Napoli were able to nullify Paris Saint-Germain hot-shot Kylian Mbappe fairly well during the Champions League Group stage clash at the Parc des Princes last night, with the former Monaco man getting a 3/10 from L'Equipe for his below-par performance.
Kalidou Koulibaly more than played his part in a difficult night's work for Mbappe.
The Senegalese centre-back produced a commanding display that highlighted just why so many top clubs have been circling around him, but undoubtedly his best moment was when he went to extreme lengths to ensure his left-back was much tighter on the PSG No.7.
With the scores at 1-1 in the 75th minute, the World Cup winner had the ball on the right and recognising that Marco Rui was too far away from the 19-year old, Koulibaly literally shoved his teammate so that he was closer to the PSG No.7, who was then forced to concede possession.
"No! I've had enough, you defend him!"
The struggle is real when Kylian Mbappé is facing you with a ball at his feet :tired_face: pic.twitter.com/qN2YUAWe1k
- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 25, 2018
I love you, Koulibaly. :blue_heart::joy::bow: #PSGNapoli
- Everything Napoli (@NapoliAndNaples) October 24, 2018
The whole thing was something you'd expect on a mucky playing field at 9am on a Sunday, not in Europe's premier competition.
But as bizarre as it was, you have to say it worked a treat as a potentially dangerous attack was eventually thwarted. Maybe a few other players will adopt the same unusual approach.
Koulibaly's use of excessive force on Rui wasn't the first time that a pair of teammates collided on the pitch in the French capital last night.
In the opening minute of the game, Neymar went to shoot in the box but was obstructed by Edinson Cavani, who accidentally intercepted the chance and injured his teammate in the process.
Pênalti do Cavani no Neymar, quem bate? Ney ou Cavani? :joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:
Assista a esse jogão, ao vivo e exclusivo, na TNT e no EI Plus: https://t.co/AaMdmPBUBu #CasaDaChampions #ChampionsLeagueNoEIPlus pic.twitter.com/QmzvWMDBQn
- Esporte Interativo (@Esp_Interativo) October 24, 2018
Cavani genuinely just booted Neymar in the ankle as he was about to score. :joy: Imagine how good PSG could be if their two main goalscorers didn't hate each other. #PSGNAP pic.twitter.com/HaXyGQcvgT
- Jake Heasman (@jakeheasman) October 24, 2018
Fortunately for PSG, the Brazilian was able to play on despite being in some initial discomfort.
Thomas Tuchel's side looked like they were heading for their second defeat of the group stage so far after Dries Mertens put Napoli 2-1 up in the 77th minute, but Angel Di Maria salvaged a point with a stunning stoppage time curler.