Tuchel confirms Neymar will start for PSG against RB Leipzig



Brazil star returned to action at Monaco but could not prevent a shock Paris Saint-Germain collapse at Monaco

Neymar returned to action in Paris Saint-Germain’s shock 3-2 loss to Monaco, and manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed the Brazilian will start their Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

PSG appeared in complete control against Monaco on Friday, as a pair goals from Kylian Mbappe – who got 68 minutes in his legs on his return from injury – had them two-nil to the good, but they collapsed in the second half.

Tuchel condemned the attitude of his side, accusing them of stopping playing, but the bright spot was the return of Neymar from injury.

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The Brazil international climbed off the bench on the hour mark for his first appearance for the club since the Champions League win at Basaksehir on October 28.

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He could not prevent the shock collapse, but got 30 minutes under his belt and will be let loose against Leipzig.

“The match against Leipzig is going to be very difficult, but it would not have been much different if we’d won,” Tuchel said of Tuesday’s game.

“We had to get Kylian out, not take any risk with Marquinhos and make Neymar play for a few minutes.

“The mix between the two matches, Monaco and Leipzig, is perhaps also a reason which explains why we lost our concentration.

“Neymar is determined. He will start against Leipzig.”

PSG were cruising at half-time on their return to Ligue 1 action on Friday as the fit-again Mbappe scored twice.

But a third effort from the France international was ruled out and the half-time introduction of Cesc Fabregas changed the game.

Kevin Volland swiftly pulled a goal back for Monaco, before Fabregas teed up the German forward’s second and then swept in the winner from the penalty spot after Abdou Diallo was sent off.

Fabregas created three chances – no player managed more despite the midfielder only playing 45 minutes – and also had three shots, trailing only Volland.

The former Chelsea midfielder completed 32 of his 36 passes, including 86.4 per cent of his attempts in the PSG half, but Tuchel said his side were to blame as they ceded control.

Diallo’s costly foul was one of 12 from the visitors in the second half, while Monaco won five more duels than their opponents across the 90 minutes.

“We controlled the first half with two goals scored and two others [disallowed], I think the third was valid,” PSG boss Tuchel told Telefoot after the 3-2 loss.

“In the second half, we lacked the same concentration, we did not play seriously enough, we did not take the ball with the same quality and we didn’t defend seriously enough either.

“This is why we are completely responsible. Maybe it was too easy and the players got the impression that it was already 3-0 or 4-0 when it was only 2-0.

“We have to accept the criticism because we have completely stopped playing football.

“We have not done what is necessary to win a match: defending in a block, remaining aggressive, remaining attentive in behind.

“We have lost also a little strength in the midfield but we had to make changes. It’s always possible to lose but losing a match like that is very weird.

“In the first two minutes of the second half, we had two very high recoveries but then we stopped completely. It was not possible to win the duels; we were always late. It is not normal.”

It was the first time PSG had let a two-goal slip to lose in the league since January 2015, a 4-2 reverse against Bastia.

 



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