Neymar PSG RB Leipzig
UEFA Champions League

Tuchel hails PSG grit in Leipzig win

Publish on 25/11/2020 at 10:30

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PSG boss Thomas Tuchel admitted his side were often on the back foot against RB Leipzig but loved the fighting spirit he saw as the capital club won 1-0 to take second place in Group H ahead of their Matchday 5 clash with leaders Manchester United.

Tuchel had a fit-again Neymar in the starting XI as PSG looked to build on their troubled start in the competition - one win and two defeats in their first three - and it was the Brazilian who stepped up to do the damage against the German side at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.

Tuchel: 'We defended like crazy'

Set up in a 4-3-3, with Danilo Pereira in midfield and Marquinhos back in defence, the capital club struggled against their well-drilled opponents but when Angel Di Maria was brought down just inside the area by Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer, Neymar made no mistake from the spot and scored the only goal of the match (11').

"We had a bit of luck, it's true, but we were unlucky against Manchester United and in the first game against Leipzig," said Tuchel after the match, admitting perhaps that the referee's decision for the penalty may have been on the generous side. "We defended like crazy, and it's true we lost a lot of balls, but I also know what condition we're in physically. A lot of the players lack rhythm and conditioning; the players are physically and mentally tired and a lot of them aren't used to playing this type of match with us. Others were coming back from injury."

Indeed, it wasn't a vintage display from the capital club, who had 'keeper Keylor Navas - as well as some wayward finishing front he Leipzig forwards - to thank for not conceding a goal despite amassing just 38% possession over the 90 minutes.

Tuchel: 'Did what was necessary''

"It wasn't the best possible Paris Saint-Germain, but it was a pragmatic Paris Saint-Germain that can also stick together and fight," said a proud Tuchel, whose players - including a fit-again Marco Verratti, who had come off the bench - made no secret of their joy following the hard-fought win. "We did what was necessary and I don't want to be too critical of the lads, even though I know we can do better."

PSG now sit in second place in Group H, level with Leipzig on six points but ahead on goal difference, three points shy ion leader Manchester United ahead of their Matchday 5 clash at Old Trafford next Wednesday.