Tuchel defends injury-ravaged PSG after lacklustre win over Leipzig


Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Paris St Germain v RB Leipzig - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - November 24, 2020 RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in action with Paris St Germain's Mitchel Bakker REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel defended his injury-ravaged team despite a poor showing in a fortunate 1-0 home win against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Forwards Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, who scored PSG's goal with a penalty, had recently returned from injury and the duo failed to shine at the Parc des Princes where the French champions leapfrogged their German opponents into second place in Group H.

"Before last weekend's Ligue 1 game against Monaco, we'd had an average of seven players per game missing through injury," Tuchel told a news conference.

"Neymar is playing having had no match rhythm, (Marco) Verratti played without training before," the German added.

Neymar only played half an hour against Monaco last weekend and Verratti came on as a late substitute after missing nine matches through injury.

PSG were also without the injured Mauro Icardi, Thilo Kehrer, Juan Bernat and Julian Draxler, as well as the suspended Presnel Kimpembe.

The French champions, however, avenged their 2-1 loss at Leipzig in the last round of matches and are now ahead of the Germans thanks to a superior head-to-head record.

"In Leipzig we lacked a bit of luck and today we were a bit fortunate," Tuchel said.

"We played with a lot of heart, we stuck together and we won. I'm not going to ask forgiveness for that.

"Tonight it wasn't possible to get out of pressure with the ball and we have to accept that. I accept it."

PSG next face leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford on Dec. 2 when Leipzig visit Istanbul Basaksehir.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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