Kylian Mbappe celebrates birthday with brace in PSG’s win against Metz

By Sports Desk December 20, 2023

Kylian Mbappe marked his 25th birthday with a brace as Paris St Germain returned to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 3-1 home victory over struggling Metz.

Mbappe had been a virtual passenger for long periods before he rifled home his first on the hour mark, and he added a second seven minutes from time to make sure of the points.

It was a welcome response from the shock of conceding a stoppage-time equaliser against Lille at the weekend and maintained PSG’s five-point lead at the top of the table.

But Metz gave them problems and briefly threatened to force their way back into the game after Matthieu Udol headed home their only goal to reduce the deficit in the 72nd minute.

PSG struggled to turn their near-constant possession into chances early in the opening period with Vitinha coming closest during a frantic spell in the visitors’ box.

Mbappe would almost certainly have won a penalty after 15 minutes when he was brought down by Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja in the box, but he strayed marginally offside in the process.

Metz almost grabbed a shock lead 10 minutes later when the persistently dangerous Kevin Van Den Kerkhof crossed into the box and Danilo bounced a header against his own crossbar.

Mbappe drilled his only chance of a frustrating first period into the Metz wall, before PSG finally got on the scoresheet five minutes after half-time.

Lee Kang-in cut inside and found Vitinha whose volley from close-range put the home side 1-0 in front.

Mbappe might have hardly been in the game but he still rose to the occasion when it mattered, unleashing a 25-yard rocket on the hour that gave Oukidja no chance.

Just when the hosts looked set to cruise to victory, Metz gave them something to think about as Udol headed home to reduce the deficit, then the buoyant visitors forced a succession of corners.

But PSG were still carrying plenty of threat and they effectively sealed the win in the 83rd minute when Mbappe pounced on a poor back pass to lift the ball over the Metz keeper.

To round off a memorable night for Mbappe, his 16-year-old brother Ethan made his debut from the substitutes’ bench in the final moments.

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