The final day of the Champions League group stage was full of drama. With all the teams already qualified, stories and anecdotes are starting to emerge from the different stadiums, especially in the places where more than three points were at stake.
On the brink of disaster
One of those places was the Signal Iduna Park. PSG visited Borussia Dortmund with the possibility of finishing first in the group at best. The worst-case scenario meant playing in the Europa League, a failure for the French capital team that could affect the Mbappé case.
In the end, the draw in the German stadium left Borussia Dortmund as first in the group and PSG as second. AC Milan will play in the Europa League, while Newcastle, with little experience in the Champions League, are eliminated from the competition in the group stage.
Kylian Mbappé was one of the main names of the past football day. The Bondy attacker didn’t stop creating chances for PSG, but it was Warren Zaïre-Emery who scored the equalizer. With PSG looking to score a second goal, Luis Enrique made some changes.
A monumental rant
The Asturian coach, aware that the outcome of the results in his group was enough to qualify for the round of 16, decided to play it safe and started to withdraw forwards from the field. These changes to a more defensive mentality greatly annoyed Kylian Mbappé, who gave his own coach a less than friendly look at the end of the match in Germany.
Mbappé’s behavior makes it clear that the PSG ‘7’ did not agree with Luis Enrique’s decision to play for a draw, which has left them as runners-up in the group. Mbappé wanted to look for a second goal and, consequently, a victory away from home that would have placed them in the first pot of the draw for the round of 16. But it was not to be.
“I don’t want to have to ask to be leaders, that’s something the coach should know.” Kylian Mbappé’s anger at Luis Enrique’s conservative approach is still the talk of the town in France. Especially because PSG have come close to the Europa League on several occasions during the group stage and have not produced memorable performances in some of the clashes in the so-called “group of death” in this edition of the Champions League.