Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney cites playing against Kylian Mbappe when Celtic lost 7-1 to PSG in Champions League as one of his toughest nights February 18, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
It started so well for Kieran Tierney and Celtic, but Paris Saint-Germain quickly turned it into 90 minutes of punishment.
The Arsenal defender will have watched PSG take Barcelona apart during the week where Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick in a 4-1 win and seen the experienced Gerard Pique have difficulty containing him.
In 2017, a 20-year-old Tierney had the job of keeping his opponent quiet during a Champions League group game.
Celtic struck first through Moussa Dembele, but then Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti, Dani Alves and Mbappe combined to score seven goals.
And it’s something Tierney, now at Arsenal has not forgotten.
Shortly after his move south of the border in 2019, he was asked by Hector Bellerin during a Q&A on Arsenal’s YouTube channel, who has caused him the most amount of trouble and the full-back pointed to the pace of Mbappe.
“He was so quick,” he recalled.
“It was the toughest game I’ve ever played in my career, against Mbappe and Dani Alves down that side.”
Although it was tough conceding seven goals, he pointed out that no matter the result, you always learn something from testing yourself against the best.
He was, however, at a loss to explain what he picked up!
The left-back, now 23, has settled into life in the Premier League well and is already one of the fan favourites – even Conor McGregor loves him.
Injury initially halted his progress, but has thrived under Mikel Arteta, having been signed by Unai Emery – who was manager of PSG for that 7-1 mauling.
One fan even phoned talkSPORT to insist Tierney is a future Arsenal captain, while former defender Martin Keown agrees and says his full throttle displays are not limited to the pitch.
“He’s just the right type that you need… his personality, character.
“He’s a driving force and he’s a throwback.
“In training, they have to tell him to calm down because he’s tackling ferociously. I really like that attitude that he brings.
“He has got everything in his game, it’s about building around him. Perhaps an Arsenal captain in the making.”
And he may even find himself testing himself against Mbappe in the near future if the PSG striker is lured to Liverpool.
He will be out of contract in 2022 and could be sold in the summer to avoid losing him for nothing next year. The Reds are one of a number of teams interested in the 22-year-old.