'I wanted to help my friends' – Mbappe back but Bayern lead after first leg

By Sports Desk February 14, 2023

Kylian Mbappe was desperate to help Paris Saint-Germain as he returned from injury against Bayern Munich, and remains confident of their progress in the Champions League.

Mbappe had been a doubt for Tuesday's last-16 first leg between PSG and Bayern at the Parc des Princes.

However, the World Cup Golden Boot-winning forward was named on the bench and appeared in the second half, introduced shortly after Kingsley Coman had scored the opening goal.

That would prove the decisive strike in a 1-0 Bayern win as Mbappe twice had the ball in the net but was twice denied by offside calls.

Although PSG have now lost three matches in a row in all competitions within a single season for the first time since 2011-12, the late rally that included Mbappe's disallowed goals provided cause for optimism ahead of the return match in Munich next month.

"We have to remember the end," Mbappe told Canal+. "We have a disadvantage, but we have seen that we are able to put them in difficulty. We're going to go there to qualify.

"It was unpredictable, I wasn't supposed to play, but I wanted to help my friends. We worked day and night.

"All our players have to be healthy for the return leg, everyone has to eat well and sleep well. When you have our team and you play attacking football, they are not comfortable."

Mbappe was clearly offside the first time he netted, but it was a marginal decision against Nuno Mendes that saw the second struck off.

"It's the new football, it's VAR," Mbappe added. "If it was offside, it's like that.

"From what I've seen, there's room [to be optimistic] for the return leg."

Mbappe should be available from the start for the second leg on March 8, and Bayern defender Matthijs de Ligt told BT Sport: "You saw in the last 30 minutes. When he [Mbappe] comes in, it's a different team.

"We have to be really concentrated in the second leg."

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