Tuchel hails 'exceptional' PSG mentality
Thomas Tuchel praised Paris Saint-Germain's character after the Ligue 1 champions rounded off a triumphant week with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne.
PSG put a significant marker down in the Champions League as they beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg of a last-16 tie they tackled without star forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
As his did in midweek, Kylian Mbappe stepped up impressively in their absence 17 minutes from time at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard – volleying a brilliant 73rd-minute winner.
"I am very happy because I knew very well that it was very difficult to play at Saint-Etienne," Tuchel told reporters after his team extended their seemingly unassailable lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 12 points.
"My team showed an exceptional mentality. We accepted all the circumstances.
"We defended with great intensity and vigilance. We accepted that it was a difficult match. I am very happy.
"We have been patient, the victory is deserved."
goals in #Ligue1 matches this season
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 17, 2019
On Mbappe, whose 18th Ligue 1 appearance this term produced his 19th top-flight goal of the campaign, Tuchel added: "He shows his quality every day in training, he has this hunger to score, score, score.
"It's his quality - he is a special player.
"Everyone was tired after Manchester United, physically but also mentally. It was necessary to control the game, to play focused.
"We showed the mentality to have the victory."