PSG boss Tuchel 'not happy' with second-half display against Reims

By Sports Desk September 27, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel criticised his players for easing off the pace in the second half of their 2-0 victory against Reims on Sunday.

Mauro Icardi scored his first two goals since February for PSG at the Stade Auguste-Delaune as the Ligue 1 champions made it three victories in succession without conceding.

PSG started with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar together for the first time this season, while Angel Di Maria and Icardi were also named in an attacking line-up.

Despite the comfortable nature of the victory, Tuchel was not overly pleased with his side's performance against a Reims side without a win this term.

"I liked it in the first half, but I don't understand why we missed a lot of chances," he told Telefoot. "After 20 or 30 minutes we should be three or four up. 

"But I am not happy with the second half that we did. It wasn't serious. There was not the same aggressiveness and the same intensity

"The plan was to put Neymar close to Mbappe. We chose an offensive structure. We tried something and I have a lot of confidence in my team. 

"We had a lot of chances and had 70 per cent of the ball. If we put three or four chances away after 30 minutes, we have a different analysis. 

"So we can see that we missed a lot. The efficiency was not there. You can't play a game like that. In the second half, we weren't serious."

Match-winner Icardi struggled towards the end of last season and did not feature in PSG's Champions League semi-final win over RB Leipzig nor the defeat to Bayern Munich in the final.

And he is relieved to have got off the mark in 2020-21 against Reims, the ex-Inter forward scoring from two of his three attempts on target and creating a joint-high four chances.

"It was important for me to score these goals," he said. I'm happy to score. "I was relaxed during my non-scoring period as I was helping the team defensively. Now we must continue. 

"I'm happy to create chances for my team-mates. We could have put in more to kill the game faster, but satisfaction prevails anyway."

Asked if PSG need another forward before the transfer window closes, Icardi said: "This is a question for the directors. The players are here to play."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: PSG to target Lewandowski if Mbappe exits, Zidane to leave Real Madrid Rumour Has It: PSG to target Lewandowski if Mbappe exits, Zidane to leave Real Madrid

    The uncertain future of Kylian Mbappe means Paris Saint-Germain's off-season plans remain unclear.

    The big-spending French powerhouse could enter the market to make a splash if the superstar 22-year-old forward exits.

    PSG are currently in a Ligue 1 title fight and fell in the Champions League semi-finals.

     

    TOP STORY - PSG TO TURN TO BAYERN'S LEWANDOWSKI

    L'Equipe claims that PSG have put Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski firmly on their radar, should Kylian Mbappe leave.

    Mbappe has been heavily linked with Real Madrid along with Liverpool and Manchester United.

    L'Equipe reports that PSG will want to be proactive and land a major signing if Mbappe exits and the Bundesliga top scorer is top of their list, even if Bayern are determined to keep him.

    Lewandowski is contracted with Bayern until 2023 although there have been some rumblings about entertaining a move elsewhere.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Goal are reporting that Zinedine Zidane has informed his Real Madrid players that he will leave at the end of this season. The Sunday Mirror claims the club are already considering Everton's Carlo Ancelotti and ex-Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri as his replacement.

    - Arsenal have joined Manchester City in the race to sign departing Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand reports the Mail on Sunday.

    - West Ham are reportedly front of the queue to sign West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone according to Football Insider.

    - Bayern Munich are targeting Inter defender Achraf Hakimi according to Mundo Deportivo.

    - Marca claims Real Madrid are interested in Rennes teenage midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.

  • Ronaldo was happy to be substituted, insists Juve boss Pirlo Ronaldo was happy to be substituted, insists Juve boss Pirlo

    Andrea Pirlo claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was happy to be substituted with 20 minutes remaining of Juventus' pulsating 3-2 win over champions Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday. 

    The Portuguese superstar – who slotted home the opener after his penalty was saved – was withdrawn for Alvaro Morata with the Bianconeri leading 2-1 after Juan Cuadrado had restored the hosts' lead following Romelu Lukaku's leveller from the spot. 

    Rodrigo Bentancur was dismissed for the hosts after just 55 minutes for picking up two yellow cards and intense Inter pressure finally told seven minutes from full-time when Giorgio Chiellini bundled into his own net. 

