Kylian Mbappe is happy to take on greater responsibility in the continuing absence of Neymar and Edinson Cavani after his brace saw Paris Saint-Germain come from behind to win 2-1 at Caen in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
The defending champions could have been forgiven for thinking it would not be their day as they struck the woodwork three times before falling behind to Casimir Ninga’s opener.
But Mbappe soon converted a penalty – his first in Ligue 1 – to level matters and, after PSG hit the frame of the goal for a fourth time through Angel Di Maria, the France attacker netted the winner three minutes from time.
With Neymar and Cavani still out injured, Mbappe is having to shoulder a greater deal of the goalscoring burden, a task the 20-year-old is relishing ahead of meeting Manchester United in the Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday.
“We dominated, we had sequences where we had some gaps, but we leave with the victory,” Mbappe told Canal+.
“The coach said before the game that to prepare for the big matches, you had to win the game before. We won, now we come home to recover.”
On his first spot-kick in Ligue 1, Mbappe said: “It’s normal, there is a hierarchy to respect. I arrived as a young player here, with two stars.
“I’m doing my way. I think I will take more and more responsibility, I am ready, there is no problem.”
50 – Kylian Mbappe with Paris in all competitions:
Involved in a goal every 77 minutes
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 2, 2019
Head coach Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, was delighted to see his side move 20 points clear of Lille as they turn their attentions to defending their 2-0 advantage over United in the Champions League.
“Some things in football are not logical,” Tuchel said. “We had a lot of chances and two offside goals. It was a little complicated.
“If you score one or two goals quickly it’s easier, but we had the right reaction after their goal. It was a pleasure. The team worked well.
“[Winning] is the best way to get ready [for the Champions League]. We have the best players, but you have to show it in every match. We must prove we are capable of winning.
“I was very focused on the game today and managing the minutes. Now we have to analyse Manchester United again. There are absentees, different things, so we have to think about our XI.”
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