Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino suffered a blow to the nose courtesy of Leandro Paredes as they celebrated Kylian Mbappe’s winner against Real Madrid
Mbappe broke the deadlock in the 94th minute by skipping between two Real defenders and placing a low shot underneath Thibaut Courtois.
His 22nd goal of the season gave PSG a 1-0 win in the first leg of the last-16 tie at the Parc des Princes and ensured they will take a lead into the second leg on March 9.
It also caused Pochettino some pain, with PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes celebrating a bit too wildly in the dugout.
“I felt two things. The first was joy, then Paredes ran towards me and hit my nose with his chest,” Pochettino said in his post-match press conference when asked about the winner.
“And I thought I had broken it. I called our doctor and told him: ‘I think I’ve broken my nose’.
“I was wearing this mask and I thought it had broken my nose. So I had these two feelings: the joy, followed by a pain in my nose.”
PSG dominated the match, having 57 per cent of possession and firing in 21 shots – eight of which were on target, for an expected goals tally of 1.87.
By contrast, Real attempted just three shots in total and did not force Gianluigi Donnarumma into making a single save.
But Courtois’ penalty save from Lionel Messi in the second half looked as though it would earn Real the 0-0 they came to Paris for, until Mbappe’s late impact.
Pochettino insisted that he was happy with the result, even before Mbappe’s dramatic winner.
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“In the moment that it’s 90 minutes, you need to be positive,” he told CBS Sports.
“I say, ‘OK, we play well, over 90 minutes we play better than Real Madrid. Why not be better than them in three weeks, in Madrid?’
“It’s about building your present and your future. Of course, when you score, it’s better, but I was really pleased in the same way.”
Mbappe has now saved PSG twice in injury-time over the last week, having also scored a late winner against Rennes on Friday.
The 23-year-old is out of contract with PSG on July 1 and has been strongly linked with a free transfer to Tuesday’s opponents – something Pochettino doesn’t want to happen.
“Mbappe is amazing, he’s a great talent,” he said post-match.
“After one year and a few months that I’ve been here I am always talking in the same way. I cannot find more words to praise him. He’s amazing. He’s a great talent.”