‘That’s our maximum’, admits Mbappe after latest PSG exit

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Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (right) celebrates with Leon Goretzka (centre) and Jamal Musiala after scoring the opening goal.PHOTO: AFP

Kylian Mbappe admitted that Paris Saint-Germain had performed to their “maximum” as they slumped 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 scored against his former club, and substitute Serge Gnabry sealed the win for Bayern.

“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,” PSG star forward 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.”

The French champions 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, who could not find a way past Bayern despite having 55 per cent possession of the ball, ended the tie with two 17-year-olds on the pitch in El Chadaille Bitshiabu and Warren Zaire-Emery as they ran out of ideas.

“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 in 2022.

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.”

Galtier, meanwhile, bemoaned his team’s defending at Bayern’s opener, which came after Marco Verratti was dispossessed in his own box.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t take the chances we had,” he said.

“Then in the second half we conceded a really stupid goal. At this level you need to be a bit more clear-headed.

“Obviously we were under pressure from Bayern. At that point you need to not be ashamed to play long, to break out of the press. And obviously after an hour when you go behind it becomes very difficult.”

PSG were playing without injured Neymar, who will be undergoing surgery on his injured led by a renowned British specialist, James Calder, at the Aspetar hospital in Qatar.

The Brazilian forward is expected to miss up to four months of action, almost certainly ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Besides scoring the vital goals, Bayern also had Matthijs de Ligt to thank.

Coach Julian Nagelsmann said the Dutch defender “rescued” his side after making a vital goalline clearance in the first half.

With the tie in the balance, de Ligt scrambled Vitinha’s shot to safety after Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer was caught trying to dribble out of his own area.

Nagelsmann was not pleased with Sommer’s risk-taking but chose instead to praise de Ligt’s game-changing intervention.

“Nine out of 10 defenders in the world would have left that because they thought it was already in,” he said.

“It was an unbelievable play. He (de Ligt) loves to defend and hates to concede goals. Mistakes happen, but thankfully we have a defender who rescued us.”

Sommer, who arrived in Munich from Borussia Monchengladbach in January to replace the injured Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, joked that he had a special reward in mind for de Ligt.

“I’ve told him before once or twice that there’ll be a block of Swiss chocolate sitting on his doorstep for his efforts,” he said.

AFP/Reuters

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