The fitness of Kylian Mbappe was the big question going into Tuesday night's Champions League action and, though the Frenchman was not deemed fit enough to start, he very nearly snatched a result for PSG after being introduced against Bayern in the second-half.
PSG would lost 1-0 to Bayern after a goal from former Parisien Kingsley Coman, after a team performance lacking in ambition and creativity. Superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar were unusually quiet, and the inexperience of their lineup led to the team struggling to create any meaningful opportunities.
That was until Mbappe was introduced shortly before the hour mark, and nearly wrestled a result out of the game for PSG single handedly.
Kylian Mbappe defies belief in PSG Champions League defeat
Kylian Mbappe has spent the past two weeks sidelined by a hamstring injury, and was a major doubt for Tuesday night's huge Champions League last 16 game against Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes.
Mbappe was declared fit ahead of kick-off in Paris, but was only entrusted with a place on the bench for PSG, in a massive showdown between two European heavyweights.
It is the third time in four seasons that the pair have faced each other in the Champions League, with Bayern winning the 2020 final before PSG got revenge in the following season's quarter-finals.
A goal from Kingsley Coman early in the second-half looked to have Bayern on the way to victory, and just four minutes later Kylian Mbappe was introduced in an attempt to bring some life into a dire attacking performance from PSG.
The move from manager Christophe Galtier very nearly paid off, with Mbappe scoring two goals - though both would ultimately be ruled out by VAR offside calls.
— LiveScore (@livescore) February 14, 2023
It was not just Mbappe's ability to put the ball in the net that impressed viewers.
Even though PSG would go on to lose 1-0, their performance was transformed when their French superstar was introduced off the bench, with Mbappe showing just how important he is to PSG's game.
Despite the 2018 World Cup winner clearly struggling with the after-effects of his hamstring injury, he was still comfortably the best player on the pitch in the second-half. Fans were in disbelief at his performance off the bench at what could be described as half-fit.
Even Bayern Munich fans shared their fear that a fully fit Mbappe could make the difference in the second leg in Germany.
Good game and see you in the 2nd leg, PSG! 🤝
I won’t lie, I’m scared of Mbappé in the 2nd leg and we all know he’s PSG’s only hope… I’m still absolutely confident we can make it into the next round if we fight for 90 minutes like today! pic.twitter.com/FqVOiQxWO7
— Bayern & Football (@MunichFanpage) February 14, 2023
PSG’s xG before Mbappe was subbed in: 0.08
PSG’s xG after Mbappe was subbed in: 0.90
Difference Maker 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/metIGvccPF
— NL (@ftblnl) February 14, 2023
20% fit Mbappe is still the fastest player itw LOOOOOL
— TS🍇🇧🇷 (@TrujistaSancho) February 14, 2023
the way one player changed the whole game is insane Kylian Mbappé really is him pic.twitter.com/r3Rd0PGtRG
— Jane (@janiiche) February 14, 2023
A 10% fit Mbappe puts up that performance in just 30mins... He’s genuinely the best Footballer in the World right now
— Debby🙄 (@Deb_236) February 14, 2023
mbappe is on the pitch for 30 min and he changed the whole match 😭 there’s no one like him
— 🕷️ (@mayvward) February 14, 2023
Yeah psg lost but at least mbappé showed who they are with HIM pic.twitter.com/Ity0YOpOZw
— ً kmp ! (@pastaeque) February 14, 2023
PSG with Mbappe vs PSG without Mbappe pic.twitter.com/3sxdfnKPnV
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) February 14, 2023
PSG will hope to have Kylian Mbappe back to full fitness when they travel to Munich for the second leg on March 8.