Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted Kylian Mbappe’s below-par display was not solely to blame for Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Monaco.
In-form Monaco upset Ligue 1 champions PSG in a blow to their title hopes as the Parisians slipped four points behind leaders Lille with 12 games remaining.
PSG have already lost six Ligue 1 games this season, their worst tally in a single campaign since the beginning of the Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) era in 2011/-2, and their worst since the 2010-11 campaign (eight).
Mbappe grabbed global headlines in midweek with his hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League but Monaco put extra work into minimising his impact in the French capital.
Pochettino, though, leapt to the defence of Mbappe – who continues to be linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid.
“Today, it’s not only Kylian but the whole team that hasn’t been at the level,” Pochettino said post-game.
“That didn’t show what it takes to win. But as I said, the first person responsible is the manager and I take responsibility for it.
“When you lose, the first person responsible is the manager and I fully assume it.”
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 21, 2021
PSG dominated possession, while they had outshot Monaco 10-5 but only hit the target once, leaving Pochettino to lament their ability to kill off the opposition, only days after putting four past Barcelona in the opening leg of the last-16 tie.
Pochettino’s PSG are winless in their four games against the other sides currently in Ligue 1’s top four positions this season, only taking one point from a possible 12.
“Every game is different,” the ex-Tottenham and Southampton boss told reporters. “We cannot repeat exactly the same performance every night. It’s obvious that we haven’t been good enough.
“Monaco did well on the two opportunities they had. That’s what happened. Monaco had two opportunities, and they scored twice. “On our side, we dominated, but without succeeding in scoring and killing the opponent.”
PSG will look to bounce back when they face bottom club Dijon on Saturday.