CRAIG HOPE: Kylian Mbappe held his nerve to break Newcastle's hearts

CRAIG HOPE: Kylian Mbappe endured a frustrating evening against Kieran Trippier and Co… but he held his nerve under immense pressure to rescue a point for PSG and break Newcastle’s hearts

  • Kylian Mbappe was kept quite for most of the evening against Newcastle
  • He popped up with an injury-time penalty to earn a point for PSG on Tuesday
  • It’s ridiculous to see Steve Cooper under pressure at Nottingham Forest. He’s been the best since Brian Clough – It’s All Kicking Off

Paris is a deceptive city. Look up and you wonder at its beauty, look back down and you wonder where your wallet has gone. Kylian Mbappe can do that to you, too, not to mention VAR.

And so with Newcastle seconds away from perhaps their greatest Champions League victory, Mbappe and the officials picked their pocket.

Yes, it was from a penalty, but Mbappe held his nerve under immense pressure, especially on the back of another poor showing.

Mbappe had a torrid night in the reverse fixture on Tyneside. It was, say the locals here, his worst game in five years at the club. One bungled Cruyff turn – more Jordi than Johan, we noted at the time – captured his hapless evening. He, like his team-mates, said they were out for revenge after that 4-1 defeat.

His first involvement here, then, was ominous, one of those runs that blurs his frame and brings into focus how slow others are by comparison. But while Kieran Trippier’s legs might not move as fast as Mbappe’s, his mind is arguably sharper.

Kylian Mbappe slotted home an injury-time penalty to rescue PSG a point against Newcastle

Mbappe celebrated like a relieved man after a frustrating evening for himself and the hosts

Mbappe was kept at bay by Kieran Trippier, and did not have much joy when he moved inside

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He had one chance before half-time when darting to the near post to meet Achraf Hakimi’s delivery. The improvised back-heel was good, but not good enough to beat Nick Pope, who saved with his feet.

Frustrated, Mbappe came to the right wing. But there was Tino Livramento, who was having an even better game than Tripper. Mbappe’s Plan B was very soon abandoned. 

And so to a central role, where he attempted an overhead kick early in the second half. Alejandro Garnacho this was not, the connection so fluffed that the ball spun away to a team-mate. 

Still, a completed pass improved his otherwise miserable numbers. There was a collective sigh around the Parc des Princes at the sight of their star’s latest mishap.

Mail Sport compared Anthony Gordon to Mbappe on the eve of the game. That, on reflection, was perhaps a little unfair on Gordon – he works harder, runs harder and is far more penetrative than Mbappe.

In the end, PSG and Mbappe needed the dubious intervention of VAR. Newcastle, much like many a tourist in these parts, have every right to feel robbed


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