Mbappe’s injury destroys PSG’s triumph in Coupe de France final


PARIS: A tearful Kylian Mbappe limped with an apparent ankle injury as Paris St Germain beat St Etienne 1-0-10 to win the Coupe de France on Friday.Mbappe’s injury, who returned to the sidelines on crutches, took the brilliance of a record 13th Cup success away and raised concerns ahead of PSG’s Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta next month.

St Etienne center-half Loic Perrin was sent off in the 30th minute for awkwardly hacking Mbappe as he went into the sprint, and Mbappe’s right ankle appeared to bend under him.

“It just cracked a bit,” Mbappe told French President Emmanuel Macron after the final, as PSG players were on the verge of collecting their medals. Macron then asked if something was broken and Mbappe replied, “No, I don’t think so. ”

Coach Thomas Tuchel faces anxious wait on Mbappe’s physical form as PSG clinched the first of three potential trophies this summer, with the Coupe de la Ligue final against Olympique Lyonnais coming next Friday before the resumption of their European campaign in Portugal.

“Everyone is worried. Everyone who saw the fault is worried. Of course, I’m worried, ”Tuchel said. “I am very happy because we won but we have to be patient because we have no news.”

The German was also angry with the way St Etienne had played from the start.

“It was complicated with all the mistakes of Thilo Kehrer, Neymar and Mbappe. In the last three matches against St Etienne, they received a red card in the first 30 minutes. I don’t know what is being said in their dressing room. It’s horrible, I can’t understand it.

Perrin was making his last appearance for St Etienne 17 years after his debut and his foul sparked a brief surge of anger between the sides.

PARIS: Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe grimaces in pain after being fouled by Loic Perrin (right) in the Coupe de France final at Stade de France. – AFP

Neymar scored PSG’s first goal from close range in the 14th after goalkeeper Jessy Moulin saved Mbappe’s shot.

It was tough for St Etienne, who hit the post by striker Denis Bouanga early on. Bouanga had a shot well saved by Keylor Navas later in the first half.

But Moulin also had to make a superb one-handed save to prevent Angel Di Maria’s curling strike.

Macron spoke at length with the players before kick-off. A maximum of 5,000 fans was allowed at the Stade de France due to coronavirus restrictions, but only 2,805 attended.

Ligue 1 champions PSG, who lost last season’s final on penalties, had not played in a competitive match since March 11 when they faced Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League.

Saint-Étienne’s previous match had taken place three days earlier in Ligue 1, before being called off with 10 rounds remaining on April 30.

Posted in Dawn, July 26, 2020


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