The last 16 of the Champions League gets underway on Tuesday with two potentially fascinating encounters.

Milan host Tottenham in the Rossoneri's first Champions League knockout game since the 2013-14 season, while two of the favourites in this year's competition, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, face off in the French capital.

Neither Milan nor Spurs come into their first leg in the best form, with Stefano Pioli's side getting their first win in eight games on Friday against Torino, while their English opponents were thrashed 4-1 by Leicester City.

PSG are also faltering, having lost 3-1 at Monaco at the weekend, leading to fan protests and Presnel Kimpembe having to calm them down through a megaphone.

Bayern will hope to add to the problems of Christophe Galtier's men, who seem likely to be without Kylian Mbappe, but Julian Nagelsmann admitted his own players are "not in the flow" in spite of their 3-0 win against Bochum on Saturday.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some Opta numbers ahead of the first pair of Champions League knockout games.

Milan v Tottenham

This will be the fifth competitive meeting between Milan and Tottenham, with the Premier League side unbeaten across each of the previous four (W2 D2).

They last played each other in the 2010-11 campaign at the same stage of the Champions League. Spurs won 1-0 on aggregate, with Peter Crouch scoring the only goal of the tie.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte has won eight of his last nine games as a head coach against Milan (L1), between 2013 and 2021. Indeed, he has seen his side win and keep a clean sheet in each of his last three trips to face the Rossoneri away from home (2-0 in 2014, 2-0 in 2019 and 3-0 in 2021 – all in Serie A).

Conte will be looking to win consecutive away games in the Champions League for just the second time in his managerial career, having last done so in the 2012-13 campaign when he was at Juventus (1-0 v Shakhtar Donetsk and 3-0 v Celtic).

Olivier Giroud has been directly involved in six goals for Milan in the Champions League (four goals and two assists) – the last player with more in a single campaign in the competition for the club was Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 2011-12 season (nine – five goals and four assists).

Ivan Perisic has three assists in five appearances for Spurs in the Champions League, already his joint-most for a club among the four he has played for in the competition: three in 10 games for Bayern, one in 20 for Inter and none in 11 for Borussia Dortmund.

The three players to have recovered possession most often in the middle third of the pitch in the Champions League this season all play for either Milan or Spurs: Rodrigo Bentancur (34), Ismael Bennacer (32) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (31), though Bentancur will be missing after suffering a season-ending knee injury at the weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich

PSG have faced Bayern on 11 previous occasions, with all of them coming in the Champions League. The teams are separated by just one victory (six for PSG and five for Bayern), while they have scored the same number of goals (15 each).

Among teams who have faced Bayern on 10+ occasions in the Champions League, PSG are the team with the highest win percentage against them (55).

Bayern won all six of their group games this season, scoring 18 goals and only conceding twice. The only previous occasion in which they won their first seven matches of a Champions League campaign was in the 2019-20 campaign, when they had a 100 per cent record (11/11) in the competition.

PSG have only failed to score in one of their last 32 home games in the Champions League (averaging 2.6 goals per game), though the exception was in a 1-0 defeat against Bayern in the 2020-21 quarter-final second leg.

Joshua Kimmich has won 76 per cent of his matches for Bayern in the Champions League (50/66). Among all players to make 50+ appearances in the competition, he is the only player to have featured on the winning side in more than three quarters of his games.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season – his first at PSG – Mbappe has been directly involved in 57 goals in 50 appearances in the Champions League (34 goals and 23 assists). Indeed, he is the only player with both 20+ goals and 20+ assists during this period. He will be a big miss should he not recover from injury in time, though he did train on Monday.

In the last two Champions League campaigns, only Robert Lewandowski (21), Mbappe (20) and Mohamed Salah (18) have been directly involved in more goals than Leroy Sane (17 – 10 goals, seven assists).

Lionel Messi has generated more shots following a carry (moving five or more metres with the ball) than any other player in the Champions League this season (14 – six shots and eight chances created).

Christophe Galtier is "really worried" about Paris Saint-Germain's prospects when they face Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

With Lionel Messi joining Kylian Mbappe on the sidelines due to injury, PSG slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the latter's old club Monaco on Saturday.

It marked PSG's third defeat from their last seven Ligue 1 matches.

Galtier placed Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos on the bench, while he confirmed a virus had struck the camp, with Fabian Ruiz also absent.

Bundesliga champions Bayern, 3-0 winners over Bochum on Saturday, head to the Parc des Princes for the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie next week, and Galtier is concerned.

