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'It was in the heat of the moment' - PSG coach Galtier plays down Mbappe's tactical frustrations after inflammatory Instagram post

6:10 PM WAT 10/10/2022
Kylian Mbappe PSG Benfica 2022-23
Christophe Galtier has defended Kylian Mbappe after the forward appeared to hit out over the tactics deployed by the PSG boss this season.
  • Mbappe posted criticism on Instagram
  • Galtier said it was 'in heat of the moment'
  • PSG drew blank for first time this season

WHAT HAPPENED? Mbappe seemingly hit out at the tactics deployed by manager Galtier on social media after PSG faltered in a stalemate against Reims over the weekend. It is believed the French forward was given assurances that he would be played in a two-man attack with a player in behind, rather than PSG's usual front three.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to reporters, Galtier said: "It was a reaction in the heat of the moment, after a moment of disappointment. I spoke a lot with Kylian at the start of the season and I was very attentive to his comments when he was playing for France, saying that he felt better in Les Bleus’ attacking set-up. Across pre-season we spoke with Luís Campos and the president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] to get a fourth striker, with a different profile, who would allow for two strikers and for Kylian to play as much as possible in his preferred area. Kylian sometimes finds himself in the middle and he gets the impression that he’s a pivot. But he’s a smart player who’s capable of adapting.

"Kylian is already at 11 goals and I know he’s going to score a lot more. To tell you the whole story, he shouldn’t have played against Reims, he was ill. Kylian played while ill and tired, in a match which didn’t turn out well for us. I’m trying to reassure him by finding different options. We’re very mindful about his comments and his thinking because he’s a very important player for the team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saturday's fixture was the first time that the Parisians have failed to score this season. Elsewhere Mbappe and his teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar have been in electrifying form, contributing to over 40 goals in all competitions already.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MBAPPE? Mbappe is unlikely to be dropped anytime soon by PSG after signing a bumper new contract earlier this year. A Champions League game against Benfica may give him the perfect opportunity to find his shooting boots before the Classique match against Marseille on October 16.