Monday, September 25, 2023

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos come off injured as Champions League clash vs. Bayern Munich looms

Kylian Mbappe had an evening to forget on Wednesday as he missed from the penalty spot twice and went off injured during Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 win away at Montpellier HSC in Ligue 1. The France international had an eventful opening 20 minutes before being substituted with what appeared to be a hamstring problem a fortnight away from the UEFA Champions League’s return.

Mbappe’s blushes were spared as PSG went on to score three times without him and the absent Neymar on the field but Christophe Galtier will be concerned that Sergio Ramos also came off. There was also history made as Warren Zaire Emery became the youngest goal scorer in the capital club’s history having not even turned 17 yet.

However, the night was mainly about Mbappe and the question of his eligibility to face Bayern Munich at Parc des Princes in just under two weeks. The 24-year-old was unable to convert from the penalty spot twice as he was denied by Benjamin Lecomte the first time before he failed to hit the target after his retaken effort hit the woodwork.

Mbappe appeared to have hamstring trouble when he made his way off at Stade de la Mosson which could mean that he is touch and go to face Bayern and unavailable before then. Hardly ideal when Neymar is already suffering from “muscular fatigue” and the star trio of Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi is struggling for collective form.

“Kylian took a blow to the knee or just behind,” said Galtier after the final whistle. “We will see, but it does not seem too serious. Overall, it was a good performance. We had to concentrate. The first half scenario was incredible, but we got our taste for victory back at the end.”

To make matters worse, just hours after missing out on Hakim Ziyech and Milan Skriniar in the January transfer window, Ramos came off around 10 minutes after Mbappe. Captain Marquinhos is now the only fit senior central defender available to Galtier which means that Danilo Pereira or El Chadaille Bitshiabu are likely to fill in.

It was not all bad news as Fabian Ruiz notched himself a much-needed goal and an assist while Messi got back among the goals. It could have been a greater final score too had Kiki Kouyate’s own goal and Achraf Hakimi’s efforts not been ruled out via VAR either side of halftime.

The Moroccan provided for Zaire Emery to make history late on but that was only after the PSG defense had shipped another goal to Arnaud Nordin to concede for the fourth time in five Ligue 1 games since the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Despite all of that, RC Lens‘ 1-0 loss at home to OGC Nice coupled with Olympique de Marseille’s 2-0 win away at FC Nantes has actually stretched PSG’s lead atop Le Championnat to five points.

PSG anxiously await the results of tests on Mbappe’s injury with Neymar already needing rest and Marco Verratti suspended here and just coming back from injury.

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