"There was a lack of intensity. It is the current state of the team. I can't hide behind that," he said in a press conference.

"The state of the team is like this. It is strange but true. It is bizarre to say that as a PSG manager, but it is the current reality.

"I am worried about the match on Tuesday night. If I wasn't that'd be something serious. We'll see if some of those that couldn't start the match will be able to play on Tuesday. 

"We have a very weakened team and we're worried. In this period, you have to stay clear-headed. I understand the fan's anger. There is anger."

The anger Galtier referred to was apparent as Presnel Kimpembe pleaded with supporters through a megaphone following the defeat at Monaco.

And any hopes of Mbappe returning in time to face Bayern look slim.

"I don't think Mbappe will play," Galtier said. "There are other matches and we're taking no risk with him.

"We hope he'll recover well. Hopefully, [Marco] Verratti, Messi and others on the bench can play the match."

Paris Saint-Germain's poor start to 2023 continued as Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in Monaco's 3-1 win over the Ligue 1 leaders, who sorely missed the injured Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. 

Hamstring issues kept Messi and Mbappe out at the Stade Louis II, and with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi benched, Christophe Galtier's below-strength team were all at sea.

Aleksandr Golovin struck early for Monaco and Ben Yedder doubled up before half-time, punishing an error from 17-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu for his first goal.

Sixteen-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery briefly put PSG back in contention before Ben Yedder's second, but PSG's defensive shortcomings ensured they suffered their third league defeat since the turn of the year.

PSG fell behind just four minutes into a calamitous display, Golovin poking home after Youssouf Fofana's powerful run teed up Ben Yedder for a blocked attempt.

Monaco continued to test a nervous PSG backline and punished a mistake from Bitshiabu after 18 minutes, with Ben Yedder drilling beyond Gianluigi Donnarumma after the defender carelessly lost possession.

PSG halved the arrears when Juan Bernat's cut-back found Zaire-Emery for a simple tap-in, but the outstanding Ben Yedder restored Monaco's two-goal lead with a composed one-on-one finish as half-time approached.

Ben Yedder almost brought up his treble with a powerful header after 61 minutes, only for Donnarumma to deny him with a firm one-handed stop.

Donnarumma was then alert to prevent half-time substitute Ramos putting through his own net as PSG escaped further humiliation, but they will need a major improvement ahead of Tuesday's Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich. 

Liverpool and Newcastle United are reportedly among the Premier League teams exploring a potential move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah – and the interest could be mutual.

Tah, 26, is in his eighth season in Leverkusen after arriving ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, racking up 283 appearances in all competitions and earning 16 senior international caps for Germany.

After five consecutive seasons finishing in the Bundesliga's top-six, Leverkusen have struggled this campaign, with just seven wins and a negative goal difference after 19 games, leaving them 10th.

Facing an uphill battle for any European football next season, the club will reportedly struggle to convince Tah to stick around, especially with plenty of interest from his desired landing spot in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – TAH SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE

According to 90min, Tah is "keen to take his talents to England at the end of the season".

He has two more seasons on his contract, tying him to Leverkusen until 2025, leaving the club with a difficult decision about whether to hang on to one of their top players or cash in and use the funds to improve the squad.

As well as Liverpool and Newcastle, West Ham are also understood to have touched base with Leverkusen about Tah's availability in January, while his name also came up in discussions with Tottenham, but they are said to prefer his centre-back partner Piero Hincapie.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting Tottenham are admirers of 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison

– According to El Nacional, Real Madrid have held talks with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about potentially taking over from Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season, and Klopp is said to have requested the Spanish giants pursue Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

Milan have an interest in signing 27-year-old Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, per the Mirror, while the Daily Mail adds the Italian side are also impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun, who has 14 Ligue 1 goals for Reims this season.

Manchester United and Newcastle are said to be two of many clubs keeping a close eye on 18-year-old Royal Antwerp prospect Arthur Vermeeren, per the Daily Mail.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting United, Arsenal and Liverpool have all held talks with the agent of 20-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati.

Kylian Mbappe will go on to win the Ballon d'Or many times, according to his World Cup nemesis Emiliano Martinez.

Goalkeeper Martinez won the Golden Glove award for his performances in Qatar, as he played a key role in Argentina's triumph.

Having proved to be the shoot-out hero against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals, Martinez made a crucial stop from Randal Kolo Muani in Argentina's thrilling 3-3 draw with France in the final.