    There was to be one final twist, though, as Cuadrado powered home from the spot in the 88th minute after he had been brought down inside the area by Ivan Perisic. 

    The result moved Juve into the top four, although they could be usurped ahead of next weekend's final matchday if Napoli overcome Fiorentina on Sunday.

    It was just the third time Ronaldo has been substituted this season, but Pirlo was adamant his talisman took the withdrawal well. 

    "I think it was the first time he was happy to be subbed off," he told Sky Sport Italia. "We were one man down, and he'd have been chasing shadows. He was happy and smiling in the dressing room."

    It has been a dismal first season in charge for Pirlo, with a Champions League last-16 exit followed by a tepid surrender of their nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A crown to Inter.

    It remains to be seen whether he will still in charge for the 2021-22 campaign but, if he stays, Pirlo wants to see more of the spirit shown in the win over Antonio Conte's side next term. 

    "We should have had the same determination and desire to fight on every ball also in the other games of the season," he added.

    "If we had done so, we would not be fighting for a top-four finish at this point. We made too many mistakes in games that seemed easy on paper.

    "We've asked ourselves many times what we've lacked this season. We didn't have the same fire burning inside. We had to turn the light on again to fight the title and a top-four finish. The lads have proved they are up to the task in big games.

    "This group has a lot to give, we have many young players, but playing for Juventus means having more responsibility. It takes time to adapt.

    "We shouldn't have dropped so many points, but this is a good team, we have room for improvement, there is a good base to work well."

    Juve finish their campaign with a trip to Bologna next week.

  • Chelsea did enough for FA Cup glory but were unlucky, says Tuchel Chelsea did enough for FA Cup glory but were unlucky, says Tuchel

    Thomas Tuchel claimed Chelsea were unlucky in their 1-0 FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City at Wembley.

    Youri Tielemans' stunning 25-yard strike just after the hour proved the difference in a tight contest.

    A VAR intervention denied Chelsea a late equaliser, with Ben Chilwell shown to be fractionally offside before his shot ricocheted into the net off Wes Morgan.

    Tuchel felt some of Chelsea's play was too "hectic" during a scrappy first half, but he did not have many words of pointed criticism for a team who will get another shot at silverware in the Champions League final against Manchester City in two weeks' time.

    "Of course we're disappointed, but we're not angry with our performance or our boys," Tuchel said at a post-match news conference.

    "I think this performance is enough to win the game. We were simply unlucky.

    "We've never hidden the fact that you need luck in this game to win at this level. In some moments you need little details, some decisions, referee's decision-making, sometimes a shot like today.

    "I think we defended very, very well. We were very aggressive in counter-pressing, we defended very high up the pitch. We did not allow any counter chances for one of the most dangerous counter-attacking teams in Europe.

    "We did not allow any half-chances, any chances. I was absolutely happy with the work rate and intensity."

    Chelsea have been on a sharp upwards trajectory since Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard in January, but this was their second dispiriting 1-0 defeat in a week after going down to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

    That loss left their top-four hopes in the balance and a rematch with Leicester on home turf on Tuesday in the Premier League means there is no time to dwell on Wembley disappointment.

    "We will talk about what we did good and what we can do better to be ready for Tuesday," Tuchel said.

    "This is it in sports. There is no team that never loses, no player or no single sports guy. It is about bouncing back, showing mentality and belief again.

    "We missed out on a trophy and are very sad about it. But we have another competition with two finals against Leicester and Aston Villa [in the Premier League], then another final [in the Champions League].

    "We have enough to do. We cannot regret too long."

    Reece James' wayward pass that led to Tielemans' winner struck Leicester's Ayoze Perez on the thigh and bounced up to hit his arm, but Chelsea cries for handball were waved away by referee Michael Oliver – in line with the present guidance.

    "I didn't see it, the players said straight away that it was handball," Tuchel added.

    "But I'm not an expert on handball anymore. I don't know when it's hands or when it's not.

    "You need a bit of luck in these decisions. I cannot comment and give my opinion, but my opinion is not relevant anyway because I don't know anymore when they need to punish it or when they can play with the hand."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.