Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel admitted he is “worried” after his side’s convincing 3-0 win over Stade Rennais FC on Saturday was marred by more injuries.
Angel di Maria scored twice after Moise Kean put Paris in front at the Parc des Princes as the reigning champions bounced back from their UEFA Champions League loss away to RB Leipzig to make it eight straight Ligue 1 Uber Eats wins. They have kept seven clean sheets in that time and this result allowed them to move six points ahead of third-place Rennes as they consolidated their place at the top of the table.
For Tuchel, the victory was all the more pleasing given the number of players who missed the game. As many as eight key outfield performers were sidelined due to injury, including Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, Marco Verratti, Juan Bernat and Presnel Kimpembe.
“I am really satisfied and really proud. It was very difficult just to find 11 players to start the match. Our mentality was great, we showed great solidarity and it was a terrific collective effort. It is a beautiful victory for us,” said Tuchel, who saw Di Maria star on his return to domestic action following a four-match league ban.
Gueye, Kehrer, Kean forced off
However, the problems continue to pile up as both Idrissa Gana Gueye and Thilo Kehrer had to come off hurt in the first half against the Bretons. Kean then hobbled off early in the second half, while Alessandro Florenzi did not come out again after the interval.
“Alessandro is not injured. He was tired,” explained Tuchel. “Moise took a lot of knocks. Physically what he did was exceptional. I hope it’s not too severe for him. Gana hurt his thigh. Thilo has the same injury to his pelvis (as recently), which means it’s serious.”
Paris do not play again until their trip to AS Monaco on November 20, but many members of Tuchel’s squad will now depart on international duty where they could play in as many as three games for their countries. And the German is also not sure any of those currently on the injury list will be back in time to play Monaco.
“I am worried. I don’t know if any players will come back. It is very, very complicated. For (Julian) Draxler, Verratti and (Mauro) Icardi, the plan is that they start training again, not next week but the week after. (Leandro) Paredes played after having two training sessions with the team. We are in a very tricky circle of having players come back too soon.”
Asked if there was an explanation for the worrying spate of injuries, Tuchel pointed the finger at the packed fixture calendar in this most unusual of seasons.
“We have played eight games in 22 days so we are not doing proper training sessions. All we do are recovery sessions, and we always play at 9pm, so we lack recovery days. Our next game is on a Friday at Monaco and some of our players will come back on the Thursday or the Wednesday after playing two or three games for their countries. There’s your explanation.”