The Aston Villa shot-stopper proved his mettle again in the shoot-out, though it was his celebrations in the aftermath of Argentina's victory that drew criticism from French fans.

Having made a rude gesture while in possession of the Golden Glove award, Martinez was filmed leading chants including a slant at Mbappe in Argentina's dressing room, while he also held a doll with an Mbappe mask stuck to it during the squad's celebrations in Buenos Aires.

Martinez was one of the first to comfort Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the final and converted his penalty in the shoot-out, after the game at Lusail Stadium, and insisted no disrespect was intended.

"I didn't mean to hurt anyone," said Martinez, who has been nominated for a FIFA Best award following his achievements in Qatar, in an interview with Ole.

"Throughout my career I've grown up with the French and I've never had the slightest problem. You can ask [former Arsenal club-mate Olivier] Giroud what kind of person I am. I really like the French culture and mentality.

"The locker room thing should never have come out. When France beat us in 2018, I remember there were songs about [Lionel] Messi. If a team beats Brazil, they will sing about Neymar. There is nothing personal against Mbappe. I respect him enormously. If we sing about him or about Neymar, it is because they are the best."

Explaining why he held the doll during Argentina's open-top bus parade through the nation's capital, Martinez said: "People threw a lot of dolls at us along the way, they threw almost a hundred at us during the journey.

"At that moment a doll with Mbappe's face fell at my feet, I picked it up because it made me laugh, I grabbed it for two seconds and threw it back, that's all. How could I make fun of Mbappe?

"He scored four goals! Four goals in the final... He must think I'm his dummy! I repeat: I have enormous respect for Mbappe. I'll even tell you one thing: he's the best French player I've ever seen."

"After the game I told him that he could be proud of himself and keep his head up because he played a great game and was one of the best players in the world.

"I also told him that it was a pleasure to play against him, that he almost won this final alone. He is a boy with immense talent. I realised facing him that he is different. When Leo leaves football, he will win many Ballons d'Or."

Martinez, who quipped his team-mates think he is "crazy in the head", also believes he is capable of not only playing in, but also winning, the Champions League.

"I'm still hungry, I want to win the Champions League," the 30-year-old said. "Obviously, I would like to do it with Villa, but it will be difficult because the club is still in its growth phase.

"I won the most beautiful title there is with the national team, and now I'm aiming for the biggest title for clubs.

"I would like to win a title with Villa, but it's complicated. You should never lose hope, we'll see what will happen. I have the feeling that I have the level to play in the Champions League and try to win it."

And what about linking up with Mbappe at club level?

"I came close to playing in Ligue 1 several times when I was younger," added Martinez, who acknowledged he almost quit football due to a lack of game time while at Arsenal.

"PSG is a great club with great players. They aim to win the Champions League every year. Who wouldn't love to play there?! Leo and Kylian are cracks! Partners that any player dreams of having."

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema have been shortlisted for the FIFA Best Men's Player Award.

Messi led Argentina to glory at last year's World Cup, scoring seven times, including twice in the final, and laying on three assists.

That ended a 36-year wait for a third world title for Argentina, while for many his performances in Qatar cemented Messi as the greatest of all time.

Argentina overcame France on penalties in the showdown at Lusail Stadium on December 18, though it was not for the want of trying from Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw, and like his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Messi also converted his spot-kick in the shoot-out.

Mbappe won the competition's Golden Boot award after netting eight goals, while he set up another two.

Between August 8, 2021 and December 18, 2022 – the time period on which this year's FIFA Best awards are based – Mbappe scored 58 goals for PSG, the highest figure of any player across Europe's top five leagues.

Third on that list is Real Madrid striker Benzema, who won last year's Ballon d'Or and makes up the final shortlist. He netted 50 times for Los Blancos, helping them win LaLiga and the Champions League, though he suffered an injury on the eve of the World Cup and had to withdraw from France's squad.

FIFA also confirmed the nominations for the Puskas Award for best goal.

Richarlison's stunning effort in Brazil's World Cup opener against Serbia has made the cut, as has an audacious half-volley from Dimitri Payet in Marseille's Europa Conference League clash with PAOK last April.

Marcin Oleksy, meanwhile, scored a sublime overhead kick for Warta Poznan amputee football against Stal Rzeszow, and the Pole joins Richarlison and Payet on the final shortlist.

