Neymar 100 per cent committed to PSG, says Tuchel
Paris St Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel insisted Neymar was “100 per cent with us” after his goal gave the Ligue 1 champions a 1-0 victory at Lyon.
Neymar was booed by his own fans during the match against Strasbourg last weekend, having been heavily linked with a return to Barcelona over the summer.
The Brazil international netted a stoppage-time winner on that occasion and was on target with another decisive late strike again on Sunday.
It looked like PSG would fail to find the net in a league fixture for the first time in 44 outings until a moment of brilliance with three minutes remaining.
Neymar received a pass from Angel Di Maria inside the Lyon area and, despite being surrounded by four defenders, he created enough space to shoot through Joachim Andersen’s legs and into the far corner of the net.
His strike was not as late, or spectacular, as the one against Strasbourg, but the outcome was the same – three points for PSG.
Neymar’s winner also served as the ideal response to being targeted by objects thrown from the stands. The missiles, which appeared to largely consist of paper rolled into balls, rained down on the Brazil international whenever he took a corner in the second half.
Tuchel said in his press conference after the match: “He’s 100 per cent with us. He is 100 per cent in the group. He laughs, he is reliable, he is completely there with his team-mates. It’s normal, it’s necessary.
“It’s his job. He’s here to score and be decisive. It’s Neymar. I expect that every time. I am demanding with him.
“This is only his third match in four months. He is not yet 100 per cent and he will do better. He will gain in physical capacity with the matches and this will help him. Ney is always decisive, he is always creative and he looks ahead.”
Neymar’s goal was arguably what PSG deserved, having dominated the match and been denied by a series of fine saves from Anthony Lopes in the first half.
Tuchel was relieved to get the win, which saw his team open up a three-point lead at the top of the table.
“It’s always the same, we cannot control the result but only our performance,” he said. “We had chances and we managed to control the game, it was super tight.
“Lyon play in the Champions League, they decided to defend low and tight. We had a lot of touches in the opposing area but we had to be patient, that’s how we find the way through. We did not concede a goal either, so it’s great.”