June 22, 2021
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Pochettino plays down Navas fears after PSG keeper subbed at half-time in Strasbourg win

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The Argentine head coach says he took off his No 1 as a “precaution”, amid fears over his availability to face Bayern Munich this week

Mauricio Pochettino played down fears over Keylor Navas’ fitness after substituting the goalkeeper at half-time in Paris Saint-Germain’s win against Strasbourg.

PSG followed up their superb 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie by beating Strasbourg 4-1 at Meinau Stadium on Saturday.

The result saw Pochettino’s side keep the pressure on current Ligue 1 leaders Lille, but more than a few eyebrows were raised when Navas was taken off for Sergio Rico at the interval.

What’s been said?

Asked to explain his decision to substitute the Costa Rican shot-stopper, Pochettino told his post-match press conference: “He came off as a precaution. We have a large medical team, with great professionals, so we will see. We hope that there is nothing serious.”

The PSG boss took no risks with Navas ahead of Bayern’s arrival at Parc des Princes on Tuesday, but Mbappe played another 89 minutes after his match-winning display at Allianz Arena last week.

Pochettino added on the Frenchman, who scored the opener at Strasbourg: “The best thing for Kylian to be ready is to play. If he senses that something is wrong, he will be the first to say it. 

“We’re pros and we have medical staff, and that was the best decision for the team. People can say whatever they want. Everyone has their truth. 

“You can’t make everyone happy. When he is on the pitch, he is happy.”

PSG see off Strasbourg 

Mbappe put PSG in front with just 16 minutes on the clock against Strasbourg, firing a low shot through the goalkeeper’s legs.

Pablo Sarabia produced a fine finish 11 minutes later and Everton loanee Moise Kean put the visitors 3-0 up just before the break after being played through on goal by Mbappe.

Navas’ replacement Rico conceded just after the hour mark after a Moise Sahi effort beat him at his near post, but PSG had the final say when Leandro Paredes curled in a brilliant free-kick from just outside the box.

How important has Navas been to PSG this season?

Supporters will hope that Navas returns between the sticks for PSG’s second leg clash with Bayern, having seen him produce a number of important saves in the first fixture.

The 34-year-old has enjoyed another superb all-round season for the French champions, recording 26 clean sheets in 35 appearances across all competitions.

Further reading 

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