Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe is set for a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury picked up in Saturday’s win over Stade Brestois 29.
Kimpembe immediately pointed to his left hamstring and grimaced after sliding into a challenge on Irvin Cardona right in front of the two technical areas late in the game at the Parc des Princes. Brest felt that the centre-back, who was already on a booking, could have seen a second yellow for the tackle, although in any case Kimpembe was not able to continue.
“He will undergo tests and we will wait 48 hours to see how serious the injury is, but he is unavailable for the next two matches,” coach Christophe Galtier said, confirming that the 27-year-old will not feature in Wednesday’s trip to Israel to play Maccabi Haifa in the UEFA Champions League and will also be absent for next weekend’s match at Olympique Lyonnais.
That is a major blow for Galtier, who has few alternatives to his first-choice back three of Kimpembe, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos. Danilo Pereira and Nordi Mukiele appear to be the only other members of the PSG squad who can fill in at centre-back.
Kimpembe had earlier been booked for conceding the penalty that might have got Brest back on level terms, but Islam Slimani’s kick was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma. PSG held on to win 1-0 thanks to a Neymar Jr first-half goal.
'Game of two halves'
“It was a game of two contrasting halves. We had lots of very favourable situations in the first half, absolutely deserved to open the scoring and then could and should have been further ahead. We didn’t do it, and that is why I opted to go with an unchanged front three at kick-off, to try to get more goals in the first half,” Galtier said.
“The second half was much more difficult. We were quickly cut in two, made lots of mistakes and gave Brest reason to hope. When a team comes to Paris and is only one goal down, they still believe they can get something. That meant I had to make the changes that I might have wished to make earlier, to rebalance the team and protect some of those who have played a lot, especially in midfield and up front. Fortunately Gigio made the decisive save at the penalty.”
Brest coach Michel Der Zakarian admitted his frustration as the Brittany side still have just one win to their name so far this season.
“We are frustrated given the way the second half went,” he said. “We defended better and kept the ball. We missed the penalty, but these things happen in football. Without that we would have come away with a point. This game can give us encouragement but we need to win games," he said.