Mbappe has probably never celebrated a routine finish with such vigor, the Paris Saint-Germain winger screaming in delight after smashing his record-breaking shot home to put his team up by two goals two minutes into stoppage time. It was a strike of great personal significance for the 24-year-old, one that made him PSG’s all-time top goal scorer in all competitions as he further etched his name into the Ligue 1 history books.
Not long after, PSG honored him with fireworks and a trophy ceremony on the field – all the decadence one would expect from the Parc des Princes. His goal was rather handy for Saturday’s purposes, too, as it sealed a 4-2 victory that at times looked like it might escape PSG. Lionel Messi got the Parisians going with a neat finish from close range for a 1-0 lead. Their second came a few minutes later, as Jaouen Hadjam bundled the ball into his own net.
But they never looked secure in their advantage. Ludovic Blas got the first for Nantes, beating Gianluigi Donnarumma at his near post off a sliced cross. The equalizer from Nantes followed shortly after, Ignatius Ganago deflecting the ball in from a corner.
PSG reclaimed the lead in the second half through a Danilo Pereira header. Mbappe added a second in stoppage time, an emphatic finish from close range to break the PSG all-time goal scoring record and secure three important points.
WINNER: Kylian Mbappe
There were equal parts joy and relief in Mbappe’s face.
The winger had tried and toiled to grab a goal, one that would make his PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer. And for 91 minutes, it eluded him. Goalkeeper Alban Lefont judged his every move, anticipated every shot.
But in the 92nd, Mbappe had his moment. He spun off a Nantes defender and thumped the ball in from close range for goal number 201.
PSG’s pre-prepared graphic flashed on the scoreboard, the stadium erupted in noise. It’s the kind of moment that Mbappe came to PSG for, the Paris native soaking in the spotlight while setting another individual record.
He’s still only 24, an age that represents the beginning of many successful first-team careers for mere mortals. He could retire now and be an all-time French great.
But, fortunately for his fans, he doesn’t look like he’ll be stopping the flow of goals anytime soon