The Best Women's Player Award will also be handed out at the FIFA ceremony on February 27.

Beth Mead was crucial in England's success at the Women's Euros last year, winning the Golden Boot and being named as Player of the Tournament.

Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas missed the tournament through injury but the Barcelona star makes the list, along with Alex Morgan.

Julian Nagelsmann is backing Manuel Neuer to get back to his "outstanding" best as the Bayern Munich coach looks to move on from the recent controversy surrounding the goalkeeper.

Neuer attracted criticism from the club's hierarchy following an interview with The Athletic, in which he said the dismissal of close friend and goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic was "a blow – when I was already down on the ground".

Bayern captain Neuer is out for the season after breaking his leg during a skiing trip shortly after the World Cup, and his comments led to speculation regarding his future. 

Germany great Lothar Matthaus called for Neuer to be stripped of the captaincy, while some have suggested January arrival Yann Sommer may replace him as Bayern's first-choice goalkeeper.

Nagelsmann, however, considers the matter closed and is focused on helping Neuer in his recovery.

"Everything I discuss with players stays internal. Manu's job is to get fit again. My job is to support him," he said at a press conference to preview Saturday's meeting with Bochum.

"I ask you to let it rest. It's important that the topic is buried soon. Everyone knows that healing the body is also closely related to the thoughts in your head. 

"Manu is currently the captain of this team, you will see everything else. I am certain that Manu will be an outstanding goalkeeper again."

Bayern are looking to extend a 12-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga when they face Bochum, having inflicted two 7-0 routs on the strugglers in the teams' last three meetings.  

The German champions then take on Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, but Nagelsmann is taking things one game at a time. 

"We have to get the game against Paris out of our heads because we have to keep our rhythm," he said. 

"We haven't had that much flow in the last few weeks. Everything we do on Saturday can also have an impact on Tuesday's game."

PSG have claimed Kylian Mbappe is likely to miss the teams' first meeting after suffering a hamstring injury, while fellow attacking star Lionel Messi will sit out their Ligue 1 trip to Monaco on Saturday with a similar problem.  

Nagelsmann accused PSG of "playing poker" regarding Mbappe's availability last week, and the Bayern boss defended those comments on Friday. 

"Paris are better with those two [Mbappe and Messi] than without. It's the same with us when two top players are out," he said.

"I've read a lot about my attack, which wasn't one. If a player is 'out' and then he plays, everyone says: 'What kind of idiot is Nagelsmann? He let himself be blinded'.

"My answer was just that I prepare like Mbappe is going to play, the same goes for Messi, I prepare the team as if they will both play, because they have other good players who can fill that position."

Lionel Messi will be absent when Paris Saint-Germain face Monaco on Saturday, but coach Christophe Galtier says he will return for next week's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

Messi joined Neymar in a two-pronged PSG attack for Wednesday's surprise Coupe de France defeat to rivals Marseille, with Kylian Mbappe missing as a result of a hamstring issue.

After PSG announced that injury could rule Mbappe out of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern, reports suggested Messi was also doubtful after sustaining a similar problem.  

However, Galtier eased fears Messi could miss Tuesday's meeting with the Bundesliga giants on Friday, although the World Cup winner is set to sit out PSG's Ligue 1 trip to Monaco.

"Leo has felt muscle fatigue, he will resume training on Monday. He is not uncertain for Bayern," Galtier said at his pre-match press conference. 

"We know the importance of Leo to our game. With his absence, we will have to play in a different way to have a more solid, more compact team structure, to use each other. 

"Obviously, going to Monaco without Leo is always annoying."

Messi's tally of 29 goal contributions this season (15 goals, 14 assists) is only bettered by three players from Europe's top five leagues, with Manchester City's Erling Haaland (34) leading PSG team-mates Neymar (32) and Mbappe (31).

PSG's reporting of Mbappe's injury has been met with scepticism in Munich, with Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann saying the French club are "playing poker" regarding his availability.

Asked whether he would be prepared to risk Mbappe on Tuesday, Galtier said: "The player's health comes first. I will be very vigilant about the player's health, especially as the season is long.

"Regarding Kylian, the communication has been made. We spoke of a three-week period of unavailability. Kylian is undergoing treatment."

PSG have endured an underwhelming start to 2023, failing to keep a clean sheet in their past four Ligue 1 games and losing two away matches in the league since the turn of the year, only one fewer than they did in the entirety of 2022.

