Getty Images

France’s Kylian Mbappe injured in training

Leave a comment

France have received a massive scare on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Star striker Kylian Mbappe, 19, was injured in a training ground incident with the severity of his injury currently unknown but the forward had to leave the session.

Some reports suggest that Mbappe has injured his left ankle, but they are unconfirmed.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

It is believed the Paris Saint-Germain forward (the second-most expensive signing in history at $212 million) was caught by Marseille defender Adil Rami in a heavy challenge.

The PSG released the following statement via his Twitter account after the incident.

France are in Group C along with Denmark, Peru and Australia and are among the favorites to win the World Cup.

Les Bleus kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16 in Kazan and Mbappe was expected to start. He scored in their 1-1 draw against the U.S. on Saturday in their final warm-up game.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

USMNT youngsters lead the way in 1-1 draw with France

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
Leave a comment

Seven days before kicking off its 2018 World Cup campaign, Didier Deschamps’ France side is reeling, confused and disheveled, following a ropey 1-1 draw with a U.S. men’s national team comprised of youngsters playing solely for the 2022 tournament at Groupama Stadium in Lyon on Saturday.

[ MORE: Player ratingsThree things we learned ]

To say the stats were lopsided would be the understatement of the year — 70 percent of possession; 350 more passes; 17 shots to 1 (6-1 on target) — and yet, Julian Green’s first-half goal counted just the same as Kylian Mbappe’s late equalizer.

Paul Pogba set in motion the one-way traffic of chances inside the game’s first five minutes, when he smashed the left-hand post of Zack Steffen with a strike from 22 yards out. Steffen hadn’t yet touched the ball, and was so nearly forced to pick it out of his goal with his first touch. A sign of things to come.

Olivier Giroud forced Steffen into a save five minutes later, and Antoine Griezmann flashed a left-footed effort across the face of goal and just wide of the far post midway through the first half.

The Yanks completed their 45-minute smash-and-grab job through Green in the 44th minute, as the 23-year-old collected the ball eight yards from goal and quickly uncorked a near-post shot which left Hugo Lloris baffled and helpless (WATCH HERE).

[ MORE: Team-by-team 2018 World Cup previews ]

Interim head coach Dave Sarachan deployed three center backs, flanked by wing backs Antonee Robinson and Shaquell Moore, and the likes of Matt Miazga (for 60 minutes), Tim Parker and Cameron Carter-Vickers bent but refused to break for more than 75 minutes, even with the overwhelming majority of the game’s scoring chances coming at their end of the field.

Miazga and Olivier Giroud were forced off right on the hour mark after the Chelsea defender and forward were involved in a head-to-head collision which left both players covered in blood from head to shoulders.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

It took 78 minutes, but finally Les Bleus broke through with their 14th shot of the game. Mbappe found a pocket of space near the penalty spot, and Benjamin Pavard found him with a low cross into the box. Steffen had no chance as Mbappe redirected his shot toward the far post.

The next time the Red, White and Blue take the field, it’ll (presumably) be with a new head coach in charge to face Brazil and Mexico in a pair of September friendlies.

Hope springs eternal.

Transfer rumors: Willian, Alderweireld to Manchester United

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
Leave a comment

The transfer rumor mill is picking up steam this Monday, including some persistent whispers regarding two Premier League players with possible futures at Old Trafford.

Both of these make a lot of sense.

[ MORE: Nashville hires ex-Liverpool CEO ]

A day after Nemanja Matic stressed the need for experienced players at United, two good fits hit the rumor mill (again).

Matic’s old Chelsea pal Willian has interest from United if he seeks a way out of London — which seems likely — where he’s said to be ready to go if Antonio Conte remains as manager.

Then there’s Toby Alderweireld, whose been very strong at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur but reportedly fallen out with current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

During a rut, the Tottenham manager claimed that Alderweireld was held out of Spurs’ lineup due to the form of the players in front of him.

Also from Sky, we’ll leave this quote from PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on the idea of possibly selling Kylian Mbappe.

