Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino insists it was not a risk to play Kylian Mbappe for almost the entirety of Saturday’s 4-1 triumph over Strasbourg, just three days before their crucial Bayern Munich clash.
Mbappe scored twice as PSG defeated Bayern 3-2 in Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday.
The France forward was influential again as he scored and set up another at the Stade de la Meinau to help PSG cut the gap to Ligue 1 leaders Lille back to three points.
PSG were 3-0 up by half-time, with Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean also on target, but Mbappe was not withdrawn until the 89th minute.
Asked if that was a risk by Canal+, Pochettino replied: “No. You need to remember that he played 88 minutes against Brest in the Coupe de France and the best thing for Kylian to get him ready is to play.
“He is the first to sense if there is something wrong. He will be the first to tell me, like all the players.
“We are professionals, we have a performance and medical staff and we try to make the best decisions for the team.
“People can say whatever they want, that is football. Sometimes we have our truth and we can’t make everyone happy.
“But Kylian is a player who is happy when he’s on the pitch and he knows himself very well.”
A win at Strasbourg
Strong showing from the Parisians in #RCSAPSG !
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 10, 2021
Pochettino was asked if PSG beating Bayern would represent the club’s best achievement in recent years but the Argentinian was reluctant to make such judgements.
“I do not know. It’s up to you to be the judge. For us, it’s our goal to be ready on Tuesday,” he added.
“It was important to beat Barcelona [in the last 16] and for me we are going to play the best team in the world.
“We still have 90 minutes in which we will suffer but our objective is to beat them and go to the next round.”
PSG were beaten by league leaders Lille at home last week and were six points adrift prior to kick-off.
Pochettino felt his side showed they have the mettle to compete on three remaining fronts this term with their win over Strasbourg.
“We were talking about it before the game. It was very important to take these three points because we remain in the title race thanks to them,” he said.
“For us, it’s not a question of pressure or of playing while being anxious, we have to be efficient.
“Today, we showed that we were fighters in the way of playing that we want to have and that’s how we want to be.
“We have to be more consistent but we fight in three competitions: the cup, the championship and the Champions League.
“It complicates things but the team have shown significant faith and believe in what they do. Today was a good day for us.”
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