The 21-year-old has failed to make a significant impact on the biggest game of his club career so far, but his international manager wasn’t worried.
France manager Didier Deschamps defended Kylian Mbappe from criticism of his performance in the Champions League final, also aiming for Ligue 1 for a controversial game change.
Mbappe struggled to make an impact in Paris Saint-German’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, completing just 11 passes and having fewer touches than any other PSG starter, including goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The 21-year-old’s participation in the Champions League had been questioned after an ankle injury sustained in the Coupe de France final, but he returned to play a key role in the quarter-final comeback against Atalanta.
Deschamps knows Mbappe wasn’t at his best against Bayern, but he wanted to remind fans that he’s only human.
“From the moment they don’t get the expected result and Kylian, like Neymar, is one of the players who has to make a difference, he gets criticized when he’s not successful,” Deschamps told reporters.
“Kylian is Kylian, he is not a robot. He did some good things; could have done other things better.
“You have to take context into account. Being stopped by an injury and having to return could have had an impact on the semi-final and the final. “
The goal that won the Champions League for Bayern Munich ????
Take a bow, Kingsley Coman ???? pic.twitter.com/uaxnZsF9hq
– Goal (@goal) August 27, 2020
Deschamps was less impressed with Ligue 1, following this week’s decision to postpone PSG’s opening game of the championship.
The French league season has already begun and PSG was due to start against Lens on 29 August, less than a week after the Champions League final.
Thomas Tuchel’s team required more recovery time, and the match was postponed until 10 September. France face Croatia in the Nations League just two days earlier, leaving Deschamps with headaches over the likes of Mbappe and Presnel Kimpembe.
“The decision to postpone this Lens-PSG match is nothing short of surprising, if not embarrassing,” commented Deschamps.
“I’m not criticizing or commenting on PSG or its arguments, but the fact that the Lega took this decision knowing the international calendar.
“It is impossible to play two high-level games in 48 hours, even if the legal minimum limit is respected.
“For five seconds I can put myself in Tuchel’s place: I hope Kylian and Kimpembe don’t play.
“Fortunately, I have the freedom to do what I want, but it seems I can’t take them into consideration for the second game.
“It’s surprising, embarrassing and annoying. I could use other words, but that would be too strong, I’ll keep them to myself.
“If I use them, I’m against PSG. If I don’t use them, I’m doing PSG a favor … anything can happen, but it’s very embarrassing on both sides.”