Kylian is happy when he is on the pitch - PSG boss Pochettino denies Mbappe risk

By Sports Desk April 10, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino insists it was not a risk to play Kylian Mbappe for almost the entirety of Saturday's 4-1 triumph over Strasbourg, just three days before their crucial Bayern Munich clash.

Mbappe scored twice as PSG defeated Bayern 3-2 in Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday.

The France forward was influential again as he scored and set up another at the Stade de la Meinau to help PSG cut the gap to Ligue 1 leaders Lille back to three points.

PSG were 3-0 up by half-time, with Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean also on target, but Mbappe was not withdrawn until the 89th minute.

Asked if that was a risk by Canal+, Pochettino replied: "No. You need to remember that he played 88 minutes against Brest in the Coupe de France and the best thing for Kylian to get him ready is to play. 

"He is the first to sense if there is something wrong. He will be the first to tell me, like all the players. 

"We are professionals, we have a performance and medical staff and we try to make the best decisions for the team. 

"People can say whatever they want, that is football. Sometimes we have our truth and we can't make everyone happy. 

"But Kylian is a player who is happy when he's on the pitch and he knows himself very well."

Pochettino was asked if PSG beating Bayern would represent the club's best achievement in recent years but the Argentinian was reluctant to make such judgements.

"I do not know. It's up to you to be the judge. For us, it's our goal to be ready on Tuesday," he added.

"It was important to beat Barcelona [in the last 16] and for me we are going to play the best team in the world. 

"We still have 90 minutes in which we will suffer but our objective is to beat them and go to the next round."

PSG were beaten by league leaders Lille at home last week and were six points adrift prior to kick-off.

Pochettino felt his side showed they have the mettle to compete on three remaining fronts this term with their win over Strasbourg.

"We were talking about it before the game. It was very important to take these three points because we remain in the title race thanks to them," he said. 

"For us, it's not a question of pressure or of playing while being anxious, we have to be efficient. 

"Today, we showed that we were fighters in the way of playing that we want to have and that's how we want to be. 

"We have to be more consistent but we fight in three competitions: the cup, the championship and the Champions League. 

"It complicates things but the team have shown significant faith and believe in what they do. Today was a good day for us."

Related items

  • Cameroon's government confirms eight died in AFCON incident as FIFA sends condolences Cameroon's government confirms eight died in AFCON incident as FIFA sends condolences

    FIFA has sent its "deepest condolences" to the friends and families of the eight people who died in a stampede at the Olembe Stadium during Cameroon's Africa Cup of Nations win over Comoros.

    Reports began circulating of a disturbance outside the ground as Cameroon claimed a 2-1 last-16 win on Monday, with local media and the Associated Press suggesting at the time that several people had been killed.

    The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said it was aware of the incident and was gathering "more details" on what had transpired.

    A statement released overnight by Cameroon's Ministry of Communications then confirmed that, after a "first assessment", eight people had lost their lives in the crush.

    Another 38 people were injured, with seven of those in a serious condition.

    The ministry did not immediately respond to Stats Perform's request for comment, but a widely reported statement read: "The Government of the Republic brings to the attention of the National and International Opinion that during the round-of-16 meeting which was played on Monday, January 24, 2022, between Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the national team of the Union of Comoros, jostling occurred at the southern entrance to the Olembe Football Stadium.

    "The first assessment of these jostling reports: eight dead; and 38 injured, including 31 light [injuries] and seven serious.

    "The deceased were taken to the Yaounde Emergency Center for the appropriate formalities, and the injured were distributed to four health facilities in the city of Yaounde, where they were immediately taken care of, on very high instructions from the president of the republic, His Excellency Paul Biya."

    World football's governing body expressed its sympathies with those affected by the tragedy soon after.

    Its statement read: "FIFA sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following the tragic incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the Africa Cup of Nations fixture between Cameroon and Comoros.

    "The thoughts and prayers of the global football community are with the victims, the ones who have been injured in this incident, and all the staff of both CAF and the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) at this difficult moment."

