game, PSG manager Christophe Galtier chose to have Mbappe as a secret weapon on the bench.
Speaking on his involvement in the match, he said: “It was complicated, it was unpredictable. I wasn’t supposed to play but I wanted to play, help friends, bring energy.
“We tried everything, we worked day and night, we managed to have a match, it was not what I wanted. I always want to play but sometimes you have to be content with what you can do and today I could only do that.”
The 1 – 0 loss was thanks to a PSG alum, Kingsley Coman, who chose not to celebrate after scoring against his former team. That was their third straight defeat at the hands of the Germans and fans on social media have started comparing them to Barcelona, who have also developed a reputation of losing to Bayern.
However, the French giants are deathly focused on winning the UEFA Champions League because it is the only title they have not yet claimed in their history.
They are hoping the presence of Mbappe, as well as a less-under-pressure Messi and Neymar can lead them to the title. In the meantime, they will turn their attention to Ligue 1 where they will face fifth place LOSC Lille as they seek to capture back-to-back league titles.