Galtier's men are the only Ligue 1 side yet to win 1,000 duels in the competition this season (998), and he believes they need to be more aggressive to turn their form around.

"The players were very affected in the locker room after the [Marseille] match and yesterday," he said. "You have to avoid long speeches but also show them what did not work.

"When there is so much disappointment, it is useless to get angry. You have to keep a very cool head.

"We are going to have a series against intense teams who impose duels. We will have to respond. 

"At the moment, we are not finding this aggressiveness. The players have to make a big effort on the mental aspects to win a lot more duels in the middle."

Kylian Mbappe has not been mishandled by Paris Saint-Germain since the World Cup and injuries are "part of the job", coach Christophe Galtier said on Friday.

Mbappe is expected to miss PSG's Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern Munich on February 14 after suffering a hamstring injury in the win at Montpellier on Wednesday.

Facing three weeks on the sidelines, Mbappe should also sit out Ligue 1 games against Toulouse, Monaco and Lille, as well as the Coupe de France clash with Marseille.

Considering Mbappe has 25 goals in 26 appearances for PSG this season, this is a major blow at a significant stage of the campaign, with Neymar also on the injured list.

The Toulouse game comes on Saturday as PSG look to extend their five-point lead over second-placed Marseille, with Lionel Messi heading into the fixture without his fellow star attackers.

Galtier has considered whether he has played Mbappe too much since the France striker returned from Qatar 2022. His verdict is that PSG have protected Mbappe as much as possible.

"We are in a unique season, with a World Cup in the middle," Galtier said, "and I realise that at many other clubs with many internationals, there has been fatigue that has generated automatically and injuries.

"As a philosophy, I am in the habit of saying injuries are part of the job.

"We're sorry above all for Kylian. He is a competitor and always wants to be involved, but we can't have a season where we don't have physical problems, that's part of a season and part of the competition. 

"It's even more so for a club with internationals who are in demand all the time, as much with club as with country."

 

Galtier said PSG "took a lot of precautions for Kylian's return".

The striker reported for duty with the capital giants in the midweek after France's World Cup final penalty shoot-out loss to Argentina in December, illustrating his eagerness to get back into club action.

He was then allowed a holiday in January, with Mbappe travelling to the United States for that break.

"I don't think Kylian played too much," Galtier said, "and from the moment you play, there is always an element of risk."

Veteran defender Sergio Ramos, hit by a thigh problem at Montpellier, is another who will sit out the Toulouse game. The onus will fall on Messi to drive PSG to victory on Saturday, and the Argentine great scored in the 3-1 success at Montpellier.

"Leo Messi was able to take matters into his own hands against Montpellier, as soon as Kylian Mbappe and Sergio Ramos went off," said Galtier.

"He was a natural leader and the players put themselves at his service. I congratulated everyone for doing the work necessary to get this victory, which was difficult to obtain.

"The absence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe is inevitably damaging since there were many connections between these three players. I now have to organise the team, taking into account these combined absences.

"Leo Messi will continue in his usual role. It will be up to the players who will be at his side to seize the opportunities and for everyone to raise their level of play."

Julian Nagelsmann is not buying Paris Saint-Germain's claims that Kylian Mbappe will miss the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against his Bayern Munich team.

Mbappe sustained a hamstring injury in Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash with Montpellier.

PSG subsequently announced the 24-year-old is set to be sidelined for around three weeks.

If that estimated recovery time is accurate, Mbappe would be unavailable for the first leg of PSG's clash with Bundesliga champions Bayern on February 14.

However, Bayern coach Nagelsmann is not fully convinced that will be the case.

"I don't think he will be out, I don't expect anything else. I don't know what [injury] he's got, I assume [he will be] playing," Nagelsmann said at a press conference ahead of Bayern's trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday.

"I don't know what he has. It's relatively vague on the PSG website.  If it's not a structural injury, I can't imagine him missing the game, but I don't know. Of course, they can play poker.

"I am preparing for the game as if he is going to play."

While Nagelsmann does not fully believe PSG's news about Mbappe, he could be seen as playing mind games of his own, as he revealed Sadio Mane will not be fit to feature against the French champions.

Mane missed the World Cup due to an injury sustained while in action for Bayern just ahead of last year's tournament but returned to training last month.

"I am expecting him back in the middle or at the end of February," Nagelsmann said of the former Liverpool attacker.

"Things are looking good and he's pain-free. He will definitely miss the first leg against PSG."

