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Tuchel: ‘Neymar will start against Leipzig’

Publish on 21/11/2020 at 03:32

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel called his side’s performance in losing to AS Monaco on Friday “bizarre” but revealed that Neymar Jr. would be back in the starting line-up against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League.

PSG seemed to be cruising to a ninth consecutive league win as a Kylian Mbappé brace put them 2-0 up at the Stade Louis II but they ended up losing 3-2 and having defender Abdou Diallo sent off for conceding the penalty which Cesc Fabregas scored to decide the game in the hosts’ favour.

“We controlled the game in the first half, scoring two goals and having two more disallowed, but we didn’t have the same level of concentration in the second half,” bemoaned the German Tuchel.

“We didn’t play as seriously, our use of the ball was not as good and we didn’t defend seriously enough either. That is why we are completely responsible. Maybe it was too easy and the players felt like they were already 3-0 or 4-0 up when it was really only 2-0.”

It was PSG’s fifth defeat of the season in all competitions and only serves to yank up the pressure going into the Leipzig clash at the Parc des Princes, where failure to win would seriously compromise their chances of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League.

'Accept the criticism'

“We must accept the criticism because we completely stopped playing football and stopped doing the things you need to do to win a football match,” Tuchel added.

“It is always possible to lose but to lose a match like that is very bizarre.”

Neymar made his comeback after several weeks out injured, appearing as a substitute for the last half-hour. Meanwhile, Mbappé started having missed PSG’s last two games before the international break due to a hamstring problem, and used the occasion to move onto 99 goals for the club. He was taken off in the 69th minute. Marquinhos was an unused substitute but will come back into the side against Leipzig.

Tuchel said: “The match against Leipzig is going to be very difficult but if we had won tonight it would not have been any different. We had to take off Kylian, not take any risk with Marquinhos and give Neymar some minutes. The mix between the two matches, Monaco and Leipzig, maybe also explains why we lost concentration. Neymar is full of determination. He will start against Leipzig.”

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