Kylian Mbappé missed two penalties and an open goal in the span of 100 seconds in Paris Saint-3-1 Germain’s win over Montpelier.
PSG was awarded a penalty seven minutes into the game for a foul on defender Sergio Ramos, but Mbappé, who converted three penalties in the World Cup final seven weeks ago, saw his shot saved by Benjamin Lecomte.
When VAR noticed that Lecomte had stepped off his line before the shot, he ordered a retake, saving Mbappé’s blushes. However, Lecomte made another correct guess, tipping Mbappé’s penalty onto the post. The rebounded ball fell to the PSG forward, who volleyed over from six yards.
Things went from bad to worse for the Parisians when Mbappé pulled up holding his hamstring and had to be replaced.
With less than two weeks until PSG’s crucial Champions League match against German giant Bayern Munich, PSG fans will be eager to hear the verdict on their star striker’s fitness, as well as Ramos’, who came off injured.
After the game, head coach Christophe Galtier expressed optimism that his leading scorer would recover in time.
“He took a knock to the back of the knee or thigh, so we’ll see,” Galtier said. “I’m not concerned. We’re not sure if it’s a bruise or a contusion.
“We don’t want to take risks with a very busy fixture list, but it doesn’t appear that serious with the run of matches.”
To compound his embarrassment, Mbappé was surpassed in the Ligue 1 scoring charts by Reims striker Folarin Balogun, who himself scored against PSG at the weekend to deny the Parisians a win.
Despite the absence of Mbappé, the Parisians went on to win the game, thanks in part to World Cup star Lionel Messi.
Prior to their summer signings, Messi and Achraf Hakimi both had goals disallowed for offside. In the 55th minute, Fabián Ruiz scored his first goal for his new team. After finishing a lovely team move, Messi doubled PSG’s lead 15 minutes later.
Montpellier pulled one back late in the game through Arnaud Nordin before PSG youngster Warren Zare-Emery sealed the game in the 92nd minute, becoming the club’s youngest ever goal scorer.
Despite winning, PSG’s superstar squad has struggled since returning to club football following the World Cup.
The French champion saw many of its players shine at the World Cup, including Mbappé, Messi, Neymar, and Hakimi, but the team has shown signs of a hangover since the World Cup.
It has lost twice in the league since returning to Ligue 1, was held to a draw at the weekend, and now faces a run of fixtures that includes two games against Bayern Munich, two games against fierce rivals Marseille, and a trip to Monaco.
“We’re not going to hide behind the post-World Cup calendar,” Gaultier said.
“It’s been a few weeks since our performances haven’t been at the same level as they were in the first half of the season. We need to work, find solutions, and reconnect.”
If the team is to avoid another year of disappointment in its pursuit of its first Champions League title, it will need to turn things around, possibly without Mbappé.