Mbappe gives PSG narrow win before Man Utd return leg
Kylian Mbappe continued his prolific form with a brace as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to win 2-1 at struggling Caen in Ligue 1 on Saturday, their final outing before their Champions League last 16, second leg against Manchester United.
A week after reaching a half-century of goals in France's top flight at the age of 20, Mbappe netted a penalty for the first time in his Ligue 1 career just before the hour mark.
That cancelled out Chadian forward Casimir Ninga's opener for Caen, and Mbappe then grabbed the winner in the 87th minute for his 29th goal in all competitions this season.
Of those, 24 have come in the league -- two more than the entire Caen team -- including six in the last four games.
This was an eighth successive win for PSG in all competitions, and their enormous lead at the top of Ligue 1 is now 20 points before second-placed Lille play Dijon on Sunday.
"We dominated -- there were a few spells where we were lacking, but the important thing was to win," Mbappe told Canal+.
"The coach said before the game that to prepare for the big matches we need to win the game before it.
"We had a three-hour bus journey to get here and we didn't do that to come and see the tourist sights -- we wanted the victory, and now we are going to go home and focus on what is a very important match."
- Tuchel: Decisions to make -
Coach Thomas Tuchel rested a host of players who are likely to start against United at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, when Paris will look to follow through on their 2-0 win in the first leg last month against the Premier League side.
Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, skipper Thiago Silva, Presnel Kimpembe, Juan Bernat, Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler were all either left on the bench or absent altogether.
Neymar and Edinson Cavani are still sidelined, although the latter is now close to a comeback after a hip injury, but Mbappe was back after being rested for PSG's 3-0 French Cup quarter-final win against Dijon in midweek.
"The team worked hard for 90 minutes and to score such a late goal tells you something about our mentality," Tuchel told Canal+.
The German added that he will be giving serious thought to who starts against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side after discovering that they had defeated Southampton 3-2 on Saturday.
"I need to think about it. I was very focused on our game here," he said.
"Now we must analyse Manchester United again. They have some players missing and now they are doing things a bit differently so we need to look at what team we will put out."
It looked like it might not be the visitors' day in Caen, as they hit the woodwork three times in the first half, through Layvin Kurzawa, Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria.
The latter also had a goal disallowed for offside, but Caen also hit the frame of the goal in the first half via Enzo Crivelli's header.
The Normandy side looked as if they might get their first league win of 2019 when they went ahead in the 56th minute, Faycal Fajr sending a free-kick through to Ninga, who controlled on his thigh and fired home.
However, PSG were level within three minutes when Mbappe scored from the spot after a handball by young defender Younn Zahary.
Di Maria then sent a header against the post soon after, but Paris won it with three minutes left, Mbappe following up to score from two yards after a Thomas Meunier shot had been blocked.
Caen remain in the relegation play-off place, and the two teams immediately above them both play later. Amiens go to Reims, while Monaco are at Angers.
© 2019 AFP