Whatever you want to say about PSG as a team, there’s no doubt that Kylian Mbappe is one of the best players in the world. Before a second half meltdown, the side looked set to advance to the next round of the Champions League, thanks to the French superstar. The PSG forward scored a 94th-minute winner in the first leg against Real Madrid giving the Parisians a good advantage in heading into the away leg. And it looked like he was going to put it away for them in the second leg.
It took Mbappé two tries as his first goal was called back for off side. But the goal he scored in the 39th minute put PSG ahead 2-0 on aggregate. Neymar flipping the play was impressive enough but Mbappé used his wheels to take that advantage and turn it into a goal.
Another French great knew this was coming. Thierry Henry discussed what makes Mbappé so good in the CBS studio broadcast with Micah Richards Jamie Carragher and Kate Adobo. Henry honed in on Mbappe’s balance while dribbling and how he uses his speed to his advantage which showed through on his goal.
Talking about Mbappé’s goal in the first leg, Henry’s breakdown is great saying, “He went in because he has the technique, not only the speed. So he goes in it. Generates power on his right foot on his left foot any other composure, to finish it, at the end of a game in a Champions League.”
He points to how Mbappé’s finishing has actually improved, saying that the past he was more likely to go for a highlight-reel play, but as he ages and grows into the game, Mbappé has become much more clinical which is a scary thought for defenders worldwide. These are similar traits that Henry had at his height, “He can see the path and has the attributes to execute it” said Henry. Combing vision and execution that Mbappe’s level is a scary thing indeed.
Henry continued expanded, saying, “he’s giving defenders another problem, another weapon. Now, when he pushes the ball here, just waiting for you to open your leg, obviously when you shift it, to hit it through your legs. So now we can bend, or I can hit it for your legs. So now you don’t, you don’t even know if you have to put your leg up or not.”
Real Madrid certainly didn’t know where to put their legs and they’ll hope that it’s La Liga defenders who have that worry next year and not them.