‘The Intention Was to Play the Ball’ – Saint-Étienne Manager on the Play That Injured Mbappé

Despite Paris Saint-Germain winning the Coupe de France 1-0 over AS Saint-Étienne, it came at a cost. The capital club lost forward Kylian Mbappé to an ankle injury midway through the first half after a tackle from Loïc Perrin. 

Leading up to the final, Saint-Étienne manager Claude Puel’s message was that he wanted to finish the match with 11 men on the pitch. However, it only took about 25 minutes for that plan to be thrown out the window. 

For the third time in a row, Saint-Étienne would receive a red card while playing against Les Parisiens this season. Puel spoke with RMC Sport after their defeat to express sorrow over the Mbappé injury.  

“It was a healthy commitment,” Puel said. “Of course I regret Kylian’s injury, hope it’s slight. There was no intention to hurt. The intention was to play the ball, but it’s true that he’s going too fast.

Despite saying his regret over the incident, his words need to begin falling on death ears. When a club receives three red cards in three straight games against an opponent, it’s a trend. Whether it’s words from the manager or people above him, there needs to be some questioning whether it’s on the players, coach, or management. 

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Tags AS Saint-Etienne Claude Puel Coupe de France Kylian Mbappé