PSG’s Real man: Kylian Mbappe’s late strike puts PSG in front seat

Paris, February 16

After teammate Lionel Messi missed a penalty, Kylian Mbappe saved his team again by scoring a brilliant solo goal deep into stoppage time as Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League last-16 match.

Mbappe has rescued PSG many times with late goals in the French league this season — as recently as last Friday — and he did so again on the biggest stage.

After taking a back-heeled pass from substitute Neymar in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time of the first leg, Mbappe cut inside two players down the left and shot the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

“I got free and then it’s a one on one. The forward is always the master of the penalty area when the defenders start backing off,” Mbappe said. “I decided where I wanted to go.”

Mbappe does not expect his team to sit back and defend in the return leg, as Madrid mostly did in Paris and got punished. “You have to keep playing,” he said. “We’ll have to do the same in the return leg. We’ll go there to win.”

This is the first season in 57 years that the away-goals rule — a way of deciding two-legged matches in European club competitions if necessary — is not being used.

Somewhat unlucky, then, for Manchester City as last season’s runners-up won 5-0 at Portuguese club Sporting.

The return legs are on March 9.

Ronaldo finally scores

Manchester: This time, Manchester United held on to their lead. Cristiano Ronaldo ended his six-game goal drought by lashing in a 51st-minute goal to set United on their way to a 2-0 win over Brighton that moved the team into fourth place in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Bruno Fernandes added a second goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time, with virtually the last kick of the game, following a rapid break as Brighton committed men forward.

United had failed to win any of their last three games despite taking the lead each time — twice in the league, against Burnley and Southampton, and in getting eliminated from the FA Cup by second-tier Middlesbrough.

“First half was Mr Hyde, second half Dr Jekyll,” United manager Ralf Rangnick said, “and for a change it (the result) was different.” — AP

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