Bayern claimed their first win of 2023 in emphatic fashion last time out, beating Mainz 4-0 in the DFB Pokal.

They have drawn their three Bundesliga matches since the season's resumption, though face a Wolfsburg team that have lost their last two games.

Making his debut following a loan move from Manchester City, Joao Cancelo impressed against Mainz, and Nagelsmann had praise for his latest recruit.

"He's a very likeable player and will help better us," he said.

"He's a fighter who likes to play as much as possible and who wants to impact the game. He adds new options to our team. He was very strong in the first half against Mainz."

Lionel Messi insists there is no problem between himself and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe following Argentina's World Cup final triumph over France.

Messi finally won the biggest prize of them all in Qatar last year, guiding Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1986.

Argentina appeared to be cruising to victory when 2-0 up at half-time, but a quick-fire double from Mbappe near the end of the regulation 90 minutes took the game to extra time.

Messi's second goal of the game had Argentina back in control again, but as before, Mbappe levelled to complete his hat-trick with two minutes left, forcing a penalty shoot-out.

Argentina ultimately prevailed 4-2 on penalties to spark wild celebrations, some of which bizarrely seemed to revolve around Mbappe.

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was said to have called for a moment of silence for Mbappe in the changing room afterwards, and then during Argentina's celebratory parade in Buenos Aires he was spotted carrying a doll with the PSG forward's face stuck on.

But Messi does not believe any of the controversy has impacted his relationship with his club-mate.

He told Ole: "We talked about the game, the festivities, how people experienced it in Argentina when I was on vacation, and the festivities we had. Nothing, nothing more.

"I was on the other side too, I lost a World Cup final too, and I didn't want to know anything about it, about what happened, and nothing related to the World Cup at that time.

"That's why I don't want to talk about it [to Mbappe] either, but the truth is that there is no problem with Kylian, on the contrary."

Some of Argentina's celebrations – most notably Martinez's behaviour – fed into a negative perception of the team in the eyes of some.

There was also the photo of their reaction to beating the Netherlands on penalties earlier in the tournament, with many of the Argentina players appearing to goad their opponents as they ran off to celebrate.

But Messi is adamant Argentina have been done a disservice, again explaining how their reaction to the Dutch was simply a response to apparent unsporting conduct from Louis van Gaal's team.

"It seems unfair to me that Argentina's lack of fair play was mentioned because it's not true," he continued.

"We always behaved in an exemplary manner, on and off the pitch. My team-mates were impressive.

"I think they talk because of what happened with the Netherlands, that it all started there. It was the Dutch who spoke and who wanted to destabilise our players when we were going to take the penalties.

"Everyone talks about what Argentina did after their victory but no one talks about that. It seems to me we should watch it back more carefully and see what happened, and then comment."

Kylian Mbappe looks likely to miss Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Bayern Munich with a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old striker sustained the muscle problem in the first half of PSG's 3-1 Ligue 1 victory at Montpellier on Wednesday and is set to miss around three weeks of action.

The French champions released a statement on Thursday to reveal Mbappe's estimated recovery time, which if accurate would mean he will miss league games against Toulouse, Monaco and Lille, as well as the Coupe de France clash with Marseille and their Champions League first leg at home to Bayern, which takes place on February 14.

"After examinations, Kylian Mbappe suffered from a lesion of the left thigh at the level of the femoral biceps. His recovery time is estimated at three weeks," PSG said.

Mbappe – who has 25 goals in 26 appearances for PSG this season – had a game to forget on Wednesday, having also had a penalty saved, including a retake before somehow also lifting the rebound over the bar, and then coming off with his injury in the 21st minute.

The club also confirmed that Sergio Ramos will undergo "further examinations" after the veteran Spanish centre-back also came off against Montpellier having appeared to suffer a head injury.

Kylian Mbappe's injury "does not seem very serious", Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier has revealed after the forward limped off against Montpellier.

With Neymar already ruled out of the Ligue 1 match because of muscle fatigue, Mbappe was forced off in the 21st minute of PSG's 3-1 victory on Tuesday and clutched his hamstring as he went straight down the tunnel.

The forward's injury came after he had missed a penalty, as well as its retake for a Montpellier encroachment, though his team went on to win the game through goals from Lionel Messi, Fabian Ruiz and 16-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery.

But after Sergio Ramos also came off with injury in the first half, there was much concern after the game over some players' availabilities with less than two weeks until the first leg of PSG's Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich.

