Pain and gain for victors!

Updated: Jul 26, 2020, 10:21 IST | AFP | Paris

Mbappe sprains ankle as Neymar helps Paris Saint-Germain clinch French Cup title

PSG players celebrate winning the French Cup title against Saint-Etienne in Paris on Friday. Pic/ AFP
PSG players celebrate winning the French Cup title against Saint-Etienne in Paris on Friday. Pic/ AFP

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe is doubtful for the Champions League after suffering a serious ankle injury in the French Cup final, the French champions announced on Saturday. Mbappe hobbled off in the first half of Friday's game after a dreadful tackle by Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin. And after tests PSG revealed that their star had "a sprained right ankle with significant ligament damage".

The news is a major blow for PSG with Mbappe out of next Friday's French League Cup final and unlikely to be fit in time for next month's Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon. He received lengthy treatment but was eventually substituted after the tackle which earned Perrin a red card. "Everyone is worried. Everyone who saw the foul is worried. Of course, I'm worried," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel after his team's 1-0 win.

"It did crack a bit for sure," Mbappe was heard on camera telling French President Emmanuel Macron who was attending the first competitive game in France since the COVID-19 lockdown. PSG face Lyon in the French League Cup final before resuming their European campaign in a straight knockout tournament at the Estadio da Luz on August 12. Mbappe's misfortune revived memories of the injuries that forced Neymar, scorer of Friday's decisive goal, to miss Champions League Last-16 ties in both 2018 and 2019.On Friday, Neymar scored the winning goal as Paris Saint-Germain defeated 10-man Saint-Etienne 1-0 in the French Cup final, the first competitive fixture in the country since March 11 following the COVID-19 pandemic. PSG secured the first of a potential three trophies this summer, claiming a record-extending 13th French Cup with the League Cup final against Lyon to come next Friday before the resumption of their European campaign in Portugal.

The final at the Stade de France was the first official match in one of Europe's top football nations to allow fans to attend since March, albeit in severely restricted numbers with just 2,805 spectators.

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