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Toulouse win dampens Mbappe farewell, but departing star adds to record tally

Updated: 2024-05-14 09:16
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Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe (left) and Ethan Mbappe pose with their mother Fayza Lamari after a prize-giving ceremony marking the club's French Ligue 1 championship title on Sunday at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP

PARIS — Kylian Mbappe got a mixed reception from Paris Saint-Germain fans in his last home game for the club, before scoring in a 3-1 home defeat against Toulouse in the French league on Sunday.

Mbappe grabbed his league-leading 27th goal of the season in the eighth minute, after sprinting clear and rounding the goalkeeper.

Mbappe has now scored 256 times for PSG, a club record, since signing from Monaco in 2017 in a deal worth 180 million euros ($194 million).

His tally of 191 goals in France's top flight — including 16 with Monaco at the beginning of his career — puts him in seventh place in the all-time list. Coach Luis Enrique described the 25-year-old as "a club legend" when he spoke to media on the eve of the game.

But, defensive errors followed as French champion PSG slipped to only its second league defeat of the season, but third straight overall, after back-to-back 1-0 losses against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semifinals.

As the lineups were announced at Parc des Princes, there were loud jeers from sections of the crowd when Mbappe's name was read out. But, shortly after, supporters from the CUP — Paris Ultras Collective — unfurled a banner in his honor behind one of the goals.

It read "Enfant de la Banlieu" (Kid from the Suburbs) in reference to the Parisian suburb of Bondy where Mbappe grew up. They also made a giant tifo in his image, featuring Mbappe in a trademark pose with his arms crossed. Mbappe went over to the fans and applauded.

After the final whistle, fans sang "On est les Champions" (We are the Champions), but did not chant Mbappe's name.

Mbappe publicly confirmed on Friday that he is leaving at the end of the season, having already informed the club in mid-February. He spoke in a video posted on X, and not through the club's communications department.

Although he has yet to announce his destination, Mbappe is widely expected to join 14-time Champions League winner Real Madrid.

"I heard applause, the supporters paid him a deserved tribute, he is a club legend despite his youth," said Enrique, who described the banner as "beautiful".

The Qatar-owned club had already wrapped up a record-extending 12th French title — its 10th in 12 years — before hosting a Toulouse side which was itself safe from any lingering threat of relegation.

PSG's Champions League disappointment means Mbappe will leave the club without ever having got his hands on European soccer's greatest prize.

With Mbappe, PSG was runner-up in 2020 and has since reached the last four on two further occasions, but the France captain will now hope to finally get his hands on the trophy at his next club.

PSG can still finish the season by completing a clean sweep of domestic honors, as it faces Lyon in the French Cup final in Lyon on May 25.

Mbappe's early goal was quickly canceled out by Dutch striker Thijs Dallinga, following some slack defending.

Midway through the second period, PSG's defenders backed off, and Toulouse forward Yann Gboho curled a fine shot into the top right corner. With seconds remaining in stoppage time, striker Frank Magri volleyed in from close range.

"Even though we are champions, we shouldn't lose in this manner," PSG winger Ousmane Dembele said. "We have to give the best versions of ourselves in every game."


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