PSG’s Enrique: Substituting Mbappé at half-time ‘my decision’

PSG’s Enrique: Substituting Mbappé at half-time ‘my decision’

Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique said it was “my decision” to substitute Kylian Mbappé at half-time during his team’s 0-0 draw at Monaco on Friday.

It was the second game in a row that Mbappé has been withdrawn early by Enrique, after being taken off in the 65th minute during a draw with Rennes last week.

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Speaking after Friday’s game, which saw PSG move 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, Enrique reiterated that the team must prepare for life without the France star ahead of his reported departure this summer.

ESPN reported last month that Mbappé had informed PSG of his intention to leave when his contract expires after this season, and he remains in talks with Real Madrid, who are optimistic of landing the striker.

“I have been in football long enough, you should know that everything is important in this kind of club,” Enrique told reporters. “Sooner rather than later, we will play without Mbappé so I’m looking for the best option for the team.

“Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. We need to get used to it [playing without Mbappé]. I will do what is best for my team. I don’t want to create controversy, it’s my decision.”

Enrique added that he was unaware that Mbappé had watched the second half from the stands alongside his mother, rather than from the PSG bench. The 25-year-old later joined his teammates on the pitch after the final whistle.

PSG were on the back foot for much of the first half, and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had to thwart a handful of good chances by Monaco.

However, neither side could break the deadlock, so PSG moved 12 points ahead of Brest and 13 clear of Monaco. It was only the second time since September that PSG has failed to score.

“We had chances but we played better in the second half, we played the ball better than we did in the first but the draw is rather logical,” Enrique told Prime Video.

It was PSG’s 19th league game without defeat as they seek a third successive Ligue 1 title.

PSG next play at Real Sociedad in the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday, where they hold a 2-0 lead.

Information from ESPN’s Julien Laurens, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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