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Kylian Mbappe: PSG striker substituted as Ligue 1 giants ‘get used to playing without him’


Paris St-Germain captain Kylian Mbappe was substituted with his side losing on Sunday because the reigning French champions “have to get used” to playing without him, manager Luis Enrique says.

France striker Mbappe announced on February 15 that he will be leaving PSG at the end of the season and was named as a substitute for their 2-0 win at Nantes two days later, scoring a penalty during his 28-minute appearance from the bench.

With Paris 1-0 behind at home to Rennes in the top flight, Mbappe was replaced in the 65th minute by Goncalo Ramos, whose 97th-minute equaliser from the spot in the 1-1 draw was the latest PSG goal on record since Opta began collecting data in 2006/07.

“It’s very simple,” Enrique said when he was asked why Mbappe had been taken off. “Sooner or later… we have to get used to playing without Kylian. When I want to play him, I will. When I don’t, it’s the same thing.”

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Mbappe has spent seven years at the club but is widely expected to proceed to join perennial suitors Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old played for 90 minutes and scored once in the 2-0 win at home to another Spanish club, Real Sociedad, in PSG’s Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg.

PSG vs Rennes: Paris’ attitude ‘very good’

PSG’s five-match winning run in all competitions came to an end against seventh-placed Rennes, who took a 33rd-minute lead through Amine Gouiri.

The result also represented the first time PSG had failed to score more than once in 12 games.

With 11 matches of the top-flight season remaining, their lead over second-placed Brest is 11 points.

“I want my players to say to themselves: ‘when I start, I have to take advantage of it’,” said Enrique.

“I will continue to be demanding. But today I am delighted with the attitude. We had a very good attitude.

“The more difficult the matches, the better. Does anyone think the second leg [on March 5] will be easy against Real Sociedad?”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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