Kylian Mbappe: That’s our maximum
Kylian Mbappe admitted that Paris Saint-Germain had performed to their “maximum” despite slumping to another early Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich on Wednesday. PSG, trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Paris, were beaten 2-0 in the return game at the Allianz Arena to drop out of the competition in the last 16 for the fifth time in seven seasons.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who featured for PSG in their 1-0 Champions League final loss to Bayern in Lisbon in 2020, sidefooted the ball home after Thomas Mueller dispossessed Marco Verratti inside his own penalty area. Substitute Serge Gnabry scored in the last minute to wrap up a 3-0 aggregate victory for the six-time European champions.
“As I said at my first Champions League press conference this season, we were going to do our maximum. That’s our maximum, that’s the truth,” Mbappe told reporters. “What were PSG missing? Not much when you look at the two squads. They have a great squad, built to win the Champions League.”
PSG are still waiting for a maiden European Cup title despite the vast amount spent in the transfer market by their Qatari owners. Christophe Galtier’s men ended the tie with two 17-year-olds on the pitch in El Chadaille Bitshiabu and Warren Zaire-Emery. “We’re going to question ourselves and then return to our daily life, the league,” added Mbappe. “We have to move on…We lost against a great team, trying to win the tournament.”
Mbappe, who wore the captain’s armband after Marquinhos went off injured in the 36th minute, signed a bumper new deal with PSG last year. Despite the team sitting eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1, the Champions League failure will inevitably bring more questions about whether the France star will stay at the Parc des Princes. “I’m calm,” he said when asked about his future. “The only thing that matters to me is this season, to win the league, and then we’ll see.”
AC Milan through, Spurs out
Meanwhile, AC Milan booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2012 after a goalless draw at Tottenham on Wednesday sealed a 1-0 aggregate victory. Tottenham laboured in their bid to overturn a one-goal deficit in the last-16 tie as Milan missed several chances. Cristian Romero was sent off late on and seven-time European champions Milan progressed despite a flurry of goalmouth activity at both ends.
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