Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admitted he was “very surprised” at superstar forward Kylian Mbappe’s Champions League goal drought ahead of Wednesday’s crucial clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The France World Cup-winning striker, who scored when PSG won 2-0 on their last trip to face United in the last 16 in February 2019, has now gone eight appearances without a goal in the Champions League.

His last goal in the competition came at home to Galatasaray in last season’s group stage, on December 11, 2019.

“I heard that statistic an hour ago and I was very surprised,” Tuchel remarked at Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.

Mbappe, who turns 22 later this month, is the leading scorer in Ligue 1 this season with nine goals in eight appearances but has failed to find the net in Europe as PSG have struggled, winning two and losing two of their four outings in Group H.

“I can’t explain it because Kylian can score goals at any level. Maybe this will be a good occasion for him to end that run,” Tuchel added.

“It’s another reason why we only have six points. He has the quality, the personality and the experience to be decisive and we will try to push him to his best possible level.”

Beaten 2-1 at home by United in October, PSG also lost away to RB Leipzig last month but a 1-0 win at home to the Germans last week ensured that qualification for the last 16 remains in their hands.

However, a defeat could change that if coupled with a positive result for Leipzig earlier on Wednesday away to Istanbul Basaksehir.

“It will depend a bit on the result between Leipzig and Basaksehir but it’s possible that we will need to win,” added Tuchel.

PSG were knocked out in the last 16 two seasons ago by United despite that first-leg victory at Old Trafford, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have scored nine goals in winning their two home group games so far this season.

“It is one of the biggest challenges in the world to come to Old Trafford and win but it is not impossible and that is what we are preparing for.”