Tuchel wants aggressive Paris Saint-Germain against Real Madrid

By Sports Desk September 17, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has told his players to show their aggressive streak against Real Madrid and banish the memories of their soft exit from last season's Champions League 

PSG were knocked out in the last 16 of the competition on away goals last season after a timid 3-1 home defeat to Manchester United having won the first leg of the tie 2-0 at Old Trafford.

Tuchel's side kick off their 2019-2020 campaign with the German eager for his players to show they have learned from the pain of that exit.

"It was a very long and hard phase after the defeat," Tuchel said. "We were not satisfied at all, but it is also necessary to forget and look forward. 

"I do not want to be too passive. Real Madrid will have the ball too. They are very strong, brave, they have won many times in the Champions League.

"It's a tough match, it's also a great match. I want to be aggressive and play fast.

"We had a lot of changes, with new players. We have gained in personality and experience. We have a good team. It's time to trust and look forward. 

"This competition is very difficult and we will see tomorrow already if we are able to give all the energy needed to fight 90 minutes with our supporters at our side."

 

Neymar returned to PSG's side at the weekend and scored a dramatic late winner against Strasbourg despite being booed by swathes of home supporters at the Parc des Princes.

Tuchel claimed there were never any issues between himself and the player. The Brazil forward is banned for the game against Madrid, one of the clubs linked with him in the last transfer window. 

"Between me and Ney, everything is clear," Tuchel added. “He is our player. There has never been a problem between me and my player."

Madrid are missing the experienced presence of defenders Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, who are suspended and injured respectively, at the back.

Los Blancos centre-back Raphael Varane believes whoever features for Zinedine Zidane's side will be able to handle the pressure of a high-intensity occasion.

"Experience is always a plus, but it's not everything," Varane said. "We know the difficulty. We know how to approach it. 

“We will try to be as serene as possible and show application in what we will do. We come with the ambition to win.

"You have to be efficient, kill matches when you have the opportunity. It is played on small details at the highest level. That's why it's so demanding. It requires concentration at all times."

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    "We had a lot of the ball in the first period and a bit less in the second, when our counter-attacks weren't all successful. We lost easy balls sometimes," Tuchel said.

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    Thiago Silva was replaced at half-time, but Tuchel stressed the change was a precaution as the centre-back had felt some discomfort.

    However, the decision to take off left-back Abdou Diallo with 14 minutes remaining was down to concern about his use of the ball.

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    "As for Diallo, he lost the ball three times and that was pretty dangerous. It was better for him to go off."

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