Football: Kylian Mbappé controversy as AS Monaco secure deserved draw against PSG

AS Monaco captain Wissam Ben Yedder in action against PSG

AS Monaco secured a hard-fought draw against Paris Saint-Germain (0-0) in a match dominated by the controversial return of prodigal son Kylian Mbappé. 

With a departure from PSG pending, it was perhaps Mbappé’s last professional match at the Stade Louis II. The France captain, who joined Les Parisiens for €180m back in 2017, is expected to join Real Madrid at the end of the season, but prior to that, he was tasked with captaining his side to victory on Friday night.

Whilst Monaco have struggled for form at home in recent months, earning just one point from their last four games at the iconic Stade Louis II, Adi Hütter’s side were at the races against the league leaders.

“We have to get used to playing without Kylian Mbappé” – Luis Enrique

Mbappé was kept quiet by the consistently impressive Wilfried Singo and at the other end, Monaco created chances, almost at will. Folarin Balogun drew an early save from Gianluigi Donnarumma and it was a sign of things to come with the Italian goalkeeper going on to have a decisive performance.

He then tipped over from a curled Takumi Minamino effort before Maghnes Akliocuhe forced Donnarumma into two important interventions before the break.

Kylian Mbappé making his way around the track at the Stade Louis II. Photo credit: Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

As the teams emerged for the second half, there was one notable absentee – Mbappé. The Frenchman had suffered a knock during a collision with Guillermo Maripán midway through the first half, but post-match, PSG manager Luis Enrique revealed that his choice to take off his talisman was tactical.

“It was 100% the coach’s decision. Sooner or later we will have to get used to playing without Kylian Mbappe. It is my decision and one that I take with the objective of doing the best for the team,” reacted the Spanish manager, who became increasingly irate with journalists’ line of questioning.

Goalkeepers reign in the Principality

With Mbappé sat up in the stands alongside his mother, Fayza Lamari, PSG grew into the game, but not before Wissam Ben Yedder rattled the bar with a thunderous volley.

Bradley Barcola, the heir apparent to Mbappé’s throne, was particularly influential off the bench, testing Radoslaw Majecki on two occasions. Vitinha also stung the palms of the Polish goalkeeper, who has validated Hütter’s choice to replace Philipp Köhn between the sticks.

Majecki, who in the words of Hütter had a “fantastic game”, had a decisive impact on the game, just like his opposite number, Donnarumma. With goalkeepers proving pivotal, both sides were forced to settle for a draw, which consolidates PSG’s position as league leaders, and keeps Monaco in third… for now.

A point and the performance to match

“It is a good point for PSG as well,” reacted Hütter, who was full of praise for his side, both on a collective and individual level. “It was a good response after the last four home games. Those performances weren’t acceptable with four games and just one point. This point against PSG is different because the performance was really good,” added the Austrian manager. 

After a string of poor performances, Monaco now have four points in their last two games, which has reasserted their Champions League credentials. With three consecutive games against relegation candidates in Strasbourg, Lorient and Metz, Les Monégasques must be wary not to undo their hard work against ‘inferior’ opposition.


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Photo credit: AS Monaco