Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) coach Thomas Tuchel has heaped praises on his players after they defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 in the semifinals of the ongoing UEFA Champions League.
As he became the first-ever PSG coach to reach the final of Europe’s premier club competition, Tuchel said that the French team thoroughly deserved the win against their German opponents at the on Tuesday.
“We showed a lot of character, determination and hunger to win. We had it all: mental strength, the desire to defend, and to suffer together. It was a great effort from the whole team. It was a great team effort and we deserved to win,” Tuchel was quoted as saying on the official website of PSG.
Meanwhile, PSG had fielded two of their most prolific footballers in Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe, but the night belonged to Angel Di Maria as he scored one and set up the other two for the Parisians.
Both Mbappe and Di Maria were returning from injuries with the Argentine playing for the first time since March. While the former got his first start after the injury last month and lacked the brilliance upfront, Di Maria looked at his usual best and emerged as the real difference between PSG and RB Leipzig.
The Ligue 1 champions had taken to the field with the mindset to dominate the German team from the word go. Their intention was made clear when an early strike by Neymar ricocheted off the post.
Leipzig tried to match their opponents’ intent but failed to offer any real threat to PSG goalkeeper Sergio Rico, deputizing for the injured Keylor Navas.
PSG did not take more than 13 minutes to establish their superiority when Brazilian midfielder Marquinhos headed home Di Maria’s curling free–kick.
Thomas Tuchel’s mean were not wait till the second half to extend their lead as Leipzig players were caught in possession in the 42nd minute to allow Neymar to produce a moment of magic. The Brazilian delightfully flicked the ball to an unmarked Di Maria, who slotted home in the area.
In the 56th minute Di Maria again took advantage of some slack Leipzig defending to cross for Juan Bernat to head home PSG’s third goal.