Thursday, February 22, 2024

Coupe de France: Kylian Mbappe shines as PSG edge past Brest while Real Madrid rumors continue

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Kylian Mbappe is not far from the headlines at present but it did not show on Wednesday night as Paris Saint-Germain edged out the 10 men of Stade Brestois 29 with a 3-1 win at Parc des Princes to advance to the Coupe de France quarterfinals. A Ligue 1 matchup less than two weeks ago which the France international did not score in, he opened the scoring in clinical fashion after 34 minutes to settle the home side’s nerves after Eric Roy’s impressive Pirates had threatened Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal.

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Mbappe’s finish was clinical as he continued his incredible scoring record of 50 goals from just 28 Coupe de France outings with 15 more assists on top of that but he made it look so easy at a time when the entire soccer world is waiting on his every move. Despite a recent wave of rumors suggesting that a free agent transfer to Real Madrid this summer is close, the 25-year-old is doing his best to keep his cards close to his chest and doing that the way he knows best — by scoring more and more goals.

Mbappe is now on 30 goals for the season with four more assists and we are only just into February which keeps a 50-goal campaign within his sights — especially with Luis Enrique’s advancing to the final eight thanks to a Danilo Pereira goal despite Steve Mounie threatening another Brest fightback. Lilian Brassier’s red card put paid to the visitors’ hopes this midweek after another spirited showing in the capital but it is Les Parisiens who will continue to chase another Coupe de France crown to add to their record haul of 14.

Substitute Goncalo Ramos added gloss to the victory with a third but the Portuguese marksman is limited to a bit-part role in part by Mbappe’s strong scoring form so has featured more meaningfully in the cup. The Frenchman and his teammates have not won a Coupe de France crown since 2021 which is a long time as far as PSG are concerned when it comes to winning domestic titles — especially one which they have been so thoroughly dominant in under Qatari ownership.

With the UEFA Champions League coming back into play next week with the visit of Real Sociedad to Parc des Princes, Mbappe wants to keep himself in sharp form which remains the case ahead of Saturday’s clash with Lille OSC which he presumably will not be rested for either. Until then, Mbappe is happy for the headlines to keep being about him on and off the field with PSG’s season ticking along relatively smoothly for now which is not always said of the Ligue 1 giants as we enter this part of most seasons.

Should Les Parisiens emerge from their two legs against the Basque side and find themselves in the UCL quarterfinals, the speculation regarding Mbappe’s future will only grow further if he has not already made some sort of announcement. By that point, PSG could be closer to the Coupe de France final and possibly further ahead in Le Championnat than their current advantage over OGC Nice which was stretched this past weekend with a 2-1 win away at RC Strasbourg Alsace thanks to a goal from — you guessed it — Mbappe.

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