In the first leg of Paris Saint-Champions Germain’s League round of 16 matchup against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Kylian Mbappe acknowledged that he “wasn’t supposed to play.”
Mbappe entered the game as a substitute but was unable to stop a 1-0 loss at Parc des Princes.
The club had predicted that the French forward would miss three weeks of action because of a hamstring injury he sustained on February 1.
Nonetheless, he entered the game as a substitute in the 57th minute and immediately sparked it, having two goals disallowed for offside as his entry altered the game’s narrative.
Mbappe described it as “tough and unpredictable.”
“While I wasn’t supposed to play, I wanted to support my mates.
“We did everything, we worked night and day to get me some game time. I wanted to [start the game]. But sometimes you have to be satisfied with what you can do, and that’s all I could do.”
Looking ahead to the second leg on March 8 at the Allianz Arena, PSG’s best chance is Mbappe’s return to fitness after Kingsley Coman scored the game’s lone goal in the 53rd minute.
Mbappe is confident that PSG can succeed in Munich if they are operating at full capacity.
“We have to remember the final part of the game; we’re behind but we saw that we were able to cause them trouble,” he said. “We need all our players to be healthy and go there to win and qualify.”
Nevertheless, the seasoned defender Sergio Ramos was more direct about the changes PSG must make if they hope to advance to the round of eight.
He said to Canal+, “I’m terribly disappointed for the supporters.
“We’ll have to show more character in the second leg, and more verticality.”
“We want to win and be the best we can be, but this is the nature of football. Sometimes we play well, sometimes we play badly. What counts is the final result. The more we play, the more experience we’ll have. It will get better and better.”
Achraf Hakimi, who was substituted at halftime due to injury, is also expected to be back on the right defensive flank, as coach Christophe Galtier hopes.
Galtier remarked, “I was counting on him but it became clear very immediately that he could not play the whole game.”
Galtier believes that the situation in Munich in three weeks will change.