Mbappe denies criticising Neymar and hopes injured PSG superstar recovers quickly

By Sports Desk February 19, 2023

Kylian Mbappe insisted he was not making a comment against Neymar when he referred to his Paris Saint-Germain club-mates having to "eat well and sleep well".

Mbappe was one of PSG's heroes on Sunday as they snatched a 4-3 victory over Lille in a thrilling Ligue 1 encounter.

Neymar teed up Mbappe's opener and himself made it 2-0 to the hosts at Parc des Princes inside 17 minutes, only for the Brazil forward to go off with an apparently serious ankle injury early in the second half as Lille restored parity and then took the lead through Jonathan Bamba's superb strike.

Yet Mbappe dragged PSG level, setting the stage for Lionel Messi to win it with a sublime free-kick deep into stoppage time, ending a three-match losing streak for PSG, who trail 1-0 in their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich.

Mbappe urged his team-mates to take care of their fitness and energy levels ahead of the second leg on March 8, but a day later Neymar was pictured in a McDonald's branch on a night out in Paris.

Christophe Galtier revealed in the build-up to Sunday's match that he had discussed the matter with Neymar, but Mbappe was adamant his comments were not meant as a slant against his fellow superstar forward.

"I saw that people were talking about Ney, about what happened," Mbappe told Amazon Prime Sport. "It was not a [comment] against Neymar.

"In the context, we need everything except a fight. It's really advice for everyone.

"Because, as I said, when you have everyone, we saw it at the start of the match, when everyone is there, the teams have to worry.

"I hope Ney will come back soon because he is an important player for us."

The sight of Neymar being taken off on a stretcher was not promising for PSG, and Galtier said: "It's probably a sprained ankle, we will see the seriousness. He is being examined."

PSG's prospects looked bleak until Mbappe and Messi stepped up late on to ease what could have been mounting scrutiny on Galtier's position.

"The term is relief. It's the emotional lift," Galtier added.

"The match was very important for everyone, for the players, for me. We knew that a victory was mandatory to reset the dynamic.

"A coach who loses four games in a row, even more at PSG, is obviously in difficulty; there may be a lot of doubt around. What I can tell you is that I have the permanent support of my sports management and my president. It is very important."

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