Paris Saint-Germain head to Germany to take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie next week (catch the action on Paramount+) with a new all-time top scorer. Kylian Mbappe scored his 201st goal for the capital outfit in a 4-2 Ligue 1 victory over FC Nantes on Saturday and overtook Edinson Cavani in the process.
However, despite the win at Parc des Princes this weekend, Christophe Galtier’s defense is still leaking goals which could cost the team dearly in Bavaria come next Wednesday. Since Mbappe’s double in the 3-0 success away at Olympique de Marseille in Le Classique last Sunday, it was a question of time before the French superstar overhauled the legendary Uruguayan.
“Playing at Parc des Princes is a privilege and I am enjoying every moment,” said Mbappe post-game. “I have progressed as a player and changed a lot. I arrived young and although talented, I was very raw. I have learned a lot as a man here too. Playing for PSG means something special as a Parisian by birth. If I was told that I would break the record wearing the captain’s armband, I would not have really believed it. I play to write history as I always said that I wanted to do in France and Paris — my country and my city. I am doing so which is wonderful, but there is still a long way to go. I came for collective awards, not just individual.”
That it took until the second minute of time added was trivial in the end given how inevitable Mbappe taking the record has been since he extended his contract at the end of last season. However, slightly less trivial was the fact that PSG threw away a two-goal lead in the space of seven minutes towards the end of the first half.
Lionel Messi’s opener and Jaouen Hajjam’s own goal put the home side 2-0 up after 17 minutes but Ludovic Blas and Ignatius Ganago pulled returning Antoine Kombouare’s men level after 38 minutes. The latter’s strike was particularly emotional given the tragic recent death of the Cameroon international’s daughter Chloe through illness.
Danilo Pereira’s effort on the hour put Les Parisiens back in front and it was left until the second minute of added time for Mbappe to make history in front of the Parc des Princes crowd. It was not the greatest strike that the 24-year-old has scored in PSG colors this season but it comes with a new status in time for next week’s trip to Bayern.
“Thank you to all of my teammates and various head coaches, the president, staff, and the fans,” added Mbappe. “I have not always been expressive as my education was soccer and performance-related. However, I think that it is important to give back. They have always given everything for me here. We hope and we will try come Wednesday to qualify. We are determined and are confident once more. Now we must win.”
Galtier’s men go to Germany trailing 1-0 to Bayern and know that they need to out-score Julian Nagelsmann’s Bundesliga joint-leaders. If we look at PSG’s most recent performances, there is encouragement in that they have scored 11 times across three outings.
However, they have also conceded five times in that period and most worrying of all might be just two clean sheets from 10 games across all competitions with one of those being an amateur side. Not exactly ideal preparation going up against a Bayern side that has scored seven time from three games.
PSG were never going to go to Allianz Arena to defend in order to overcome Bayern to reach the Champions League quarterfinals but they cannot really afford to concede in Munich. The Germans are a goal up which should arguably have been a greater advantage given their chances created last month.
Perhaps that will come back to haunt Nagelsmann’s side, but equally it puts pressure on PSG to score more than the two times they must after the opening leg. Assuming that the hosts score, that means that Mbappe and his teammates must score three teams over 90 minutes or so with little margin for error at this stage of the campaign.