The evening will remain a nightmare for Real Madrid and brilliant for PSG in the battle between them over Kylian Mbappé. By establishing the world champion then seeing him score a double celebrated with fervor by the striker and his partners and showing a budding complicity with Leo Messi at the entry into play of the Argentinian, the club of the capital overturned the ‘chess board. Thursday, it seemed checkmate after the new offer from the White House, 180 million euros including 10 million almost automatic bonuses. This morning, Paris regained control of the game even if it remains uncertain.
Sunday’s victory, in terms of image and show of force on the part of PSG, does not bode well for final success. There is too much time before the end of the transfer window, Tuesday at midnight, to slash the champagne. It is not yet a triumph but it is a success. The two days that open promise to be still full of twists and turns, with rumors, with the Spaniards who hope to recruit him on the gong, as during his passage from Monaco to Paris finalized on August 31, 2017 in the afternoon.
But the many Iberian journalists present yesterday at the Auguste-Delaune stadium have continued to sink into their seats over the meeting. Mbappé’s presence at the kick-off surprised them before they said they were flabbergasted by his joy celebrating his goal, his second in a row after that in Brest on August 20. It is not to understand the psychology of the crack of Bondy, ready to join Real Madrid, his childhood dream, but also to complete his contract in Paris, his club of heart. He loves PSG, his partners, his coach, Mauricio Pochettino, and respects all leaders even if relations are sometimes strained with Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and even more with Leonardo, the two thinking heads.
He doesn’t want to go to arm wrestling
It is this pleasure that he expressed in the 16th minute by taking a head in front of Andreaw Gravillon a cross from the right of Angel Di Maria for his 134th goal for PSG in 175 games in all competitions. He then ran in front of the kop of Parisian supporters, on fire. The same fans had avoided whistling him when the teams were announced and he had greeted them as soon as he entered the warm-up an hour earlier. A sign that reconciliation shouldn’t take a long time. But are they really angry as the striker displays his permanent professionalism, involved in eight of his team’s twelve goals in L1?
His goals, his celebrations, his communions tell the story of a striker who does not want to go to the showdown, is happy in the capital and will respect his contract if the two clubs do not find common ground. “How can we know (note: what will happen)? We do not even try to ask him, explained at the end of the meeting on Amazon his captain Marquinhos. Him, he has his goals. Us, if we think about us, we really want him to stay. He showed today (editor’s note: Sunday) how important he is for us, he always has been. With his personality, the quality he has, it is certain that if he stays, he will help us a lot this season. “
Mbappé does not speak to the media but speaks with his feet, with his head in this case with his second goal in a row scored in this way. Installed in the axis of the attack, flanked by Neymar on the left and Di Maria on the right (they will sometimes switch), the former Monegasque was once again the most agitated in the offensive sector, by resuming a pass from Achraf Hakimi back to goal before turning around for a small outside net dive (10th), or by offering solutions. He will offer his jersey at the break to a young member of the public – then at the end of the match to Thierry Henry, who had asked him for his son – before always returning to the center of 4-3-3. The night the whole world was waiting for Leo Messi, he saw Mbappé again at the center of everything.
With Hakimi, a real bond
Little helped by a Neymar out of condition but well supported by an already active Di Maria, the young 22-year-old prodigy has once again shown his complicity with Hakimi, already his friend off the field, by resuming at the far left post a impeccable center of the Moroccan (0-2, 63rd). At that moment, Reims had just launched a clamor as Messi approached the entry, on the edge of the pitch to prepare his entry into his new French life two minutes later. The Argentine genius appeared and his first glance fell on the international tricolor who applauded him to encourage him. They may not be done winking each other this season.
Half time: 0-1.
Referee: F. Letexier.
Spectators: 20 525.
Buts. Mbappé (16e, 64e).
Warnings. Reims: Ekitike (84th). PSG: Verratti (45th), Diallo (55th), Paredes (87th).
Reims : Rajkovic – Foket, Gravillon, Faes, Abdelhamid – Muntesi, Cassama (Berisha, 46e), Lopy (Van Bergen, 71e) Kebbal (Flipps, 76e), Mbuku (Locko, 46e), Touré (Ekitike, 81e) Entr. : Garcia.
PSG: Navas – Diallo (Kimpembe, 75e), Marquinhos, Kehrer, Hakimi – Verratti (Paredes, 75e), Gueye, Wijnaldum (Herrera, 66e) – Neymar (Messi, 66e), Di Maria (Draxler, 80e), Mbappé. Entr. : Pochettino.