  • Rumour Has It: Martial loan agreement reached between Sevilla and Man Utd Rumour Has It: Martial loan agreement reached between Sevilla and Man Utd

    Anthony Martial has made no secret of his desire to leave Manchester United in the January window – and the France international appears to have been granted his wish.

    Restricted to just four starts in all competitions this season, Martial has very much been on the periphery at United in what is his seventh campaign at the club.

    However, there are no shortage of suitors for Martial and it looks increasingly likely that the 26-year-old will spend the remainder of the campaign away from Old Trafford.


    TOP STORY – SECOND TIME LUCKY FOR SEVILLA

    Sevilla had a loan bid for Martial rejected earlier this month, but Goal reports that the issues have been ironed out and the out-of-favour forward is now set to undergo a medical.

    Juventus are said to have been among a number of other European sides in the running to sign Martial, but Sevilla were always his preferred destination.

    The LaLiga club are expected to pay a loan fee for the former Monaco man, potentially as much as €5.96million (£5m), while the player himself will accept a cut in wages.


    ROUND-UP

    – After growing frustrated in their attempt to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina, The Sun reports that Arsenal may now instead go after Real Madrid's Luka Jovic this month.

    – Calciomercato claims that Serie A leaders Inter are close to strengthening their squad with the addition of striker Felipe Caicedo from Genoa.

    Watford are set to move quickly on the back of sacking head coach Claudio Ranieri by bringing in Roy Hodgson as early as Tuesday, according to Sky Sports.

    – Goal suggest that Bayern Munich are targeting Chelsea's Andreas Christensen on a free transfer after Niklas Sule turned down the offer of a new contract in Bavaria.

    Manchester City are increasingly confident of wrapping up a deal for Julian Alvarez. However, the Daily Mail reports that the striker will initially remain on loan with River Plate.

    Newcastle United have made a fresh approach for Man Utd winger Jesse Lingard, according to The Telegraph. The Magpies are happy to pay a £6m loan fee.

  • Aubameyang has little chance of Arsenal future because 'they never knew how to forgive' – Adebayor Aubameyang has little chance of Arsenal future because 'they never knew how to forgive' – Adebayor

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has probably played his last game at Arsenal because the club never learnt "how to forgive", according to former Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor. 

    Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in December for a disciplinary breach, which reportedly related to him returning late from a trip abroad. 

    It was by no means Aubameyang's first indiscretion, having also last year been reminded of his responsibilities after it was claimed he broke COVID-19 guidelines to get a tattoo. 

    The punishment did not stop at having the armband taken off him, though, with Mikel Arteta excluding Aubameyang from the squad for the rest of the month. 

    His exclusion led to Gabon asking for him to be released early for Africa Cup of Nations duty and Arsenal granted that request, only for him to return to his club without playing a single competitive game in Cameroon as he required medical follow-ups after contracting COVID-19. 

    Adebayor knows what it is like to have a fractious relationship with Arsenal and the club's fans, having hit out at both following his 2009 move to Manchester City. Two months later he scored against his former club and ran the length of the pitch to goad Gunners supporters, a celebration that has gone down in Premier League folklore. 

    Such have been his experiences with Arsenal, he seemingly sees no way back for Aubameyang. 

    He told reporters: "I know he's definitely going to go through a lot because that's Arsenal for you. You can't do whatever you do. 

    "They never learn or they never knew how to forgive. So, I know he will go through a lot. 

    "But he's a strong player, he's a good player, he's a fantastic player. I wish him all the best. 

    "I sent him a message already because we just want him to bounce back. 

    "He's our African brother and we want him to keep representing Africa the way he was doing it before the problem. 

    "This is what I know because it happened to me also. Not in the same way, but a way back? At Arsenal, I would be surprised. 

    "But as I'm telling you, he's a great player so let's see how he ends up." 

    Aubameyang has apparently rejected a move to Saudi Arabia, with the 32-year-old said to be eager to stay in Europe. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.