PSG scrape victory with late Mbappe penalty

Staff Reporter 2021-10-17, 12:11am Football


PARIS - Kylian Mbappe converted a soft late VAR penalty award to give a Paris Saint-Germain side missing Lionel Messi and

Neymar a 2-1 win over Angers in Ligue 1 on Friday.

  PSG had to come from behind, with Danilo Pereira heading in the equaliser
midway through the second half after Angelo Fulgini had given the away side
the lead at the Parc des Princes.

  Mbappe then finished emphatically from the spot with three minutes left
after Angers defender Pierrick Capelle had been penalised for a handball only
seen by the referee following a review of the images.

  Beaten at Rennes in their last game before the international break,
Mauricio Pochettino's PSG side have now won nine of their 10 Ligue 1 outings
this season and are nine points clear of Lens in second.

  The victory, which PSG will say was deserved on the overall balance of
play, came without their South American stars who were in World Cup
qualifying action across the Atlantic less than 24 hours earlier.

  Messi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes all played in Argentina's 1-0 win
over Peru in Buenos Aires, while Neymar scored and Marquinhos was an unused
substitute as Brazil crushed Uruguay 4-1 in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

  "We were without 80 to 90 percent of our players during the international
break, but the players who haven't played much put in a great effort and it's
a great three points," said Pochettino, who was grateful for the presence of
Mbappe.

  "We know Kylian is a great player, one of the best in the world, and he
shows up when the team needs him."

  PSG will hope to have their South American contingent back for their home
Champions League clash with RB Leipzig on Tuesday, but against Angers a much-
changed team nearly paid the price for a lethargic start.

  Pochettino made seven changes, with the likes of Colin Dagba and Rafinha
getting rare starts, and it was Angers who took the lead nine minutes before
half-time.

  The visitors, who had lost just once this season prior to this game and sat
fourth in the table, broke forward quickly and Sofiane Boufal's superb low
ball from the right was turned in at the back post by Fulgini.

  Ander Herrera had a goal ruled out for offside for the home side just
before the break, and after the restart it was Mbappe who inevitably dug PSG
out of a hole.

  Fresh from scoring France's winner in last weekend's UEFA Nations League
final against Spain, Mbappe set up the 69th-minute leveller as his delightful
clipped cross from the right was nodded in from close range by Pereira.

  With seven minutes left Mbappe sprinted for the byline and cut back a cross
for Mauro Icardi, whose header was weak and was deflected into the arms of
Angers goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni.

  However a VAR review showed the ball, while initially heading off target,
was taken towards the goal by a touch off the arm of Capelle.

  The referee pointed to the spot and Mbappe gladly took the chance to win
the game with his fifth league goal of the season, but it was a bitter pill
for the away team to swallow.

  "There is no shame in losing here but not like that, it's just not
possible," angry Angers defender Romain Thomas told Amazon Prime.BSS/AFP