Galtier eased fears over the injuries to Mbappe and Ramos, though, telling reporters at his post-match news conference: "It doesn't seem very serious, for one as for the other.

"We will see. Obviously they are two important players. On what we saw at half-time and what we said to each other, there is not too much worry.

"Kylian took a blow behind the knee and on the muscle. Is it a contusion, a hematoma. We don't know yet. With the sequence of matches, we prefer not to take any risks.

"Sergio, when falling, hurt his adductor. We think it's not serious. He preferred to come off and not take any risks regarding the discomfort."

Despite PSG winning Ligue 1 last season, head coach Mauricio Pochettino was relieved of his duties after failing to deliver the club's first Champions League.

Galtier is bidding to avoid the same fate, though he says he expected the pressure before he came into the job.

"Yes, automatically when you sign for PSG, there is an obligation to win," he said.

"The Champions League requires you to be ready. We have players coming back, and we've just had a World Cup. I knew before coming that there was pressure."

PSG missed out on a deadline day move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech due to the Premier League club reportedly making an error with the necessary paperwork.

When he was asked whether he was disappointed not to have brought Ziyech in, Galtier responded: "You know it. We wanted to replace the departure of Pablo Sarabia.

"Unfortunately, it didn't happen but it's the quirks of the transfer window – you have to accept it."

Paris Saint-Germain overcame an injury to Kylian Mbappe as goals from Fabian Ruiz, Lionel Messi and 16-year-old Warren Zaire Emery saw them beat Montpellier 3-1 in Ligue 1 at the Parc-des Princes on Wednesday.

Mbappe had already missed a penalty, and its subsequent retake for a Montpellier encroachment, before coming off in the 21st minute with a worrying-looking injury, clutching his hamstring as he went straight down the tunnel.

But after Messi and Achraf Hakimi both saw goals chalked off for offside, Fabian poked home in the 55th minute before Messi added a second to put Christophe Galtier's men in control.

Arnaud Nordin pulled one back only for Zaire Emery to come off the bench to score his first senior goal, sealing a victory that is PSG's first in three league games and puts their hopes of lifting a ninth title in 11 seasons back on track.

PSG were awarded a penalty after just seven minutes when Christopher Jullien hauled down Sergio Ramos from a free-kick into Montpellier's box.

Mbappe's initial spot-kick was saved by Benjamin Lecomte, but a Montpellier encroachment prompted a retake, only for the France international to see his second attempt tipped onto the post by Lecomte before sending the rebound over the bar.

After Mbappe and Sergio Ramos (head) were both forced off with injury, Messi thought he had put PSG in front with a clever chipped finish, though a VAR review ruled him offside to send the game into the break goalless.

Messi blasted into the side-netting following half-time before Hakimi saw a wonderful strike from distance ruled out, again for offside in the build-up.

But PSG's wait to break the deadlock ended shortly after, Hugo Ekitike nodding across for Fabian to stab home from close-range.

Messi added a second with 18 minutes to play as he coolly dinked into the bottom corner from Fabian's perfectly weighted throughball, though Nordin caused some anxiety for the visitors by finding the bottom corner in the 89th minute.

Substitute Zaire Emery ended any hopes of a Montpellier comeback though by blasting home a third in the dying seconds.

Kylian Mbappe limped off injured in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash against Montpellier on Wednesday, raising concerns over his fitness for the upcoming Champions League encounter against Bayern Munich.

The France international was forced off in the 21st minute and went down the tunnel clutching his hamstring, a worrying sight for PSG fans with less than two weeks until they meet Bayern in the Champions League last 16.

Mbappe came off with his team drawing 0-0 away at Montpellier, though he had already endured a tough start to the match having missed two penalties to open the scoring at Stade de la Mosson.

After Sergio Ramos was brought down by Christopher Jullien, referee Jeremie Pignard pointed to the spot, and it appeared a Montpellier's player encroachment would give Mbappe the chance to redeem himself after his initial penalty was saved by Benjamin Lecomte.

But Mbappe saw his second attempt come back off the right post before he fired the rebound over to keep the game goalless.

Mbappe's injury was not PSG's only injury concern in the first half of the match as Ramos then limped off in the 32nd minute, casting yet more doubt over who Christophe Galtier will have to pick from as his side look to get past Bayern and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

The first leg is set to be played at the Parc des Princes on February 14, before the return fixture at the Allianz Arena on March 8.

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