Al-Khelaifi told Canal+: “You want me to give you a number? More than €1bn! Yes, I said one billion! And even if you gave me a billion, I wouldn’t sell him.”

Mbappe adds two more as PSG beats Angers 2-1 (video)

AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Kylian Mbappe scored twice in the first half as 10-man Paris Saint-Germain beat Angers 2-1 on Wednesday to take another step toward the French league title.

The 19-year-old forward has 13 league goals in 21 games since joining from Monaco for 180 million euros ($216 million), making him the world’s second-most expensive player behind his injured teammate Neymar. Mbappe is on course to beat his tally of 15 goals last season.

The win moves PSG 17 points clear of Monaco, which has played one game less.

[ MORE: Premier League Power Rankings ]

PSG played with 10 men from the 16th minute after veteran midfielder Thiago Motta was sent off for a dangerous challenge on defender Romain Thomas. Motta jumped up as he rode a tackle from Thomas, but then swiped his studs on the player’s chest as he came back down.

“He walked on me and it hurt. I’m not sure it was intentional, I wouldn’t go that far,” Thomas said. “The referee made his decision, that’s the way it goes.”

The home side was already 1-0 up following Mbappe’s 12th-minute goal, and went further ahead at Parc des Princes in the 26th when Mbappe crisply side-footed home left back Layvin Kurzawa’s cross.

Striker Karl Toko Ekambi pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left, starting and finishing the move for his 15th goal of the season. He won the ball near the center circle, fed midfielder Flavien Tait on the right, and took Tait’s return pass before sliding the ball into the bottom corner.

After Mbappe hit the crossbar in the 83rd, Toko Ekambi twice almost equalized but dragged his shot wide from an angle and then saw his last-minute shot well saved by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

Ligue 1: Cavani gets 100th, 101st goals in PSG’s 5-0 win (video)

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PARIS (AP) Edinson Cavani passed 100 league goals for Paris Saint-Germain as the unbeaten French leader romped over Angers 5-0 on Saturday.

PSG’s other goals came from teen star Kylian Mbappe, with two, and Germany winger Julian Draxler in a contest that showed PSG’s attacking might — even without Neymar.

Neymar’s countryman, Dani Alves, set up Mbappe in the fifth minute and Draxler in the 14th. Mbappe’s clever back heel allowed Cavani to sweep in his 100th league goal for the club in the 30th.

Draxler set up Cavani for the fourth goal and his 101st in just 144 games, with a pass from the right following a quick PSG counterattack an hour in. The typically hard-working Cavani started the move by winning the ball deep inside his own half.

PSG’s fifth of a demoralizing day for Angers at home came from Mbappe following another break from inside PSG’s half.

Substitute Lucas played Mbappe clean through, and the 18-year-old France international sprinted clear and round the goalkeeper.

“Perhaps I hadn’t prepared the players well enough mentally for this match, and that’s my fault,” Angers coach Stephane Moulin said. “We gave them it on a plate.”

PSG has 39 goals in 12 league games – which is great for the forwards but not much fun for goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

“We worked very hard today and we managed to develop our game on a difficult pitch,” Areola said. “Cavani is magnificent and we’re happy when he’s in this kind of form. We’ll keep pushing him.”


PSG remains four points ahead of second-place Monaco, which went one better than PSG with a 6-0 home win against Guingamp.

Monaco’s forward line was missing 13-goal top scorer Radamel Falcao, who was injured for the third game running, but it made no difference.

Argentine striker Guido Carrillo and Mali midfielder Adama Traore got two goals each, while Senegal striker Balde Keita and Brazilian midfielder Fabinho — with a penalty — grabbed the other goals.


Claudio Ranieri‘s Nantes climbed up to third place with a 2-1 home win against mid-table Toulouse.

Nantes, which is nicknamed Canaries because of its bright yellow strip, scored through midfielder Adrien Thomasson and striker Emiliano Sala.

Ranieri, who led unheralded Leicester to the English Premier League title in 2016, took charge of Nantes this season and his side sits five points behind Monaco.